New Year’s Letter

1 January 2022

By Göran R Buckhorn

On the first day of the year, HTBS editor Göran R Buckhorn is counting last year’s numbers.

At the end of 2020, I wrote it was time to “wrap up this horrendous, COVID-19-ridden year.” Now, how was 2021? As we all know, the COVID scare was still around us, now with different variants, Delta and Omicron. Sadly, it seems COVID in some form or shape will be with us also in 2022.

Looking at the numbers for last year, HTBS had more readers and “page views” than ever before. The year 2020 was the previous record year for HTBS with 215,414 page views from 88,000 visitors. During 2021, HTBS easily beat that with 276,049 page views and 124,397 visitors. Pandemic or not, 2021 was a “good” year for HTBS.

If we look at some of the other behind-the-scenes stats… (all numbers are counted until 11:59 p.m. on 31 December 2021):

During 2021, HTBS published 368 posts (total words written 263,872). HTBS’s 4,000th article was posted on 6 November.

Most page views had “Home page/Archives, followed by these 10 articles:

The Rowing Memsahibs of Naini Tal (by Tim Koch, 5 June 2020) – 7,340
Stephen Hawking: Remembering the cox ‘with his head in the stars’ (by Tim Koch, 14 March 2018) – 2,841
The Oarsmen of J.C. Leyendecker: Homeric or Homoerotic? (by Tim Koch, 14 March 2017) – 2,824
The Ancient Egyptian Rowing Stroke: Propelling the Boats of Gods and Men (by Tim Koch, 2 March 2018) – 2,532
New Rowing Movie: “Heart of Champions” (by Göran R Buckhorn, 10 October 2021) – 2,232
A Flapper Goes Rowing (by Göran R Buckhorn, 23 March 2016) – 1,877
Geek Special: The Ups and Downs of the Sliding Rigger (by Tim Koch, 17 October 2017) – 1,853
The Birth of Modern Olympic Rowing (by Greg Denieffe, 24 June 2014) – 1,316
Jurgen Grobler – Aquatic Enigma (by Hugh Matheson, 20 August 2021) – 1,289
Bill Windham, RIP: A Great Oarsman (by Robert Treharne Jones, 14 January 2021) – 1,170

As can be seen above, only three out of the 10 articles were published in 2021. Like 2020, outside forces are to thank that readers have found their way to the other seven articles. After what I have been able to trace, a link to the article “Rowing Memsahibs” was put up on a Facebook page with more than 5,000 subscribers dedicated to the history of Naini Tal in India. Tim has continued to write articles on HTBS on rowing at Naini Tal during 2021.

Both “Oarsmen of J.C. Leyendecker” and “Flapper” have had images posted on Pinterest from the HTBS articles. Via links on Pinterest, readers have found their way to the articles on HTBS. When Esquire magazine published an article on its website, “37 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Athletes in College”, where the article writer mentions Stephen Hawking, there was a link to HTBS’s “Stephen Hawking” article. In the Esquire note on Hawking, it says that “he was a star coxswain on the University of Oxford’s rowing team”, which is not quite true. Hawking didn’t cox the Dark Blues, but one of University College’s eights, which Tim writes in his HTBS article. Obviously, the writer of the Esquire article didn’t know the difference.

The website Reddit has among other things discussion forums and on two of these there are links to the HTBS articles “The Ancient Egyptian Rowing Stroke” and “Geek Special”. Due to the pandemic, 2021 became an Olympic year so it’s not strange that Greg’s “Birth of Modern Olympic Rowing” found many readers despite that the article was published back in 2014.

Which countries did the readers come from in 2021? Here is a list of the top 10 countries with page views:

United Kingdom – 116,146
USA – 78,281
Australia – 14,595
Germany – 8,209
India – 7,331
Ireland – 7,032
Canada – 6,795
The Netherlands – 4,372
France – 3,532
Sweden – 2,823

These are the same top 10 countries as in 2020, though in a slightly different order.

The year 2021 last post was the 4,053rd post since we started in 2009, and since the start we have a total of 2,679,705 views.

My warm thanks to the 2021 HTBS contributors, who one way or the other kept us going. They were:

Kenneth Alfelt, John Beresford, Kjetil Borch, Mrs. B., Ingrid Buckhorn, Elizabeth Burnell, the late Richard Burnell, Lee Corbin, Greg Denieffe, Chris Dodd, Larry Fogelberg, Leo Gibson, Robert Treharne Jones, Linda Holmquist Mengelbier, Gavin Jamieson, Valery Kleshnev, Tim Koch, Philip Kuepper, Bill Lanouette, Peter Mallory, Hugh Matheson, Bill Miller, Sandy Nairne, Mike Nicholson, William O’Chee, Chris Partridge, Peter Pegnall, the late Louis Petrin, Stephan Ploke, Sarah Risser, Teresa Stokes, Veronica Stokes, Ralf-Peter Stumme, Michael Vatis, Tom Weil, Ian Whitehead and Peter Williams.

Sad news reached us in April from Australia that our dear friend and contributor Louis Petrin had died on 8 April in the aftermath of a car accident. He was 63. Louis was really enthusiastic about rowing and its history. He had through the years managed to assemble a noteworthy collection of rowing memorabilia. It was Louis’s dream that he would be able to establish an Australian national rowing museum.

In an article about Louis on 13 April, I wrote that “I hope that someone Down Under will continue to work on Louis’s dream to build a rowing museum. It would be an appropriate way to memorialize him and celebrate everything he did for rowing.”

Louis will be sorely missed.

It’s my sincere hope that you HTBS readers and contributors will have a healthy 2022 and continue to follow us during the new year.



    • Dear Bob, Happy New Year to you, too.
      Regarding donations – Thank you, it’s very kind of you. However, I’m not looking for donations right now, but if there are any changes, I will let you know. / All the best, Göran

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