Date Born/Est
03 May 1876
Date Died/Ceased
27 Jul 1952
Biographical Display
SIR HARCOURT GOLD,champion stroke; founder of stewards' enclosure; chairman of Henley Royal Regatta
Harcourt 'Tarka' Gold stroked three Eton crews to victory in the Ladies' Plate, three Oxford crews to win in the boat race, and three Leander crews to win the Grand during the 1890s. A stock broker, he became a successful coach and was the driving force behind the establishment of the stewards' enclosure at Henley in 1920, a move instrumental in preserving Henley as an important international regatta. He chaired the Henley management committee and the ARA, and was knighted for services to rowing in 1949.

He was made stroke of the ‘Varsity Eight right off; and in his first race he cut Cambridge down almost on the post, winning after a desperate struggle. In 1897 he stroked one of the best Oxford Eights ever sent out, and won again; and last year he was able to watch Cambridge rowing after him to the Ship. Besides this, he stroked Leander at Henley in 1896, when he won the Grand Challenge and defeated Yale; and, though New College just beat him the year after, he won the same race at last year’s Regatta; while in two of three years he also stroked the Leander Four to victory in the race for the Stewards’ Cup. Yet with all these and other triumphs he has never won a race at Eton or Oxford with the single exception of the ‘Varsity Pairs in 1897!

He is a sturdily-built young fellow, with extraordinary powers of endurance; who can probably get as much out of seven other men in a boat as any stroke living. He is a good fellow and an all-round sportsman; who, while he can ride well and shoot with promise, hates walking. Nevertheless, in pious imitation of his father (who thinks nothing of playing sixty holes a day on the Hedsor links), he has lately taken to golf. He has a dry humour that is quite his own; he can play the host; he can tell a story; but, unlike the rest of his family, he does not sing -- much. He has met the examiners on several occasions; and, though sometimes defeated, he has managed in the end to score.
He has wonderful knees; and his legs are always loudly appreciated by the crowd at Putney.
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