C ANADA has produced many great oarsmen; Ned Han lan, Lou Scholes, Joe Wright, Senior and Junior, and Jack Guest are only a few of the Canadian names that are writ large in the hail of sculling fame. Canada can still produce great oars men; Charles A. Campbell, twenty one-year-old member of the Toronto Argonaut Club, this year won the Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup, mblematic of the amateur sculling championship of North America.
Next year, if all goes well, young Campbell will row in the Diamond Sculls at Henley. England, and possibly add another name to the list of Canadians who have won the world sculling crown there.
The most amazing thing about Campbell’s recent feat is that he had been rowing single sculls for only thirteen months when he triumphed over all the veteran oarsmen that Canada and the United States send to the American National Regatta at Princeton, N.J.
Charles Campbell—“Chuck” to the boys and “Chilly” to the girls (draw your own conclusions) — somehow doesn’t look like a rowing champion. He is big, beefy and brawny, it is true; but his frank blue eyes, his engaging modest smile, and his friendly easy-going manner apparently hide the iron determination that is necessary to win rowing races and that Charles Campbell must therefore possess.
It is a pleasure to talk with him because, in spite of his triumphs, he is genuinely unaffected and modest without having to force himself to be so. His laughter is contagious. He weighs 170 pounds, is just over six feet tall, and built on the big-boned, loose-jointed plan.
The story of his rise in the rowing world reads like a Horatio Alger novel. Back in the spring of 1932 he was attending Bloor Collegiate, Toronto, when the physical-culture instructor, noticing his sturdy physique, told him he ought to be on the rowing crew. So he learned to row and was put on the high school’s four-man crew and eight-man crew. The eight made an unprecedented record during the three years he was on it, winning twenty-two consecutive races, attaining the schoolboy championship of Canada three times and that of the United States once.
In June of 1934, when his school days were over, Campbell began singlesculling. On July 2 he won his first victory—the Junior Singles of the Dominion Day Regatta Association at Toronto. On July 7 he won the Eastern Canada Championship at Brockville. A week later he won the Junior Singles at Caledonia. Going to the Port Dalhousie regatta on July 28, at 2.30 p.m. he won the Junior Championship of Canada, and at 4 p.m. the Intermediate and Association Championships of Canada.
Two weeks later he went to the United States National Regatta in Baltimore, where he won the first heat of the Association Singles, defeating George Von Oppel, twice runner-up for the Diamond Sculls. He lost in the finals, however, coming in third with only ten feet between him and the winner.
Not so bad for his first season as a single sculler !
Champion of North America
AFTER spending the winter with an Ontario Government surveying party in the Rideau Lakes region, Campbell got his boat out early this March and settled down to serious training. Luck was against him. Within Continued on page 53
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a week he had contracted lumbago and had strained a cord in his leg. It was fourteen days before he could resume training, and for a month after that he was only allowed to get into his boat with his legs strapped together to prevent him straining the weaker one.
Early in June he won this year’s first victory, capturing the Lord Dufferin Medal for the quarter mile at Toronto. He followed this up by winning the three-quarter mile at the Dominion Day Regatta. Then, suddenly and for no apparent reason, fate seemed to turn against him. John Coulson, his clubmate, defeated him in a quarter-mile event a few days later, repeating this on July 6 at the Island Aquatic Association meet. Then, on July 8, Coulson beat him again in the half-mile at the Rexall Druggist Regatta.
During this string of defeats Campbell had been experimenting with the angle of his footboard and the adjustments of his seat, oars, rigging, etc. Finally he went back to the adjustments he had used last year. Once again, his star seemed magically to be in the ascendant, and once again he found he could win race after race.
So in mid-July he went to Princeton for the gold cup race. Though not fully rested from the long motor trip of the previous day, he won the first heat easily. The next day he won the final by three lengths and became the continent’s champion oarsman.
Solution of the crossword puzzle on page 49
His time for the mile and a quarter course was seven minutes, twenty-four seconds.
Two weeks later he added the Canadian Henley singles title to his string of victories.
And now his motto is: “Diamond Sculls next.”
Trains Twice a Day
EVERY NIGHT and every morning Chuck Campbell is at the Argonaut clubhouse for a workout. At 6 a.m. he rows from a half to two miles, and at 8 p.m. anything j up to ten miles. Over the shorter trials he | always has a friend clock him, and wages a ceaseless contest against time, seeking to ] improve his speed. His regular time is thirty-two strokes to the minute, except for the start-off when he can take thirteen ; strokes in fourteen seconds. He has installed a rowing machine in his home, and on it will keep his muscles supple and his wind good during the winter months.
“No smokes, no fried foods, no beer, but eat all you want of anything else,” is his training formula. Rowing so early and late, he only gets about six hours sleep a night, but he considers that enough.
Chuck Campbell will tell you that much of the credit for his success should be given to those who have coached him. He has had every help, he says, from T. IT. Carson, Joe Wright, Senior and Junior, and Bill Miller, j all of the Argonaut Club.
He is never nervous before a race. He explains this by saying that he “doesn’t row the race beforehand.” Not worrying about the outcome saves him a lot of nervous energy; he can go into the race ready to I give every ounce of physical and mental : power he possesses. If that’s not enough, he doesn’t mind losing. The supreme importance of mental effort in winning races is apparent from his remark that “the more 1 tired I get, the more determined I am to row j harder and the harder I can row.”
He lives in Toronto with his aunt and uncle, working from nine to six every day at ; a Dominion Government office in the city. | He’s not sure whether he will turn profes-1 sional or not, but says he will listen to any reasonable offer.
But first, he means to get those Diamond j Sculls.
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