One of the Great Professional Scullers

Today it is exactly one month since I started this blog on rowing history. To celebrate this I am posting a rare photograph of the English professional sculler Ernest Barry, with his autograph. Ernest Barry (1882-1968) was a professional waterman who won the Doggett’s Coat and Badge Race in 1903 and took the British Championship title in 1908 by beating George Towns of Australia.

Two years later, Barry raced Dick Arnst of New Zealand for the World Professional Championships on the Zambezi River in South Africa. Arnst won the race, but two years later, on 29 July 1912, he lost the World title to Barry on the River Thames. Barry successfully defended the title three times before he lost it to Alf Felton of Sydney in 1919. A year later Barry regained the title from Felton and retired from professional sculling. In 1913, he had been appointed a Royal Waterman and in 1950 the Royal Barge Master to King George VI and later to Queen Elizabeth II. During several years, Ernest Barry was also coaching crews in Ireland, Germany, and Denmark.

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