The Boys in the Boat

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The year is 1936; the day, August 14th.  On the Olympic regatta course in Hitler’s Berlin, nine American crewmen sit tense and ready in their boat, nervously anticipating the signal that will launch them on the race of their lives.  Little do they know that even with all odds against them, they are about to make history…

As America struggled to her feet following the 1929 stock market crash, members of the University of Washington’s crew teams scrimped and saved to make ends meet – after all, if they couldn’t pay for tuition, there would be no seats for them in any of the UW boats, even if they were the best rowers.  Many came from families that logged, farmed, or fished; the boys’ upbringings built in them quite literally the back and brawn needed to compete with and surpass long-standing university rivals on both coasts.  They weren’t afraid to work and train as hard as possible – and neither was their coach.  Experimenting by placing and re-placing different boys in different boats was a befuddling and painstaking process for all involved, but when the final pick for Varsity was at last settled upon, even critics admitted they had never seen anything quite like it before.

Embark on a fascinating and inspiring journey from the poverty of the Great Depression to the prospect of Olympic gold.  Delve into the history of crew as a sport, the science behind constructing a water-worthy shell, and the minuscule technical nuances that can make or break a winning team.  Along the way you will also get to know Joe Rantz and the other “boys in the boat” as you experience with them each and every grueling workout, nail-bitingly close race, disheartening defeat, and breathtaking victory.

Learn more about the book and where you can purchase it on the author’s website:


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