View the 1950 Empire Games in New Zealand

After I had posted yesterday’s piece about the 1950 rowing at the British Empire Games in New Zealand, I received an e-mail from Tim Koch who happily reported that he had found an interesting film on YouTube about the 1950 Games (see above). Tim writes that there is six minutes of rowing in this film (and it starts at 4min 25secs into the film). Tim says: ‘It’s great stuff though the close ups must have been filmed during practice. It shows that England were never in contention in the eights and that Australia won on the very last stroke.’

The film also shows the single sculls, the doubles, pairs and the coxed fours races. As I neglected to mention the results in the doubles, pairs and coxed fours in yesterday’s post, here you are: Double Sculls: M.T. Wood and M.S. Riley, Australia, beat D. Simonson and J. Schneider, New Zealand, and J. Brown and J.W. Tinegate, England. Pairs: W.J. Lambert and J.W. Webster, Australia, beat H. Gould and D. Gould, Australia. Coxed Fours: New Zealand (bow W. Carroll, 2. W. James, 3. J. O’Brien, stroke E. Johnson and cox K. Fox) beat Australia (bow K.T. Gee, 2. C.W. Winkworth, 3. E.E. Elder, stroke L.E. Montgomery and cox D. McGonagle).

Tim also left a comment in yesterday’s blog post: ‘A footnote for rowing nerds: This crew used “fixed pin” (as opposed to “swivel”) rowlocks at Henley and in New Zealand. They were the last crew to win the Grand using these.’ In Swing Together: Thoughts on Rowing Dickie Burnell discusses the merits of fixed pins and swivels in an Appendix. While many believe that fixed pins were used by ‘Orthodox’ crews and the crews rowing ‘Fairbairnism’ used swivel rowlocks, it is not the case. In the beginning, Fairbairn had crews using fixed pins and Orthodox crews later used swivels. Before the English eight went to compete on Lake Karapiro, the crew debated if they were going to use fixed pins or swivels. As Tim writes, they came to use fixed pins in the race on Lake Karapiro.

For those of you who might be uncertain what a ‘fixed pin’ is there is a great film showing a Cambridge practice for the 1948 Boat Race where the Light Blues are using fixed pins while they are ‘tubbing’ and training in the boat.


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