The Stan Pocock (formerly the Riverside) is one of 30 shells built for the 1968 Olympic trials in Long Beach California, and the only wooden shell that will bear his name. After the trials, the shells were never trucked down to Mexico City for the 68 Olympics, thus ending nearly half a century of Olympic dominance by the Pocock dynasty.
Built in 1968, the Stan was one of the last Pocock wooden shells slated for the Olympics. Originally a “straight four” (sweep 4 no cox), it was built for the 1968 Mexico City Olympic trials, held in Marine Stadium, Long Beach California. In the closest finish ever recorded in a trial, Harvard defeated this mighty Pennsylvania crew at Long Beach by less than a foot, earning the right to represent the United States in Mexico City. The Harvard crew came in 6th. As part of the deal, the Trial’s hosting city had to supply all the equipment. The City of Long Beach immediately imposed their enormous order (30 boats + 96 oars and sculls) on Pocock Racing who already had their hands full with their busiest season ever.
Over eleven months, Stan Pocock figures they built 125 boats – That’s one every other day!
Stan tried to talk the City of Long Beach out of it, suggesting they borrow the equipment. But they wouldn’t listen. “To prove I had no need for the extra income earned from all those evenings and weekends of overtime, I invested it in some kind of tax shelter and lost most of it” (Stan Pocock Way Enough, p 237). (The Pococks were notoriously generous – frequently advancing the sport at the expense of their profit margin.)
One of the oarsmen in the Trials was Bill Tytus, who later took over the helm at Pocock Racing when Stan retired. An avid oarsman since his high school days at Green Lake, Bill went on after the Long Beach Trials to win championships with the U.S. National team in Boston, mostly in singles and later in 8s. But that year (1968) he competed in the straight 4 class. “They were lighter and harder to row well than a 4+” which has the additional weight of a cox. Back then, a 6’4″ 180 lb oarsman was considered big…as opposed to nowadays when the average is pushing 7′ and over 200 lbs.