1972 Famous Kent Crew

Yesterday, author Rick Rinehart was signing his latest book, Men of Kent, at the bookstore at Mystic Seaport Museum. The book is about the ten boys from Kent School who in 1972 went to Henley Royal Regatta to compete, following a fine Kent tradition to race in this famous regatta. In an article in Rowing News in June 2007, “The Greatest Eights: High Schools and junior Clubs”, Andy Anderson writes “For American schoolboy crews, a trip to the Henley Royal Regatta has long been the reward for a stellar season. And every rower who’s had his passport stamped has Kent to thank for this tradition.”

After the book signing, a little reception was held in the Blunt White Building that holds the National Rowing Foundation’s Rowing Hall of Fame. Besides bowman Rinehart and his wife Amy and some other family members and friends, were some of the ‘boys’ that rowed in Kent’s famous 1972 eight that took the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup: Fred Elliott, Murray Beach, John Rooney, Garth Griffin, and their coach, William Hartwell Perry, called ‘Boss’ by the ‘boys’.

Hart Perry, now Executive Director of the National Rowing Foundation and in charge of the Rowing Hall of Fame, had decorated the lobby in the Blunt White Building with memorabilia of his Kent crew, an oar blade with the names of the victorious crew, a shield carrying the boys’ names, and a special book he received from Kent’s headmaster at the time, Father Pete Woodward.
I dropped off after I had taken some photographs and got the present crew members signatures in my copy of Rick Rinehart’s book. And, no, I will not sell it on eBay in a couple of weeks time…

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