President of Pocock Racing Shells to speak in Port Hadlock

The free talk will discuss boat construction and the techniques and materials used to design 21st-century racing hulls.

PORT HADLOCK — Bill Tytus, president of Pocock Racing Shells, will speak about the evolution of racing shells at the Jefferson County Library at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 6.

Tytus will talk at the library at 620 Cedar Ave. about the transition from wooden racing shells, such as those featured in the award-winning novel “Boys in the Boat,” to composite boats in the 1980s.

He will discuss boat construction and the techniques and materials used to design 21st-century racing hulls.

The presentation is free.

Tytus will be joined by Steve Chapin of Point Hudson Boat Shop, who will tell how he learned to build classic cedar Pocock racing shells from Pocock’s master craftsman, Bob Brunswick. Some of these classics are in use today in and around Puget Sound.

Tytus said he has been involved with Pocock Racing Shells since he was a young boy riding his bike past the Pocock’s Conibear shop, drawn by the sights and sounds of what they were building.

This was the start of a close friendship with the Pococks, he said, and his introduction to rowing. Tytus took over the Pocock company when founder George Pocock’s son, Stan, retired in 1985.

Under Tytus’ leadership, Pocock Racing Shells has introduced several innovations, from the tiny but revolutionary oarlock spacer to low-wake coaching launches and other high-performance products, including prototype winglets for jet aircraft and Arctic exploration sleds.

The newest iteration of this ongoing process is the recently released xVIII with unique mathematically generated hull lines and a completely new structural concept.

In 1991, Tytus designed the first of the K4 series of hulls, which 20 years later still retains a virtual monopoly within National Championship-caliber fours.

He then developed the Hypercarbon V8 – the first wing-rigger 8+ and the first women’s specific design, proven successful by numerous NCAA Championships.

“Looked at one way, a racing shell is a machine with a narrowly defined purpose: to enable a number of large men or women to propel themselves over an expanse of water as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Daniel James Brown, author of “The Boys in the Boat.”

“Looked at another way, it is a work of art, an expression of the human spirit with its unbounded hunger for the ideal, for beauty, for purity, for grace.”

For more information, see www.jclibrary.info or call 360-385-6544.

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