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Peter Mallory's Blog

By pmallory - Posted on 03 April 2013

7 March 2013

Frank Cunningham 1922-2013

"To learn the quickness and spontaneity that characterizes good sculling, spend some time watching animals. From them you can learn the grace that comes from their economy of movement and their complete reliance on their senses."

Oh, my!

As one door closes, another opens . . .


I hope my readers know already that it’s not necessary to completely agree with someone to have a very pleasant and extremely fruitful conversation. That is what happened to me while I read Gordon Hamilton’s new book, Sculling in a Nutshell, a Polemical Guide to Making Your Boat Go Faster. I was talking back to the book page by page, paragraph by paragraph, always with a smile on my face, and though I have a different perspective on many of Gordon’s most fundamental beliefs, it seems to me he gets the details spot on, and I kept finding myself saying, “My goodness, that’s an absolutely fascinating new way for me to think of such-and-such.”

This is a book that must have taken decades of immersion in the best New England rowing and sculling tradition to gestate, and it was indeed time well spent. I can’t imagine a coach, rower or sculler who would not benefit enormously from Sculling in a Nutshell. I applaud Gordon’s passion and professionalism, and there is something Homeric in the repeated words and phrases.

Gordon, after reading your book, I feel like we have spent a calm summer afternoon in a double on the Charles, talking and rowing, rowing and talking. I only hope that someday soon we get to do it for real. Thank you, my good friend, for your precious gift to our rowing family.