SI Vault
George Gipe
March 14, 1977
"Just after 12 o'clock tonight, when Monday is five minutes old," said the New York Sun of Oct. 7, 1888, "three strokes will be hit upon a gong and twelve brawny men will start to row around the track in Madison Square Garden. There won't be any water and there won't be any boats."
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March 14, 1977

The Roadsculler Made Rowing On Land As Hard As Walking On Water

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But the grim marathon continued. On the third day another mishap occurred. "A restaurateur at the west end of the promenade started a charcoal fire in a portable furnace and left it," the Times noted. "The furnace emitted clouds of suffocating smoke which floated across the track toward the exits. Largan and Plaisted happened to plunge into the noxious vapor and they inhaled more than they could comfortably stand." The Irish champion was sick for a quarter hour.

Frustration reached a climax on the last day of the contest, when a fight broke out between two trainers. While it was in progress, Teemer. who was standing on the sidelines, stepped in and struck and kicked another contestant. A fight ensued, during which both men were badly scratched and their clothes torn.

On Saturday, Oct. 13, the regatta came to a halt. Gaudaur, who had negotiated 465.1 miles, was the winner. Ross was second with 462.1 and Teemer last with 177. No one dared predict, as some had before the meet, that land rowing would eventually replace water sculling. If anything had been proved, it was that rowing on land can be nearly as difficult as walking on water.

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Wallace Ross 1 0 0