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History of World Professional Sculling

World Professional Sculling Championships

1910 Richard Arnst (NZL) defeats Ernest Barry (GBR) on the Zambesi River in 20.14

Dick Arnst
Richard Arnst

This match in Rhodesia was unusual in the location with professional sculling being primarily an Australian, Canadian and British sport.


Ernest Barry

Ernest Barry

1911 Richard Arnst (NZL) defeats Harry Pearce (AUS) on the Parramatta River in 19.46

The margin was four lengths and the race was conducted before a crowd of some 80,000 people.

Richard Arnst

Richard Arnst

1912 (July) Ernest Barry (GBR) defeats Richard Arnst (NZL) on the Thames in London in 23.08

Ernest Barry induced Arnst to London to race for the title and £1,000. Barry won and thus produced the first English world champion since 1876.

1913 Ernest Barry (GBR) defeats Harry Pearce (AUS) on the Thames in London in 24.09

Funds for this challenge were raised in Sydney. In making the challenge, Pearce had to leave his Australian title at home. By default Alf Felton defeated Charles Towns for the Australian title. Felton was beaten by Jim Paddon who in turn defeated Richard Arnst and won the right to challenge Barry.

Ernest Barry arriving to race Pearce

Ernest Barry arriving to race Harry Pearce

1914 Ernest Barry (GBR) defeats Jim Paddon (AUS) on the Thames in London in 21.28

Jim Paddon was to become a dominant figure in Australian professional sculling and so a worthy challenger for the title. He held the Australian title for 13 1/2 years from 1913 to 1926. He was also a very tall man for that time, being 6 feet 4 inches tall. However Paddon made the journey to London, perhaps too early in his career, only to be beaten.

Paddon training in England

Paddon training in England

Photo courtesy of the Richmond River Historical Society

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