Monday 6 October 2008

More from Life in the Slow Lane

While he was going through the long incubation process that eventually hatched the Alden Skiff and started recreational rowing, Arthur Martin was troubled by doubts as to whether a sliding seat skiff designed for fun rather than racing would be accepted both by sporting rowers with a speed obsession and by fun rowers with a varnished mahogany obsession.
College rowers, he feared, would be to snooty for a recreational skiff, even if it enabled them to get out in choppy waters:
"There is a story, for which I cannot guarantee the veracity, of a young man from the Midwest who went to Harvard. Upon his graduation and return home, his friends had a party to celebrate. The asked him if he thought the Easterners were snobby. "No," he answered, "I rowed on the Varsity crew for three years, and by my senior year everyone in the boat had spoken to me, except number 7."

He was later to take a phone call from the Friends of Harvard Rowing ordering two Aldens, sight unseen, simply because the Harvard coach had said they should.

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