Pocock Singles Project
Mike Willy
One of the Last Teardrops GPRHCS13E101

From: "Mike & Hope"
To: buckley@rumford.com
Subject: Pocock Single
Date: Sat, 5 Jan 2008

Hey folks,

My name is Mike Willy. I am a once and future rowing coach and sculler. I rowed at the University of Puget Sound in the early 1990's and went on to coach there (among other places) for several years. In the early 90's UPS was still rowing 3 cedar Pocock sweep boats on a daily basis. The "Alumni" was a four and we had a pair of eights (the "Undaunted" and the "Resolute") that had been acquired at some point from the University of Washington. One of them had a handwritten note inside it dating it back to 1965. Before my senior year, the varsity guys got together to strip the white paint off the hulls of the eights to refinish them with a clear coat of varnish. When we did that we found the original names were the "Charles Day" named after a UW alumn from the class of 1937 and the "Ed Taylor" a 1913 alumn from UW. After 25 years the boats were pretty beat up. We would spend a few minutes (sometimes half an hour) every morning inspecting our eights and repairing whatever damage the novice had managed to do the night before just to make sure we could get a full workout in. Even so, it was evident that these boats were the product of elegant craftsmanship and the beauty of the woodwork was more than anything a composite boat could hope to possess.

Having learned to row in cedar Pococks, I've always wanted to have a cedar single. I could spend hours staring at the wood grain and I've really missed the sound of a hard rain on the decks. This fall I found a cedar Pocock for sale and was able to buy it. As I was reading about John Robinson's single I realized that I may now own the last teardrop single built by Pocock. I purchased the boat from a woman named Caitlin McClain in Seattle who said that she had purchased the boat several years ago from a man named Rick Mitchell at the Lake Washington Rowing Club. The serial number on the stern is GPRHCS13E101. Similar to Mr. Robinson's the serial number lacks the 'T' or 'TD' indicating that it's a teardrop but it very clearly is a teardrop. I spoke with Erin at Pocock and she looked up the boat's invoice for me. She also indicated that they still have a couple of standard singles waiting to be varnished and decked.

I've only been able to get out to row it twice now thanks to winter weather and a pretty unsheltered boathouse. It is a great shell. It picks up and runs even better than I had hoped it would. I'm very excited to put a lot of miles in over the next few months. When I get a chance I'll take some outdoor pictures. For now I've taken a few shots inside the boathouse.

Mike Willy
Tacoma, WA

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