Rowing History Forum 2009

Since 2003 the Friends of Rowing History, Mystic Seaport Museum, and the National Rowing Foundation have organized four Rowing History Forums in Mystic, Connecticut. At each Forum – in 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2008 – between 60 and 100 people from around the country have gathered to hear rowers, coaches, rowing writers, historians, and scholars speak about what they love most: Rowing! Very distinguished members of the rowing society have this way entertained devotees of the sport of rowing. To mention a few of the speakers: Ernestine Bayer, Frank Cunningham, Harry Parker, Daniel Boyne, and, of course, the rowing historians Tom E. Weil, Bill Miller, and Chris Dodd, the latter famous for books on the Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge, the Henley Royal Regatta, and World Rowing, among many, many other fine rowing publications and articles.

At the latest Rowing History Forum in Mystic, in 2008, it was also the grand opening of the National Rowing Hall of Fame with the beautiful exhibit “Let Her Run,” which is now open year round at Mystic Seaport Museum. To read more about “The Hall” and “Let Her Run” click here – from Mystic Seaport Magazine, summer/autumn 2008.

In 2007, when there was no Forum in Connecticut, Chris Dodd and the River and Rowing Museum sent out an invitation to a Rowing History Forum in Henley-on-Thames instead. And this year, on Saturday, 31 October, it is time again for a new Forum on the other side of the pond, at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames.

In an e-mail, Chris Dodd writes that the speakers so far are:

a) The renowned collector Thomas E. Weil asks “Who is the Mother of Invention?”

b) Builder of wooden working boats, Gail McGarva, explores the Cornish pilot gig, the Eela Shetland boat, and the Lerret of Lyme Bay – and their interaction with their waters and communities.

c) John Beresford on voyages around his father Jack and his grandfather Julius.

Dodd continues, “Plus discussion and questions, short presentations, lunch and tea, and pub supper for those who can’t tear themselves away. There will be an optional dinner with Thomas E. Weil at Leander Club on Friday 30 October. Accommodation available at Leander at members’ reduced rates.”

Further details are to follow. Send your reservations/ questions/ suggestions for the Forum to

Inquiries for Leander dinner and accommodation to Sheila Harrington 01491 636760.

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