Row Ridley

Ridley College crew racing in the 2012 Elizabeth Challenge Cup. Jason Dorland at the far right. Photo: Ridley College.
The Ridley College crew that raced in the 2012 Elizabeth Challenge Cup. Jason Dorland at the far right. Photo: Ridley College.

21 February 2017

Göran R Buckhorn writes:

In 2011, Canadian Olympian oarsman and rowing coach Jason Dorland published his book Chariots and Horses: Life Lessons from an Olympic Rower, which is a great read. In a tweet yesterday, Jason mentioned a new book he is working on, Pulling Together; a book I am looking forward to reading. Yesterday, he also put HTBS on a tweet about a video he had posted on YouTube the other day, Row Ridley. So of course I had to take a look.

Row Ridley is about a Ridley College crew which raced in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup, also known as PE. The race was instituted in 1946 for public schools in the UK and opened for crews from abroad in 1964. In 1970, as the first Canadian school, Ridley won the cup. However, Row Ridley is about the Ridley eight which raced in PE in 1973.

Ah, yes, the 1970s, when the boats were built out of wood, just like the oars. The riggers were metal and the rowlocks looked like a lump of iron with a sturdy pin over the gate. When you put oil under the sliding seat to make the wheels run smoother. When the coxes had megaphones. When hair styles looked bad, especially with sweatbands, and the women’s dresses at Henley Royal looked worse – though, the men’s blazers looked like the ones from last year’s Henley! When Desmond Hill was still a sports commentator. And the ‘good lucks’ arrived in a telegram.

Here is 24 minutes of pure joy!

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