Australia has a rich tradition of professional sculling. Many of the Australian scullers reached the very top and became world champions at a time when rowing and sculling was the premiere sport in English-speaking countries. News arrived to HTBS the other day that a new rowing biography, Michael Rush: Champion Australian Sculler by Stephen Gard, has been published this autumn. The book is about the Irish immigrant Michael Rush (1844-1922), who with his six feet and 13 stones became a powerful oarsman on the Clarence River in northern New South Wales. He soon became Champion Sculler of the district, and later Champion of Australia.
In 1874 and 1875, Rush had beaten the prominent sculler Ned Trickett twice, but declined to scull against Trickett for the Championship title on the so called Championship sculling course on the Parramatta River in Sydney, instead demanding the race to be on his homewater, the Clarence River. Trickett refused and went to England to challenge the world champion, Joe Sadler, on the Thames in June 1876. Trickett won and returned home to Australia in triumph. Almost exactly a year later, Rush raced Trickett for the world title, but was severely beaten. He would never be able to win the world title, but he is “remembered for his unfailing courage, humour, warmth, and true sportsmanship, and he has earned a place in Australia’s history”, a press release mentions from the publisher, Bluedawe Books, Australia.
Book information: Michael Rush: Champion Australian Sculler by Stephen Gard is a hardcover edition with dust-jacket. Decorated endpapers. Illustrated throughout in black and white, plus maps, and six pages of colour plates. Includes Bibliography, Index, Glossary of Sculling Terms, and Chapter Notes, 320 pp., ISBN 978-0-646-55987-2. The book was published in September 2011 in a limited edition of 500 copies. Book weighs 1.60 kg packed. $AUD38.00 (plus postage).
Read more about the book and how to order a copy here.