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History of World Professional Sculling

World Professional Sculling Championships

Rules Governing World Professional Sculling

The following is a set of rules governing the contest prepared in 1926.

Presented by R. C. Hagon Esq., of Sydney

The following are the rules and conditions which shall govern a race for "The Sculling Championship of the World and the Hagon Cup."

  1. The winner of such race shall be invested with the title of Championship of the World and Holder of the "Hagon" Cup.
  2. There shall be five Trustees of the Cup, the first of whom are hereby declared to be Messrs, R. Coombes (Chairman), William Beach, G. Ord., George Towns and N. J. McDonald. In the event of a vacancy arising in the Trusteeship, the remaining Trustees shall choose a colleague, always provided that the original number of Trustees shall be maintained and shall at no time be exceeded. Prior to any appointment to a vacancy being filled the nominee of the remaining Trustees shall be immediately submitted to the donor of the Cup for his approval.
  3. The course shall be, if on the Parramatta River from Ryde Railway Bridge to Searle's Monument at Henley, if on any other Course in Australia the distance to be rowed shall not be less than 3 Miles 330 yards, and no Championship race shall be rowed over a less distance. If the race is rowed in England or any other country, then the recognised Championship Course in such country shall be adhered to, always provided that the Course is Straightaway, and not less than the above distance.
  4. The stakes shall not be less than £4U0 aside in a match between men resident in Australia and New Zealand and £500 aside if between men of different countries.
  5. The "gate-money" shall be so divided that the holder of the title receives 60% and the challenger 40% of the Nett takings.
  6. A challenge shall only be recognised as bona-fide when accompanied by a deposit of £50 and if rowed in Australia this sum is to be lodged with the Editor of the Sydney "Referee" if in New Zealand with the Editor of the "Weekly Press" (Christchurch) and if in England with the Editor of "The Sporting Life and Sportsmen" if in any other part of the world with the Editor of a recognised Sporting Paper.
  7. The holder of the title and the Cup must accept a bona-fide challenge within two months and must race within four months of the issue of the challenge, or forfeit the Title and the Cup, which shall then pass to the challenger; but in the event of an international contest the periods shall be respectively two months and six months.
  8. In the event of the death of the holder of the Title and the Cup the Championship and the Cup shall revert to the previous holder.
  9. The agreement to race shall be based upon the conditions known the "Boat Race Articles of Agreement".
  10. All future Races for the Title and Cup shall be rowed for under the rules and conditions provided for herein.
  11. The Cup shall be held by the winner of the race for the Title subject to the following conditions:
    1. The Trustees may, if they think fit, before the surrender possession of the Cup, demand the deposit of security to the amount of £250, or a properly prepared guarantee bearing the signatures of two responsible persons.
    2. The holder of the Cup shall further give an undertaking in writing, endorsed by two approved persons, to restore the Cup intact and in good condition to the Trustees upon demand.
    3. The holder of the Cup shall be previously notified by letter to his customary address of all championship challenge issued to him. The Trustees shall decide as to the sufficiency or otherwise of such notification, which shall in the first instance be made by the challenger.
  12. In addition to the Cup, which may be hold by the winner, there will be a personal trophy to the value of £10/10/- for the winner of the match and the Cup cannot be won outright.
  13. The holder shall, within one calendar month of the signing of the articles for a championship match, forward the Cup without demand to the Trustees, who shall deliver it to the winner of the match upon production of the written decisions of the Referee in his favour and upon the undertakings before specified.
  14. The Trustees further reserve to themselves in their absolute discretion the power of placing a veto upon any proposed match for the Title and the Cup.
  15. Any appeal upon questions not provided for by these conditions shall be made to the Trustees of the Cup, the decision of a majority of who shall in all cases be final, and subject to no appeal at law or otherwise.
  16. That all persons competing for the Title and "The Hagon Cup" be bound by all conditions set out herein.


  1. The Referee (who shall be named in the Articles binding the match by the Trustees of the Hagon Cup) shall have the Scullers in charge from the time the race is specified to start until its final termination.
  2. The start shall be by mutual consent, unless otherwise agreed upon; but if the Scullers fail to start within 15 minutes from the time they are ordered out by the Referee, he shall order them to go on a signal given by him, furthermore the Referee in the event of one of the contestants failing to appear at the Start at the prescribed time he shall have power to direct the other competitor to row over the Course for the Title and Cup.
  3. Choice of Stations at the start shall be decided by drawing of lots, or tossing of a coin.
  4. The Judge shall be stationed at the finishing line, and he shall report to the Referee the order in which the Scullers pass the winning post.
  5. Races shall be started by the bows, and shall be judged at the finish by the bows.
  6. A Sculler's proper course is such a course as will enable him to reach the winning post in the shortest possible time, provided that he allows ample water for the other Competitor to steer his proper course on the side on which such Competitor started.
  7. A Sculler shall stand by his own accidents.
  8. In the event of a dead-heat the Referee shall order the race to be re-rowed, but such re-row must take place within seven days of the date of the Original Race.
  9. The Referee, if appealed to, shall give his decision on any matter coming within his jurisdiction immediately after the race. In the event of a foul a Sculler may claim same by holding up his hand, if necessary, state his claim by word of mouth immediately after the race.
  10. The Referee may warn a Competitor of any impending danger in his course.
  11. In the event of a foul or other misadventure brought about by outside interference the Umpire shall have power to order a re-row either on the same day or on any period within seven days of the date of the original race.
  12. The Competitors shall provide a special launch for the Umpire's use and he may allow one representative from either side to occupy same but who shall be bound by his instructions.


I, ...........................................of.............................



hereby agree to race for £..... aside and the Sculling Championship of the World and the "Hagon Cup", the first named being the holder of the title.

The Winner to receive £...on his own behalf, and £...which is to be returned to the Subscribers to his Stake.

The race to be rowed on the ............starting at ................
And finishing between the Judge's Boat and........................

The Race to be rowed on the .......................19..., and we agree to start at the hour of ................

We agree that the Referee and Judge shall be appointed by the "Hagon Cup" Trustees.

The Championship Conditions, and the Championship Boat Race Laws to govern the contest.

We, of ......19. have paid to ...................
Who shall be stake-holder, the sum of £..... And we agree to deposit with the Stakeholder a further sum of £....on the of ........19..: likewise a sum of £...
on of.........................19..............making the amount of subscription £..each subscription to be made good on the dates Specified not later than noon.

Should either of us fail to pay the sums specified on the days named, the one of us who shall have made default shall be considered to have forfeited; and the sum in the hands of the Stake-holder shall be so divided that the one not in arrears and his subscribers shall equally share.

We agree that the certificate of the Referee shall be sufficient reason for the Stake-holder to, pay over to the declared winner, or his order and we further agree that there shall be no appeal at law or otherwise.

Signed by


Signed by


[Approved by George Towns 12th October 1926]

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