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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 4 April 17, 1946

Rowers Promise Well After Rigorous Training

Rowers Promise Well After Rigorous Training

It's all very well for effete athletes, tennis players, and members of the Executive to stroll down to the wharf and swagger aboard the "Wahine" at about 8.14 a.m. But do they give a thought to the Rowing Club, which has been up since well before the crack of dawn packing up the boat, trundling it along the wharf, and loading it with its own fair hands? Naturally the boat has to be looked after like an orphan child, and the rower's work isn't done when he steps ashore. However, the crew, which this year looks almost indecently large and vigorous, thinks it can manage without the ceaseless offers of help from other competitors, and even the haka party, which are pouring in.

This year's Eight has been at it hammer and tongs for the past two or three months, under the constant vigilance of "Pop" Barnes, a devil-driving old oarsman who knows what's what in rowing. It is quite a sight to see the crew out in all weathers, tongues hanging down to the scuppers, practically sweating blood, with Pop sitting there with a whip in his hand asking why the dickens, or something, the boat isn't moving. It is a matter of historic fact that, 'way back about George the Third's time, Mr. B. stroked a Varsity crew whose time was faster per mile than that of the Oxford-Cambridge race. A salutary thought! Withal, however, he has managed to make this present-day crew row as a crew, and not as eight people out for a paddle. His efforts have been untiring, his time unstinted, in his endeavours to perfect style, timing, breathing, and the dozens of details to which attention must be paid. The club is fortunate in having his cooperation, and well the crew knows it. We hope his efforts will be repaid.

On the crew's chance Mr. Barnes refuses to be cocksure, but he is quite hopeful. The men are at the peak of their form, and should be not unworthy to represent the College.

The last winning crew from Victoria was stroked by Sam Kidd. Last year he returned from service, and is once more back in the key position. He is a reliable, steady stroke, and a fine oarsman.

Gordon Stuckey, that Adonis of the club, adorns No. 7 seat. People who know claim him as a most capable oar. Already a NZU Football Blue, his mates are confident that this Tournament will see him a Double Blue.

At No. 6 is Gil Marryatt. Gil rowed in last year's crew, has been in several Star crews, and is altogether reliable in this position, which, with the two behind him, is frequently termed the "engine room" of the boat. He has a long reach and a steady stroke, and will acquit himself well.

At No. 5, in the same position as last year, is Club Captain Bill Osten. An experienced rower, and one who knows something about the theory of rowing, Bill has figured in the Star youth's four at several regattas.

A powerful oar at No. 4 is wielded by Mark Pownall. A very hard-working man, Mark has rowed for clubs in Auckland, although this is his first year with the Victoria College club.

Seated at No. 3 is Bob Connal, a young novice who shows a good deal of promise. He has all the makings, and future crews should see something of him.

Stan Gillon is at No. 2. He has raced for many seasons past as a member of the highly successful Petone welter-weight crew. He is a splendid oarsman, with loads of experience, and a valuable acquisition to any crew.

The responsible position of bow is filled by Graham Honore. Although a novice, he has raced in several Star crews, and should carry out his exacting duties well.

Cox, on whom depends so very much, will be Geoff. Ward.

There appears to be some confusion at the moment about the time of the race, which will take place at Governor's Bay, 1½ hours by road from the city.

Canterbury, against the wishes of the other crews, desires it to be rowed in the early morning. On top of that, the visiting crews apparently have to row 3½ miles to the starting point. It is to be hoped that this situation will not obtain, as it will be absurd to have Canterbury the only fresh crew—and at that time of morning, too!

Well, there's the rowing story, Mr. Editor. But you can be sure that whether we win or whether we don't, a good time will be had by all.