The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Beach, William

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Beach, William, the well-known New South Wales oarsman, was born in Surrey, England, and was beaten by Trickett, the then champion sculler of the world, on the Parramatta river on July 28th, 1883. The weather was rough on this occasion, but under more favourable conditions Beach beat Trickett in three successive matches. On Jan. 26th, 1884, Trickett again beat Beach on the Parramatta; but as a foul occurred the race was rowed over again, with the same result, Beach being unwell. On April 12th following the positions were again reversed, with great apparent ease by Beach, who defeated Hanlan, the Canadian sculler, on August 16th of the same year over the Parramatta champion course in 21 minutes 17 seconds. In the next year Beach defeated Clifford, repeated his defeat of Hanlan, and also vanquished Neil Matterson, a young sculler of his own colony. On March 27th, 1886, Beach sailed for England, and arrived at Plymouth on May 17th. He at once accepted a challenge from Hanlan, but nothing coming of it, he challenged the world. Beach then won the first prize of £1200 in the International Sweepstake on the Thames, defeating Bubear, Lee, Teemer, and others. On Sept. 18th he rowed Gaudaur on the Thames for £1000 and the championship of the world, and won the day after a tough struggle. On Sept. 25th he defeated Wallace Ross for a similar stake, and soon afterwards left for Australia, arriving in Sydney on Dec. 3rd, 1886. Hanlan followed him to Australia, and they met on the Nepean, when Beach's superiority was again asserted. He then wished to relinquish the championship, and on Peter Kemp challenging him resigned it to him, declining to row him. He subsequently kept a public house in Sydney.