WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WIN ON THE THAMES JUNE 27, 1876
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WIN
ON THE THAMES
JUNE 27, 1876
By the mid 1870s Ned’s success had attracted the attention of Mr. James Punch, a well-know Sydney hotelier, himself a former skilled oarsman. Punch announced his intention to take Ned to London to challenge the then World Sculling Champion, Joseph Henry Sadler. Punch had both the knowledge and experience to assess Ned’s potential and in 1875, formed a committee to raise the necessary funds to take him to England for the challenge.
The race was on a course from Putney to Mortlake on the Thames (see above), and Ned won by approximately two and a half boat lengths, in 24 minutes 35 seconds. By all accounts, the English were stunned by the result. An outsider, not only a ‘colonial’ but the son of a convict had taken out the World Sculling Championship. When he returned to Australia on the 9th November on board the steamship Zealandia, an estimated twenty-five thousand people turned up at Circular Quay to welcome him home. Ned Trickett’s achievement seemed to awaken in the colony’s population a great sense of pride in being Australian.
25,000 people greeted Trickett on his return to Australia. The population of Sydney was then 200,000 and assuming that most attendees were men, it equated to roughly one in every four men in Sydney attending.