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1928: Waning Days of the Conibear Stroke
Rowing Archives/Lenny O'Donnell  · December 12, 2018
Film footage of one of the last University of Washington crews to practice what is likely very close to the authentic "Conibear Stroke," developed by legendary coach Hiram B. Conibear between 1908 and 1917. These crews, training for the 1928 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship Regatta in Poughkeepsie, NY, were not successful in their quest for another Varsity Challenge Cup, falling to eventual Olympic Champion Cal (the University of California, Berkeley), coached by the former Washington coxswain under Conibear, Ky Ebright. Ebright frustrated Al Ulbrickson, the new U.W. coach, in the late 1920's and early 1930's. 1928 was young (24) Ulbrickson's first year as head coach, and by then the "old" Conibear style was in need of improvement. He made changes in the early 1930's, inspired by George Pocock, and, as we all know, put it all together in 1936, when his undefeated Varsity eight won Olympic gold.


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