row2k Features
Life is a Metaphor for Rowing, Ch. 45: Name-Dropping
February 17, 2023
Peter Mallory

19th Kärntner Internationale Juniorenregatta, 17 Juli 1977 am Wörthersee, Klagenfurt/Krumpendorf, Österreich Juniorinnen-Doppelvierer-mit-Steurerfrau

During my life journey, despite all, I've coached more than fifty U.S. and Canadian Champion crews. I returned to Klagenfurt in 1977, and my team became the first American junior women's crew ever to win an international championship, admittedly a very minor one.

Altogether, five World Championship appearances, and that's not counting that near miss in 1973.

Of the nine coxswain openings on the U.S. Women's Olympic Team between 1976 and 1984, women who had begun their careers with me filled four of those slots. Darn proud of that particular statistic, I can tell you!

I've coached in four languages. I've visited Pocock Racing Shells when it was still in Seattle, Stämpfli Bootswerft when it was still in Zurich, Schoenbrod Racing Shells when it was still in Biddeford, Maine, Bootswerft Empacher in Eberbach, Germany - both their wood and their advanced materials factory - and Composite Engineering in Concord, Massachusetts. I helped Howard Croker shave the edges of the blades of the New Zealand eight before they won the Gold Medal at the 1972 Olympics. I've known Ted Van Dusen and Graeme King and Stan Pocock and Jacob Kaschper, Wayne Neal and Rigger Brown. Joe Burk and Ted Nash and Ana Tamas and Steve Gladstone and Tom McKibbbon have coached me! My good friend Jack Frailey once told me I actually said something thoughtful he didn't already know. How often does that happen?

Jim Barker once helped me make weight, and I sounded like Mickey Mouse for a day and a half after! I kid you not! I've lived long enough to see Montgomery/Ward in a double and Coffey/Staines in a pair.

Here's something only people of a certain age from the Western United States will get, a regional in-joke, if you will: Once, years ago at a regatta site, when someone came over to borrow a particular tool from me, I got to say: "Go see Cal."

Jack Frailey upper right, Cal Worthington lower left
Jack Frailey upper right, Cal Worthington lower left

Let's get the rest of my name-dropping out of the way right here. I've been within zero degrees of separation from Garrett Gilmore, Tote Walker, Melch Bürgin, Karl Adam, Allen Rosenberg, Tom Terhaar, Frank Cunningham, Bill Stowe, Kathy Keeler, Marit van Eupen, Mic Feld, Steve Gladstone, Frans Göbel, Boyce Budd, Harry Parker, Emory Clark, Stan Cwiklinski, Olivia Coffey, Mike Spracklen, the Batten sisters, Jürgen Grobler, Tiff Wood, Joan Lind, Xeno Müller, Tony Brooks, Nancy Storrs, Jack Nicholson, Tim Mickelson, Anna Mickelson (no relation), Hartmut Buschbacher, Monk Terry, Pete Raymond, Pete Cipollone, Mary Whipple, Katelin Snyder, Lynn Silliman, Jack Kelly, Duvall Hecht, Mike Teti, Bob Morey, Aldina Nash, Sebastian Bea, Chris Ahrens, Colleen Orsmond, Jutta Lau, Dudley Storey, Wybo Veldman, Thomi Keller, Joe Burk, Don Spero, Scott Roop, Jamie Koven, Carie Graves, Lianne Nelson, Caryn Davies, Mahe Drysdale, Michelle Guerette, Gevvie Stone, Thor Nilsen, Volker Nolte, Nely Gambon, Anita DeFrantz, Denis Oswald, Matt Smith, Dick Tonks, Jean-Christophe Rolland, the 1948 Washington Olympic Gold Medal 4, the 1956 Yale Olympic Gold Medal 8, the 1960 Navy Olympic 8, the 1968 Harvard Olympic 8, Shealy and Cashin, Hough and Johnson, Hough and Lyon, Lewis and Enquist, Van Blom and McKibbon, Redgrave and Pinsent, Volpenhein and Read, Watkins and Grainger, Cromwell and Storm, Nunn and Maher, Findlay, Ferry and Mitchell, Lea and Knecht, Belden and Klecatsky. Heroes all. And this is a very abbreviated list! There are a bunch more between the covers of this book and in the misty corners of my brain.

On that list there are good women, but not nearly enough of them. My apologies. Weren't too many in the sport during my era of oarsmen and not oarspersons. They've come a long way since then. Me, too. Probably coached more good women than good men in my lifetime.

I can put a grip on a sculling handle all by myself out standing in my field. Can you? I've rowed with Dave Vogel and Scott Roop and Bob Rogen and Rod Johnson. I've coached Mick Feld and Brad Alan Lewis and Lynn Silliman. Yes, I was the coach who encouraged a 15-year-old high school sophomore to attend the 1975 U.S. National Women's Eight Selection Camp. I was the coach who encouraged Lynn Silliman to earn her seat as coxswain of The Red Rose Crew by beating all the nation's college and club candidates. Every single one of them. Oh my!

Speaking of 15-year-olds, when Sarah Garner was still 14 years old and had just flipped my beautiful Stämpfli single, my pride and joy, the best boat made anywhere in the world, the Ferrari of racing shells, the beautiful Stämpfli single I had just lent to her - flipped it, for Heaven's sake! - I told her, quite seriously, she'd be a World Champion one day . . . but I was done lending her boats. True story. (She will return in this book.)

Back in the late 1970s I would run through the neighborhoods of La Jolla Shores and Pacific Beach with a nice kid who'd rowed a bit for San Diego State and was working at Mission Bay Aquatic Center. Most afternoons I'd be satisfied after five or ten miles . . . and he'd just wave and tell me he was going to run five or ten more.

"Be my guest!"
- Pete Mallory

One day he asked me where he could buy a nice 10-speed bicycle. I had raced off and on since college, so I knew a thing or two about bikes. I was happy to point him to an enthusiast's shop in nearby Ocean Beach. A couple of years later I turn on the television and was astonished to see the same nice kid winning the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon. Now I even wear clothes with his name on them. So I guess you could say I taught Scott Tinley everything he knows . . . Of course, that would be a gross exaggeration, even for me! But then again, you already know what they said in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence?

Scott Tinley
Scott Tinley

To be continued . . .

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