top of page

Stan Pocock: Why We Spent 4 Days to Row 15 Minutes.

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

The name George Pocock is practically a household word thanks to The Boys in the Boat, but less is known about his son Stan, who passed just over a week ago. His memorial service took place today at the Conibear shell house.

At times like this when there are no words, tribes gather around their storytellers – and there were lots of great stories, bringing laughter and tears.

But the one who stood out was his granddaughter Sarah Chun. As much of a legend as Stan was to the rowing community, she will best remember her “Poppa” for his skill at making animal-shaped pancakes.

It was she who scattered Stan’s ashes at the finish line in the Montlake Cut.


Stan’s granddaughter Sarah (2 seat) fulfills his wishes to have his ashes strewn at the finish line in the Montlake Cut

Photo from KING 5 News

Photo from KING 5 News

Stan’s connection to the Rats ran deep, and I asked those who knew him to jot down a few lines.  But they expressed themselves far better by their efforts today, spearheaded by John Collins. Why did we spend four days rigging and derigging 4 boats, getting them on the Kingston ferry at 0 dark thirty – and showing up at his memorial?

…For the chance to row to his final resting place and cast a single white flower from his wreath into the water.

I watched and photographed them today, but I can only imagine what was going through their heads and hearts. I’ll let the pictures – and the backstories – do the talking for them. (more photos here)

Tuf as Nails – The Husky Challenger


Ann Wiltshire (Tuf as Nails) carried her memorial flower next to Stan’s signature on her visor


Stan and the Nails with the Husky Challenger 2011

Steve Chapin – The Pocock Project


Steve Chapin waves on the way back after casting his farewell flower to Stan


Stan admired Steve’s work so much, he gave him the entire Pocock wooden singles factory 2005

Ted Shoulberg – The Hoh


Ted picks out a flower for Stan’s farewell ceremony


A different wreath. A different ceremony, when Ted turned the beautifully restored Hoh back over to Stan 2005

Jim Buckley – Ancient Mariner and friend


Jim (stroke) yesterday in the Frank C., which he named after Frank Cunningham,  another Ancient Mariner, a rowing icon and a friend

Ancient Mariners Jim, Guy Harper with Stan at the 30th Anniversary Brunch Celebration of the Pocock Foundation. (photo Pocock Foundation)

Ancient Mariners Jim Buckley, Guy Harper and  Stan at the 30th Anniversary Brunch Celebration of the Pocock Foundation 2014. (photo Pocock Rowing Foundation)

As I left, I saw several of the awesome young “purple men”. By now they were sporting hoodies and earbuds and dirt bikes,  looking like every other kid in the mall. I wondered how long the Pocock DNA that’s stamped into their every boat and every stroke would survive in their world.

A single word came into my head. “Hope”

purple men


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page