It’s a Great Art

17 February 2022

By Göran R Buckhorn

After yesterday’s fine article by Chris Dodd about boatbuilder George Pocock and his wisdom, let’s stay with the boatbuilder, who said about the sport:

It’s a great art, is rowing.
It’s the finest art there is.
It’s a symphony of motion.
And when you’re rowing well
Why it’s nearing perfection –
And when you reach perfection
You’re touching the Divine.
It touches the you of yous
Which is your soul.

In 2013, HTBS linked to the 26-minute documentary film Rowing: Symphony of Motion. Sadly, it was of a very poor quality, but since some years back there’s a much better-quality copy on YouTube. With Chris Dodd’s article fresh in mind, it’s worth re-watching the film. This film is by Jerry Murphy and produced by Phoenix Film in 1974.

Some of the characters in this film were or would later be legends in American rowing history. In order of their appearance: Bill Tytus, champion sculler, the 1969 runner-up in the Diamonds at Henley, now owner of Pocock Racing Shells; George Pocock; Stan Pocock; Harry Parker; Ted Nash; Hart Perry; Barbara Jordan, Wellesley College Women’s Coach; Gail Pierson, Olympian, member of the famous Red Rose Crew; Henry Keyes, veteran oarsman; W. Averell Harriman; Paul Hoffman, Olympic cox; and Cleve Livingston, Olympic oarsman.

Here’s the film – true words of wisdom… And look at all that beautiful wood!

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