The Greatest Rowing Stories

A new rowing book is coming out in October 2023. Several of HTBS’s writers will have pieces published in this anthology published by Lyons Press.

2 March 2023

By Göran R Buckhorn

HTBS editor Göran Buckhorn knows that it is a little early to start thinking about Christmas presents, but here he shamelessly self-promotes a book he has edited that will be published on 2 October. The Christmas gift for the rower in your life?

It is not without a certain pride I would like to announce that a book titled The Greatest Rowing Stories Ever Told, a rowing anthology edited by me, will be published on 2 October this year. The anthology, with 41 fiction stories, non-fiction stories, articles, essays, poems and an excerpt from a play, is in a series of “The Greatest [a sport] Stories Ever Told” and will be published by Lyons Press in Connecticut.

It was last spring that Rick Rinehart, Executive Book Editor at Lyons Press, asked me to compile an anthology with rowing stories. For those rowers who actually also read “rowing books”, the publishing company Lyons Press might ring a bell. Rinehart, who is an oarsman who once rowed for the famous coach and rowing advocate Hart Perry at Kent School, has by now published several books on the fine art of rowing. In his stable of rowing authors, we find Dan Boyne, Toby Ayer, Bill Lanouette and Peter Mallory. In 2010, Rinehart himself came out with Men of Kent: Ten Boys, a Fast Boat, and the Coach who Made Them Champions telling the story of how the boys from Kent won the 1972 Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Henley.

The next rowing book published by Lyons Press will be Dan Boyne’s crime story Body of Water, which will be out on 1 May 2023.

I must tip my rowing cap in thanks to the distinguished group of gentlemen who formed the editorial committee for The Greatest Rowing Stories Ever Told: Bill Lanouette, Peter Mallory, Bill Miller and Tom E. Weil. It was with the help of this crew, including Rick Rinehart, that I managed to take the “watercraft” – this coxless straight six, if you will – across the finish line.

What you will find assembled in the anthology are excerpts of classic rowing stories, rowing on the River Thames and the Charles River, at Henley Royal Regatta, the World Championships and the Olympic Games, professional rowing, the poetic solitude of the single sculler, a Boat Race murder, the downfall of East German rowing, the forgotten centre of early British rowing and the Irish rower who rowed in both women’s and men’s university crews and much more.

I am particularly proud that several of the regular and irregular contributors to HTBS agreed to have pieces published in the anthology (you will find them below).

The Greatest Rowing Stories Ever Told will have the following contents:

Ralph Henry Barbour: At the Mile (from Captain of the Crew)
Frans G Bengtsson: Orm’s Beard (from “How Krok’s luck changed twice, and how Orm became left-handed” in The Long Ships)
Mark Helprin: Palais de Justice – A Short Story
Ron Irwin: The First Meeting of the Crew (from Flat Water Tuesday)
Jerome K. Jerome:  Early Boating Recollections (from Three Men in a Boat)
David Winser: The Boat Race Murder

Aquil Abdullah (with Chris Ingram): The Pineapple Cup (from Perfect Balance)
Andy Anderson (aka Dr. Rowing): The Legend of the Japanese Eight
Toby Ayer: Training with Harry Parker (from The Sphinx of the Charles: A Year at Harvard with Harry Parker)
Mark Blandford-Baker: Henley Behind the Scenes
Dan Boyne: Excerpt from The Red Rose Crew: A True Story of Women, Winning, and the Water
Göran R Buckhorn: Meeting a Rowing Superstar
Rebecca Caroe: My Potential Achieved
Frank Cunningham: Why a Sliding-Seat
Greg Denieffe: The Curious Case of Doctor Dillon
Chris Dodd: Downfall of Rowing’s Master Class
Robert Treharne Jones: One Hundred Years from Now
Stephen Kiesling: A Different Symphony (from The Shell Game)
Tim Koch: The Feathers: A Forgotten Centre of Early British Rowing
Oliver La Farge: Excerpt from The Eight-Oared Shell (from Raw Material)
William Lanouette: Courtney v. Hanlan: Three Race, Three Disgraces (from The Triumph of the Amateurs: The Rise, Ruin, and Banishment of Professional Rowing in the Gilded Age)
Brad Alan Lewis: Wet Beginnings (from Olympian)
Peter Mallory: The Previous Administration (from An Out-Of-Boat Experience … or God is a Rower, and He Rows Like Me!)
Thomas C. Mendenhall: Yale’s Eight at the 1956 Olympic Rowing (from Have Oar, Will Travel or A Short History of the Yale Crew of 1956)
Bill Miller: The 1920 Report of the American Olympic Committee and John B. Kelly’s 1920 Olympic Rowing
William O’Chee: A Paean to Rowing
Rick Rinehart: Henley Royal Regatta (from Men of Kent: Ten Boys, a Fast Boat, and the Coach who Made Them Champions)
Sarah Risser: Take Me to the River: The Quest for a Permanent Rowing Home in Minneapolis
Lisa Taylor: Lucy Pocock Stillwell – A Woman in a Waterman’s World
Thomas E. Weil: A Memorable Race at Henley Women’s Regatta

Poetry / Song / Play
Joseph Ashby-Sterry: A Regatta Rhyme (On board the ‘Athena’, Henley-on-Thames)
William Johnson Cory: Eton Boating Song
James Lister Cuthbertson: A Racing Eight
Steve Fairbairn: The Oarsman Song
Philip Kuepper: Putting on the Garment of Water and Light
R. C. Lehmann: Style and the Oar
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: The Broken Oar
George Pocock: It’s a Great Art, is Rowing
R. E. Swartwout: Steve Fairbairn
John Taylor: Epigram 29 (from The Sculler Rowing from Tiber to Thames)
Ed Waugh: Rowing for the World Championships (from Hadaway Harry)

You will be able to find The Greatest Rowing Stories Ever Told in good book shops on both sides of the pond on 2 October 2023, 272 pages, at $21.95 / £16.99.

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