Fifty-Five Years and Counting

1961 UW Rowing

By John Wilcox, ’61

Members and guests of the classes of 1961 and 1962 gathered at the Seattle Yacht Club in early April to celebrate their 55th and 54th reunions. Classmates came from as far as Mexico, California and Nevada to join their friends and relive their years at Conibear and in the Pocock shells. Although not as frisky as some earlier gatherings, it was a nostalgic and laugh-filled evening as the celebrants recalled successes on the water and pranks on both land and water.

The group conceded that separated now by more than half a century from the facts, all races were winning races except those in which Ron Wolfkill and Dave Amundson steered their shells into buoys.

Time was made, too, to remember classmates lost through the years: Brian Wager, Bill Flint, Dave Anderson, Jon Rider, Ralph Warford, Chuck Holtz, , Norm Sanderson, Rich Wiberg and others.

Bob Ernst joined the gathering and gave a fascinating talk on technology in rowing. Starting with the beauty and grace of the Pocock wooden shells, he traced the technological advancement of the sport from the appearance of the German 1960 Olympic team’s tulip blades to the latest equipment used by the Huskies for testing, training and racing. Bob took a number of follow-up questions and received a huge hand from the group.

At cocktails, dinner and afterwards, the two classes considered the legions of Husky rowers that have passed through the program and were pleased to confirm, once again – and perhaps for all time – that they remain two of the finest classes to have graced the Washington Rowing program. And while they don’t claim leadership in all measureable categories, they certainly found themselves tops in strength, stamina, speed, intelligence, skills, professional accomplishments and good looks.