The Social History of English Rowing


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Our Members have won more Olympic medals than any other single-sport Club in the world. Our young high-potential oarsmen and women enjoy state-of-the-art facilities and world class coaching. Do you have what it takes?

The Social History of English Rowing by Wigglesworth Neil

Leander Club Membership brings many benefits. Members enjoy Clubhouse hospitality seven days a week. The Clubhouse also provides a privileged base for Henley Royal Regatta and there is an active program of Club and campaign events throughout the year. Companies engage with Leander for a variety of reasons. Apart from sponsorship and brand alignment, we organise events to engage customers, executive teams and employees in innovative and often prestigious ways.

From April — October our athletes deliver corporate rowing activities and performance-related talks or workshops, designed to motivate and inspire executive teams. But Leander is more than an elite performance rowing club. In addition, the club is an impressive venue full of rowing memorabilia, with excellent facilities for formal meetings, seminars and workshops. The extraordinary success of Team GB at the Olympic Games in Rio has placed them at the top of the rowing medal table. Visit the Pink Hippo shop for Leander branded clothing, sportswear, accessories and gifts.

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Online orders are normally despatched within 48 hours. With Olympic and 3 Paralympic medals to its credit, Leander Club is the most successful rowing club in the world. Find out how you can row for Leander, our facilities, what the athletes have to say and more…. Members enjoy a full calendar of events, services and privileges throughout the year, including Henley Royal Regatta…. Apart from sponsorship and brand alignment, we organise events to engage customers, executive teams and employees in innovative and often prestigious ways…. It is the same for rowing as it is in business and a rowing experience at Leander Club emphasises these skills….

Leander Club delivers unique corporate hospitality experiences. At Henley Royal Regatta and other events throughout the year, guests enjoy meeting the athletes and sharing their international rowing journey…. Overlooking the Thames at Henley and surrounded by rowing memorabilia which goes back nearly years, Leander Club is an inspiring venue for meetings and smaller conferences…. Flexible banqueting space, friendly service and excellent food make the Club a popular venue for a range of social events…. Leander Club. Tokyo Olympics Leander Club, acknowledged as the most successful Olympic sports club in the world, has just completed an outstanding programme of member activities during its bicentenary.

The race officials gave the race to Washington on account of their lead when the crews went down, but both Beck and Captain Bart Lovejoy refused the declaration, preferring to race again the next day, even though it would mean rowing in the Walter B. The conditions were not much better on Thursday. That evening they boarded the Great Northern Railway for a first for the crew team: a trip east of the Rockies to race Wisconsin on June 4th.

Two thousand people were reportedly there in Madison to meet the train when it arrived.


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The race on Lake Mendota was rowed in poor conditions, but Wisconsin pulled away after the first mile and were never seriously challenged, finishing five lengths in front of Washington in Even so, the men were proud of their accomplishment, and the fastest time rowed on a three mile course by a Washington crew Conibear, likely a subscriber to the "no publicity is bad publicity" philosophy, knew that the fact the team had even competed against an "eastern" opponent was a milestone in the continued development of his program.

However, with the majority of the crew graduating, including a number of three-year lettermen, he also knew that would challenge his skills as a coach and teacher. The west coast champions. Royal "Pink" Pullen, brother of the first three-year letterman Dan '05 , decided at one stop across the country to stretch his legs - and impatiently jumped before the train came to a complete stop. However, the train was not stopping, just slowing for a flag station. As he sprinted to re-catch the train, his teammates cheered him on.

After that he "always waited for the train to stop before he commenced his exercise" said the Tyee. There apparently was not a lot of calm water in Tyee photo. The Helen as she buckled and went under - note the stern rising out of the water. About as ugly as it gets. To the right you can see the bow jutting above the water - the shell is broken cleanly in two. Here is a picture taken in February of of the approximate location of the original shellhouse on Portage Bay Lake Union. The Montlake Cut would not exist until ; most of the area around the shellhouse was undeveloped lakeshore in The argument for the change was that the governing sports body, the student athletic board, believed "rowing should be placed on the same plane as football, track, and baseball, and a coach employed only during the actual athletic season.

It is not clear exactly how this affected workouts, but regardless of titles or "official" capacities, it seems that what we know of Conibear, training in the fall likely proceeded as in previous years. One thing that was affected positively by this change was the growing popularity among women students to participate in the sport as part of the physical education program at the University. We cover that in a special section at the conclusion of this decade. The Varsity boat had seven new members, a new captain, and a new coxswain.

May 25th, , was the day of the coast championship on Lake Washington. Although it is reported that Stanford had earlier defeated California 2 , California made the trip north, along with their freshmen. The day was nice, with what is indicated as a tailwind blowing up the Leschi to Madison Park course the race started at the "sawmill south of Leschi Park" 3.

The freshmen race was not close, Washington leading by four lengths at the mile, when an oarlock on the California boat broke, ending what little suspense that was left. The Varsity race, however, was a toss-up, with the untested Varsity only five pounds per man heavier than their southern rivals. The Varsity race started fairly, with the boats even. The machine-like Washington crew, pulling easily and with apparently no unusual exertion, gradually drew away Understroking their opponent, Washington led after the first mile, and won easily by seven lengths in a time of , the fastest time yet recorded on the coast.

A rebuilding year had produced one of the finest crews yet. As pleased as he must have been over that achievement, Conibear was nevertheless uneasy about his future. Only a week before, talks had broken down on a new contract. Later that summer, the board and Conibear would reach agreement on a contract.

But the dispute revealed the simmering relationship the coach had with the University, one that would boil over in only a few short years. The Varsity crew. The crew at a practice on Lake Union. Husky Crew Foundation. A picture of the Target II.

Stanton C. This was the kind of oarsman Conibear was looking for to fill the engine room after the season. The west coast champions by seven lengths. The boathouse with new colors and a new porch, already looking a bit disheveled. But this "temporary" building on Portage Bay would house the team through Using the shells and barges of the Seattle Parks Department, Conibear had his men "informally" rowing from September until the official start date of December 1.

The coach also organized two fall regattas on Lake Union, on October 29th and December 9th - a prelude to the current early November "Head of the Lake" regatta. The Varsity was on the water by early February preparing for the Triangular on the Estuary on April 13th. After a good trip down by steamer, the men were healthy and ready to race.

The Social History of English Rowing

At the start of the three-miler, Washington and Stanford broke away from California, but it was Stanford that was able to keep up a higher stroke rate and pull to the lead. Around two curves the course went on the winding estuary, until in the last mile and a half it turned straight, and was joined by a twelve car train that ran parallel to the shore, filled with spectators that then followed the race.

Amid the shouts and cheers, Stanford maintained their length lead until about a half-mile to go, when they were able to then sprint to a twelve second victory over Washington, with California another twenty seconds back. There would be no follow up race in Seattle that year due to an outbreak of the mumps in the California shell 1 , so Washington scheduled a race with Canadian club crews in Vancouver on May 24th. Washington rowed to strong victories in both eight-oared and four-oared competition. But in historical terms, very few moments in Washington crew history would have more of an impact than a side trip Coach Conibear would take to visit a pair of English brothers eking out a living building boats on a float in Coal Harbor, Vancouver.

The brothers, George and Dick Pocock, accomplished oarsmen themselves, could not believe that the man clawing his way in a dinghy, through the wind and waves to their floating shop, was a crew coach. Nevertheless, Conibear enticed the men with visions of a west coast dynasty and, more specifically, orders for twelve new eight-oared shells.

After visiting Seattle later in the year, the brothers were sold on the idea, and sent for their father, Fred Pocock, from England. We went back to Vancouver, sadder but wiser Conibear Shellhouse in the spring of , the partnership that had endured sixty-four years, and spawned countless champions, could be traced back to that very first meeting between the two men on a blustery day in the spring of Actually, Aaron was his and Dad's father ed note: Stan's grandfather who, while his full name was Aaron Frederick, he always went by the name Fred, never Aaron.

The misleading use of the wrong name arose when, in the writing of Dad's book, "Ready All! So, I suppose, it's my fault that he will remain Aaron Pocock forever.

Unless of course you find it worth the time to change that little item in the history. Done and thank you Stan - and keep them coming! The Varsity on the Estuary. VBC Collection. Cranking it up. Wright, Morgan, Pullen, L. Leader, Ed O. Conibear and Pocock converted this building into a shop - a building Pocock noted was "put up in 24 hours by volunteer Japanese carpenters, and it looked like it" 2. The Freshmen, on the docks of the Tokyo Tea Room. This is a picture of one of the interclass races, with Seattle in the background.

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Not only did Conibear encourage interclass competition, he also held inter-college races, with entries like "Forestry and Law" and "Electrical Engineering". Also encouraged were "inter-club" races, with oarsmen choosing sides clubs to race each other. All of this kept the men honed in an era when there was often only one or two chances a year to race other colleges. Art Campbell hailed from Chelan, Washington, and was not a sibling of A. Some of Art's memorabilia from his days at Washington are still displayed at the resort.


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