The 1958 University of Washington Crew was banned from post-season competition because of NCAA sanctions agains the U.W. Football Program. With one of his best crews in decades and nowhere in the U.S. to compete for a championship, Coach Al Ulbrickson decided to take his crew to the Henley Royal Regatta in England to earn their shot at greatness. The crew was accompanied by a young Keith Jackson in the early years of his career on local TV in Seattle. One notable member of this crew, in the 2-seat, was Dick Erickson, who later became the head rowing coach at the U.W. and was renowned for taking his crews all over the world to compete. Another star in the boat was stroke John Sayre, who only made the boat for the last domestic race of his senior year. He went on to stroke the gold medal coxless four in the 1960 Rome Olympics. This is a 3-minute segment from a short film made about the adventure that was never aired or published. We'll be sharing it in segments. For educational purposes only, this film is being shared under fair use standards.
The 1958 University of Washington Crew, banned from post-season competition by the NCAA, as were all Husky sports teams that year because of the football boosters "overpayments" to gridiron stars, went undefeated in the U.S. and traveled to the Henley Royal Regatta to claim a title. In that era, Henley was considered the world championship of rowing in non-Olympic years. The sights and sounds of England in the summer were warm, but the weather was colder and rainier than February in Seattle. The random Henley draw was not seeded, they just drew the crews out of a huge trophy cup. The highly touted Huskies were favored, and were expected to meet the powerful Soviet crew from the Leningrad Trud Club in the final of the Grand Challenge Cup. When those two were instead drawn to contest the first round against each other, the crowd gasped. The other two crews were Australian and British. There were mumblings that the draw was rigged so that a Commonwealth nation would make it to the final. The Queen would be there to see the final, after all...
Never before shown in its entirety! This is the entire 2+ minute clip of the 1936 University of Washington crews rowing at a practice session in Seattle in early March, 1936. Looks like a full turnout of 4-5 shells. The Varsity 8+, stroked by Don Hume (wearing a dark long sleeve shirt and a light-colored vest (!) strokes the varsity boat, and it looks like the entire Olympic crew is in it except for Joe Rantz in the 7 seat. Rantz was promoted later in March or early April. This is remarkable footage, uncut, that has been restored and digitized. A few seconds were used in "The Boys of '36" on PBS but this full clip has never been seen before. Some notable local landmarks can be seen in the background: Suzallo Hall, the U.W.'s main library; Jensen Motor Boat Works, which is still there today; the U.W. Oceanography Building, also still there but now further inland; and the golf course that used to be where the U.W. Medical Center now stands. There's more great footage waiting to be restored, help us make it happen: www.RowingArchives.org/donate Thanks! This footage courtesy of the Ulbrickson Family Collection. (c) Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved. No commercial use allowed. End credit music by Lewis Rubin Thompson.
Al Ulbrickson stroked the University of Washington Varsity eight to two national championships, in 1924 and 1926. In 1928 he became the youngest head rowing coach in the country and was at the helm for thirty years. His crews won two Olympic gold medals, six varsity eight national championships, and dominated the Washington-Cal Dual during his tenure. His crews also accomplished something unprecedented, not once but four times: they “swept the river” at the I.R.A. National Championships, winning all three championship races: Varsity Eight, Junior Varsity Eight, and Freshman Eight. No other university turned the hat trick even once by 1950. This 1950 crew was the fourth Washington squad to sweep the river at the first I.R.A. Regatta held in Marietta, Ohio. They were the last Ulbrickson crew to win the Varsity Challenge Cup at the I.R.A., and the last Husky crew to take the cup home until 1970.
This spectacular color footage from 1941 is of the University of Washington Varsity Eight, one of the finest collegiate crews in the pre-1980 era. Many of the oarsmen in the boat were in the 1040 Varsity boat that was heavily favored to win the Olympics after and undefeated year as national champions. The 1940 Olympics were canceled (twice!) because of the onset of WWII and the 1941 squad took out their frustrations in 1941, going undefeated and untested. The crew was stroked by Ted Garhart, who never lost a race as a Husky. Coach Al Ulbrickson regarded Garhart as the finest stroke oar he ever coached. Garhart, like most of the men in this boat, sent on to serve in the military in the war. This 1941 Husky boat was the last collegiate crew to win the I.R.A. Varsity Challenge Cup at the 4-mile distance. They were also, according to Ulbrickson, the first U.W. crew to row 2000 meters in under six minutes, a remarkable feat in that era. This footage is of the crew practicing for the I.R.A. Regatta in Poughkeepsie, New York, on the Hudson River.
This is some pretty gritty footage from the 1948 Olympics. It was shot by George Pocock, who was the boat master (he built them all) for the 1948 Olympic team and also the coach of the coxed four (University of Washington Head Coach Al Ulbrickson declined being the small boats coach after his 8+ was upset at the trials). It was the only boat George Pocock officially coached. They won the gold medal, making Pocock an undefeated 1 for 1 in the Olympics--quite a record!. This is a copy of a dvd made from a poor film transfer. We're looking for the source film and will hopefully have a much better copy made. There is some great stuff in this video, it's a shame it's not been restored. Compare to some of our other films and it's easy to why it's worth restoring these classics.

Here is the George Pocock footage of the eights heats and final at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. The Yale varsity crew representing the U.S. was the last collegiate crew to win the Olympic eights event. This one had a terrible first heat and had to qualify for the semis through the repechage. Two of the oarsmen on the podium dock could not stand up without assistance after the race. They left it on the lake! Canada was a determined second, Australia third.

Footage used in "The Boys of '36" PBS documentary in 2016. This is just a couple minutes from three reels of 16mm film from the Ulbrickson Family Collection. There are an additional 7 minutes of footage of this crew practicing in Seattle, Poughkeepsie, and Berlin that we will release in 2017. Stay tuned!
Excerpts from the heats, semis and finals of the 1956 Single Sculls at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. George Y. Pocock was the U.S. boat master at the games and he filmed much of the racing. We have edited them down by event, and this is a compilation of just the rowing from the 1x. Featuring Vyacheslav Ivanov, Stuart MacKenzie, and Jack Kelly Jr. in the medal positions. This video is a technical study of the rowers of the day, with some slow motion, so we can really analyze the evolution of technique at that time.
Vyacheslav Ivanov wins his first Olympic gold medal in single sculls in the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, defeating Australia's Stuart MacKenzie and American Jack Kelly Jr. in the final. Ivanov's finishing kick was, as you can see here, devastating. The Soviet sculler went on to take gold in this event twice more, in Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964, to become the first winner of the same rowing event in three consecutive Olympiads. Ivanov's technique was the key, as he was not extremely tall, as MacKenzie was. Kelly wins his first Olympic medal here after two attempts in 1948 and 1952 to add to his family's collection of Olympic medals (his father John B. Kelly Sr. won the single sculls in 1920 and the double sculls in 1920 and 1924.
American Joe Burk wins the Diamond Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta in 1938, smashing the course record and setting a new one that would stand for over two decades. He became the first American to win the "Diamonds" twice in 1939, and was the favorite leading into the 1940 Olympics. The 1940 and 1944 Olympic games were not held due to World War II, during which Burk was a highly honored P.T. Boat Captain. After the war Burk had a brief coaching stint at Yale and then enjoyed a long and successful career at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. He learned to row at Penn under the tutelage of Rusty Callow, who brought the University of Washington to prominence in the 1920's. Burn developed a unique, personal style of sculling that took him years of experimentation to perfect. He engaged the arms, body and legs simultaneously at the catch, and rowed at unusually high stroke ratings for an entire 2000 meter race, over 40 strokes per minute. Burk is regarded by many as the finest single sculler in the pre-World War II era. Perhaps his greatest legacy is that he coached Harry Parker, who became a legendary coach at Harvard. For educational purposed only.
Coxless Four at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. Canada's "Cinderella Four" dominated the final by 5 lengths, defeating the U.S.A. and France. S- Don Arnold, 3-Walter d'Hondt, 2-Lorne Loomer, B-Archie MacKinnon. With footage of heats and finals. Color footage courtesy of the Pocock Family Collection. This film was likely taken by George Pocock, who was the boat master at these games.
Jim Fifer and Duvall Hecht win the straight pair at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics for the U.S., soundly defeating the Soviets and Austria in the final. Color footage courtesy of the Pocock Family Collection. This film was likely taken by George Pocock, who was the boat master at these games.
Jim Gardiner and Pat Costello of the Detroit Boat Club earn the U.S. a silver medal in the double sculls at the 1956 Olympics. Yury Tyukalov in the gold medal Soviet double was the reigning Olympic champion in the single sculls. His partner, Aleksandr Berkutov was the Soviet Champion single sculler in 1954. They joined up for this formidable 2x in 1955 when the future three-time Olympic champion Vyacheslav Ivanov eclipsed them in the single scull.
British Pathe newsreel, with sound, on the University of Washington rowing team's preparations for the 1940 Olympic Games, which were originally scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Japan. In 1938 they were relocated to Helsinki, Finland due to the continuing Sino-Japanese war. At the outbreak of World War 2 the games would be canceled and not held until 1948 in London.
Ancient Mariner Walter d'Hondt (first from left in this cover still), 5 seat in the Canadian 8+, visible in these clips of the various crews from the British Empire practicing in Wales for the 1958 Commonwealth Games. Canada won in 5:51, a remarkable time for the wooden boat era, defeating Australia by nearly 2 lengths.
Carl Lovested (1930-2013), was a two-time IRA champion at the University of Washington (1949, 1950), and won a bronze medal in the 4+ at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Carl was a lifelong supporter of Husky crew and the student athletes in the program. This is a short retrospective about Carl with interview footage from 2012.
This is the unedited raw footage from a 16mm reel of film from the George Pocock family. It is many of the heats, semis and finals (all but one) of rowing at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia. We are in the process of editing each individual event and identifying the crews and medalists. Rowing at these Olympic games were notable for several reasons. It marked the final time an American collegiate eight would win the gold medal. It was the last in a string of 8 consecutive victories in this race for the U.S. dating back to 1920. Also notable was the first of three Olympic victories in the single sculls by the teenage Vyacheslav Ivanov, who overpowered Stuart MacKenzie and John B. Kelly Jr. in the final.