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Elias Laycock 1880
Cronulla NSW Australia
Youth and Early Life
Major Sculling Matches
- Australian Sculling Championship
- World Sculling Championship.
- Laycock vs Rush
Later in his life, Michael Rush described sculler Elias C. Laycock as his 'chief rival'. Just a year younger than Rush, and like Rush, a large and powerful man, Laycock had come to live on the Lower Clarence River around 1874. The two scullers met first at the Queen's Birthday regatta in Grafton in May 1874. Laycock, untried at boat racing, was soundly beaten, though undeterred. During the following years, Laycock doggedly challenged Rush and others to sculling matches, until at last, in April 1879, Laycock beat an ailing and unfit World Champion Ned Trickett at a State regatta. A series of matches followed to determine the current Australian sculling Champion, who would defend the World Title.[n. 1] Laycock beat Rush again and again, but Trickett, now fit once more, eventually beat Laycock.Trickett once more went to the Thames, this time in the company of Laycock, to row against Ned Hanlan, but their preliminary contests in Sydney had marked the end of Rush's World Championship ambitions.
- The Walker Whiskey Trophy
Professional sculling had now reached a stage of respectability, publicity and profitability that attracted commercial sponsorship. Among the earliest of these sponsors in Australia were the liquor importers Mason, Brothers. In April 1881, they offered a cash prize of £300, to be known as the Walker Whiskey Trophy. The cash prizes attracted so many entrants that a series of preliminary races was held during September, 1881. Rush took part, but was eliminated from the final race.. As well as the Trophy races, Rush also rowed a number of private matches, notably against J. J. Power, Harry Pearce, both of whom he beat, and Elias Laycock. The match against Laycock was for the Championship of Australia, which Laycock won almost with ease. Rush announced his retirement from sculling contests, not for the first or the last time.[n. 2]
- The Francis Punch Trophy
Francis Punch was the brother of sculler, publican and promoter James 'Jem' Punch. Following the death of James, Francis took bought Punch's Hotel. Observing the success of the Walker Whiskey matches, Francis offered a similar sculling prize The race did not attract any international entrants, but the 'Big Three' of Australian sculling - Rush, Trickett, Laycock - fought it out over the Championship course in early October, 1882  and Rush emerged triumphant, winning not only the Punch Trophy but regaining the Australian Championship. 
Later Life and Career
Laycock died at his residence in Cronulla on May 29, 1938.
Notes and references
|Abbreviation||Newspaper Name||Abbreviation||Newspaper Name||Abbreviation||Newspaper Name|
|SMH||The Sydney Morning Herald||CRE||Clarence and Richmond River Examiner||SM||The Sydney Mail|
|TCJ||Australian Town and Country Journal||MM||Maitland Mercury||RB||Rockhampton Morning Bulletin|
|TA||The Argus||ISN||The Illustrated Sydney News||E||The Empire|
|LE||Launceston Examiner||QA||Queanbeyan Age||BLS||Bell's Life in Sydney|
- The world sculling community demanded that the World title be contested on the Thames, and Australia, the current championship holder, complied, albeit reluctantly. See RB 12 Sep 1879
- Rush announced his retirement on at least four occasions, each time changing his mind later. See Gard Michael Rush
- Souvenir Program of the World Sculling Championship, Barry vs. Felton, 28 August 1920. National Maritime Museum of Australia.
- LE 22 Nov 1880
- TA 30 Aug 1879
- e.g. TA 11 September 1875
- SMH 30 Aug 1879
- MM 16 October 1880.
- SMH 1 Apr 1881
- SMH 16 Sep 1881
- SMH 22 Sep 1881
- SM 23 May 1891
- SMH 22 Sep 1881
- TCJ 14 Oct 1882
- SMH 2 Nov 1882
- SMH30 May 1938, p.10
- Bennett, Scott. 1973. The Clarence Comet : the career of Henry Searle, 1866-89 Sydney University Press. ISBN 0424066904
- ________. 1985 "Professional Sculling in New South Wales." Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society Vol. 71.
- Gard, Stephen. 2011. Michael Rush : champion Australian sculler. Thirlmere, NSW : BlueDawe Books. ISBN 9780646559872
- Ripley, Stuart. 2009. Sculling and skulduggery : a history of professional sculling. Petersham, N.S.W. : Walla Walla Press.
- Trickett, Gordon. H. 2001. Ned Trickett : champion sculler of the world. Lane Cove NSW, Lane Cove Library, Local Studies Monograph No. 17.
- Newspaper Articles and Journals
- Old Times: A unique illustrated history of the early days, dealing with every phase of life from the arrival of Governor Phillip, with many reminiscences of old colonists living and dead Vol1. # 4. July 1903. Sydney : Commercial Publishing Co. of Sydney Ltd.
- Trickett vs. Rush Australian Rowing History
- Edward Hanlan, champion oarsman National Library of Australia