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World Professional Sculling Championships

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Record of Racing

It is difficult to determine which race constitutes the start of World Professional Sculling Championships so the following record includes English Championship races before the Australian Champion Dick Green challenged the British Champion Robert Chambers in 1863 in the first international professional sculling race. However this race may only have been a challenge for the Championship of England.

The other possible claim for the first World Professional Sculling Championship was the 1866 race when Harry Kelley GBR defeated a challenge from J Hammill of Pittsburg USA. (Some reports list Hammill as a Canadian.) Despite this confusion, we know that by the time Edward Trickett won the title in 1876, the race wore the title of Championship of the World.

There are gaps in this record and in many cases there are good reasons for this such as a forfeiture or another challenge being more highly regarded as being the championship.

It must be remembered for much of the history of professional sculling, there were insufficient rules and no governing body other than the terms contained in the challenge. For example, Ted Hanlan claimed to be World Champion despite the fact that Edward Trickett had won the title from Joseph Sadler. Trickett was forced to return to England and challenge Hanlan to put the issue to rest.

1876 trophy

Trophy presented to
Edward Trickett

27 June 1876 London

Record of Racing
1831
9 Sep
C Campbell (Westminster) def J Williams (Waterloo) Westminster to Hammersmith NTT
1838
1 Nov
C Campbell def R Coombes (Vauxhall) Westminster to Putney in 42:00
1846
19 Aug
R Coombes (Vauxhall) def C Campbell Putney to Mortlake in 26:15
1847
19 Sep
R Coombes def R Newell (Lambeth) Putney to Mortlake in 23:46
1851
7 May
R Coombes def T Mackinney (Richmond) Putney to Mortlake in 27:30
1852
24 May
T Cole (Chelsea) def R Coombes Putney to Mortlake 25:15
1852
14 Oct
T Cole (Chelsea) def R Coombes Putney to Mortlake 23:35
1854
20 Nov
J Messenger (Teddington) def T Cole Putney to Mortlake 24:45
1857
12 May
H Kelley (Fulham) def J Messenger Putney to Mortlake 24: 30
1859
29 Sep
Robert Chambers (Newcastle) def H Kelley Putney to Mortlake 25:25
1860
18 Sep
Robert Chambers def T White (Shadwell) Putney to Mortlake 23:25
1863
14 Apr
Robert Chambers def G W Everson (Greenwich) Putney to Mortlake 25:27
1863
16 Jun
Robert Chambers (GBR) def Richard A W Green (AUS) Putney to Mortlake in 25:35
1865
8 Aug
Harry Kelley (GBR) def Robert Chambers (GBR) Putney to Mortlake in 23:23
1866
4 Jul
Harry Kelley (GBR) def J Hammill (Pittsburg USA) on the Tyne in 32:45 (4 1/2 miles)
1866
22 Nov
Robert Chambers (GBR) def Joseph Sadler Putney to Mortlake in 25:04
1867
6 May
Harry Kelley (GBR) def Robert Chambers (GBR) on Tyne in 31:47
1868
17 Nov
J Renforth (GBR) def Harry Kelley (GBR) Putney to Mortlake in 23:15
  Sadler wins the 'All World Championship' in America in December 1870, a race in which Renforth dies.  
1874
16 Apr
Joseph Sadler (GBR) def R Bagnall (GBR) Putney to Mortlake in 24:15
1875
15 Nov
Joseph Sadler (GBR) def R W Boyd (GBR) Putney to Mortlake in 28:05
1876
27 Jun
Edward Trickett (AUS) def Joseph H Sadler (GBR) Putney to Mortlake in 24:35
1877
30 May
Edward Trickett (AUS) def Michael Rush (AUS) on the Parramatta in 23:27.5
1879
29 Aug
Edward Trickett (AUS) def Elias Laycock (AUS) on the Parramatta in 23:29
1880
15 Nov
Edward Hanlan (CAN) def Edward Trickett (AUS) Putney to Mortlake in 26.12
1881
14 Feb
Edward Hanlan (CAN) def Elias Laycock (AUS) Putney to Mortlake in 25:41
1882
3 Apr
Edward Hanlan (CAN) def R W Boyd (GBR) on Tyne in 21:25
1882
1 May
Edward Hanlan (CAN) def Edward Trickett (AUS) Putney to Mortlake in 28:00
1884
22 May
Edward Hanlan (CAN) def Elias Laycock (AUS) on the Nepean River in 22:45
1884
16 Aug
Bill Beach (AUS) def Edward Hanlan (CAN) on the Parramatta River in 20:28.5
1885
28 Feb
Bill Beach (AUS) def T Clifford (AUS) on the Parramatta River in 26:00
1885
28 Mar
Bill Beach (AUS) def Edward Hanlan (CAN) on the Parramatta River in 22:51
1885
18 Dec
Bill Beach (AUS) def Neil Matterson (AUS) on the Parramatta River in 24:11.5
1886
18 Sep
Bill Beach (AUS) def Jacob Gaudaur (USA) Putney to Mortlake in 22:29
1886
25 Sep
Bill Beach (AUS) def Wallace Ross (CAN) Putney to Mortlake in 23:05
1887
26 Nov
Bill Beach (AUS) def Edward Hanlan (CAN) on the Nepean River in 19:55
1887 Bill Beach retires and as a formality forfeits a challenge from Peter Kemp (AUS)
1888
11 Feb
Peter Kemp (AUS) def T Clifford (AUS) on the Parramatta River in 23:47
1888
5 May
Peter Kemp (AUS) def Edward Hanlan (CAN) on Parramatta River in 21:36 £500 side bet
1888
28 Sep
Peter Kemp (AUS) def Edward Hanlan (CAN) on the Parramatta River 21:25 £500 side bet
1888
27 Oct
Henry Ernest Searle (AUS) def Peter Kemp (AUS) on Parramatta in 22:44.5 £1,000 purse
1889
9 Sep
Henry Ernest Searle (AUS) def William O'Connor (CAN) on the Thames in 22:42
1889
10 Dec
Henry Ernest Searle (AUS) dies of typhoid and title reverts to Peter Kemp (AUS)
1890
25 Apr
Peter Kemp (AUS) def Neil Matterson (AUS) on the Parramatta in 21.13
1890
15 May
Peter Kemp (AUS) def John McLean (AUS) on the Parramatta in 21.45
1890
15 Dec
John McLean (AUS) def Peter Kemp (AUS) on the Parramatta in 22.13
1891
28 Apr
Jim Stanbury (AUS) def John McLean (AUS) on the Parramatta in 22:15.5
1891
7 Jul
Jim Stanbury (AUS) def John McLean (AUS) on the Parramatta in 18.25 - shortened course
1892
2 May
Jim Stanbury (AUS) def Tom Sullivan (NZL) on the Parramatta in 17:26.5 - shortened course
1896
13 July
Jim Stanbury (AUS) def C R (Wag) Harding (GBR) Putney to Mortlake in 21:51
1896
7 Sep
Jake A Gaudaur (CAN) def Jim Stanbury (AUS) Putney to Mortlake in 23:01
1901
7 Sep
George Towns (AUS) def Jake A Gaudaur (CAN) on Lake of the Woods, Ontario in 20:30
1904
30 Jul
George Towns (AUS) def Richard Tressider (AUS) on the Parramatta in 21:48.8
1905
22 Jul
Jim Stanbury (AUS) def George Towns (AUS) on the Parramatta in 19:04.5
1906
28 Jul
George Towns (AUS) def Jim Stanbury (AUS) on the Parramatta in 19:53.2
1907
2 Mar
George Towns (AUS) def Edward Durnan (CAN) on the Nepean in 22:27
1907 George Towns (AUS) forfeits the title to brother Charles Towns (AUS)
1907
3 Aug
William Webb (NZL) def Charles Towns (AUS) on the Parramatta in 20:45
1908
25 Feb
William Webb (NZL) def Richard Tressider (AUS) on the Wanganui in 20:28
1908
15 Dec
Richard Arnst (NZL) def William Webb (NZL) on the Wanganui in 19:51
1909
21 Jun
Richard Arnst (NZL) def William Webb (NZL) on the Wanganui in 18:14.6
1910
4 Apr
Richard Arnst (NZL) def G Whelch (NZL) at Akaroa Narbour NZ in 21.50.6
1910
18 Aug
Richard Arnst (NZL) def Ernest Barry (GBR) on the Zambezi River in 20.14.6
1911
29 Jul
Richard Arnst (NZL) def Harry Pearce (AUS) on the Parramatta in 19.46
1912
29 Jul
Ernest Barry (GBR) def Richard Arnst (NZL) Putney to Mortlake in 23.08
1912
14 Oct
Ernest Barry (GBR) def Edward Durnan (CAN) Putney to Mortlake in 22.31
1913
21 Jul
Ernest Barry (GBR) def Harry Pearce (AUS) Putney to Mortlake in 24.09
1914
7 Sep
Ernest Barry (GBR) def Jim Paddon (AUS) Putney to Mortlake in 21.28
WWI    
World professional sculling declines in popularity and importance between the wars but still remains a prominent sport.  
1919
27 Oct
Alf D Felton (AUS) def Ernest Barry (GBR) Putney to Mortlake in 25.40
1920
31 Aug
Ernest Barry (GBR) def Alf Felton (AUS) on the Parramatta in 24.32
1921 Richard Arnst (NZL) regains title by forfeit from Ernest Barry (GBR) who retires
1921
11 Jun
Richard Arnst (NZL) def Pat Hannan (NZL) on the Wairau in 22:34.4
1922
5 Jan
Darcy Hadfield (NZL) def Richard Arnst (NZL) on the Wanganui in 19:46
1922
18 Apr
Jim Paddon (AUS) def Darcy Hadfield (NZL) on the Wanganui in 19:19
1923
21 Jul
Jim Paddon (AUS) def Darcy Hadfield (NZL) on the Richmond in 19:46
1924
12 Aug
Jim Paddon (AUS) def Alf Felton (AUS) on the Brisbane River in 17:55 by 6 lengths
1924
20 Sep
Jim Paddon (AUS) def Major L Goodsell (AUS) on the Richmond in 17.07
1925 Jim Paddon retires and forfeits the title to Bill McDevitt
1925
21 Mar
Major L Goodsell (AUS) def Bill McDevitt (AUS) on the Clarence in 22:20
1925
27 Jun
Major L Goodsell (AUS) def J Pat Hannan (NZL) on the Parramatta in 21:31
1925
7 Nov
Major L Goodsell (AUS) def Jim Paddon (AUS) on the Parramatta in 22:50 margin 2 lengths
1926
3 May
Major L Goodsell (AUS) def Tom Saul (AUS) on the Parramatta in 23.11
1927
5 Sep
Major L Goodsell (AUS) def H A (Bert) Barry (GBR) on Burrand Inlet in Vancouver in 24:13
1927
26 Dec
H A (Bert) Barry (GBR) def Major L Goodsell (AUS) on Burrand Inlet in Vancouver 21:40
1930
31 May
E A (Ted) Phelps (GBR) def H A Barry (GBR) Putney to Mortlake in 22.45
1930
11 Oct
E A (Ted) Phelps (GBR) def H A Barry (GBR) Putney to Mortlake in 22.48
1932
5 Sep
E A (Ted) Phelps (GBR) def Major L Goodsell (then USA) in Long Beach California in 17:62
1933
1 Sep
Henry (Bobby) Pearce (AUS) def Ted Phelps (GBR) on Lake Ontario (CAN) in 19.26
1934
5 Sep
Henry (Bobby) Pearce (then CAN) def W G (Bill) Miller (USA) at Toronto in 19.52.2
1938
9 Sep
Henry (Bobby) Pearce (then CAN) def Evans Paddon (AUS) in rematch in Toronto in 20.35.5
WWII    
The sport of professional sculling collapses following the war with only Australian interest with even that finally failing by 1958.
1947 Henry (Bobby) Pearce retires on the understanding that Evans Paddon, Max Fisher and George Cook should decide his successor.
1948
20 Nov
Evans Paddon (AUS) def Max Fisher (AUS) on the Parramatta in 1948 in 17.20
1949
7 May
George Cook (AUS) def Evans Paddon (AUS) on the Evans River at Evans Head in 15:09.2
1950
22 Apr
Evans Paddon (AUS) def George Cook (AUS) on the Evans River at Evans Head in 21:58.6
1952
5 Apr
Jim Saul (AUS) def Evans Paddon (AUS) on the Richmond River in 20:33
1952
13 Sep
Evans Paddon (AUS) def Jim Saul (AUS) on the Richmond River in 21 50.4
1953
13 Jun
Evans Fischer (AUS) def Evans Paddon (AUS) on the Richmond River in 20.55
1954
7 Aug
Evans Fischer (AUS) def Evans Paddon (AUS) on the Clarence River in 20.57.2
1957
25 May
Evans Fischer (AUS) def Evans Paddon (AUS) on the Clarence River in 20.46.4
1958 Fischer retires as the undefeated champion of the world at the age of 26
Title lapses

The invincible Bobby Pearce reigned until World War II when he decided to retire. With his retirement the world professional sculling championships ceased to be the public spectacle it had been for more than half a century.

Bobby Pearce's dominance has been cited as one of the main reason for the demise of professional sculling. However the most likely reasons are the growth in team sports and the problems of unregulated betting

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