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The International Rowing Regatta

An artist sketch of the rowing crew from Saint John, New Brunswick during one of their races at the International Rowing Regatta in Paris, France. In the foreground their competitors are dressed in black and the Saint John crew is in white. Since the race took place in Paris, there are a number of buildings along the shore line, presumably used for water-based industry, and a bridge passing over the river. Along the bottom of the sketch is a banner that reads

“The Paris Crew” at the starting line of the International Rowing Regatta in Paris, France.


The regatta was a display of aquatic feats to honour the International Exposition. The races were held on the broad waters of the Seine River, between the bridges of St. Cloud and Surennes, offering lots of viewing area for the intrigued spectators.

Over the course of two days, July 7-8, 1867, two classes were held.  The first for amateurs without distinction and the second for countries who held varying levels of competition.

The Carleton Crew chose to race within the first class and registered to compete in two contests with the vessels they had brought with them from Saint John.  The first race for in-rigged rowing sculls and the second race for outrigged rowing sculls.  The Carleton Crew were widely considered the underdogs and ridiculed for both their rowing style and appearance.

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Image of a coloured painting depictting the Paris Crew, also known as the Carleton Crew prior to their winning at the International Rowing Regatta in Paris France in 1867, competing against the Tyne Crew. Both four-person rowing sculls are racing on a body of water with many spectators in the background. The Paris Crew is depicted in white shirts and red pants, while the Tyne Crew is wearing yellow shirts and blue rowing caps and matching pants. Along the banks are various buildings and another vessel is also docked with other spectators on the deck and the British flag is on its mast.

An illustration depicting rowing uniforms that were used during late 19th century.

Image of a rowing cap worn by the members of the Paris Crew. This replica is made of a satin-like material and pink in colour with blue trim and accents.

Reproduction of the original pink rowing cap worn by “The Paris Crew”.

To top this off, they did not dress properly, as noted by a correspondent of the Manchester Guardian:

Among the strange looking people whom this regatta has brought together, not the least strange were the certain crew of four sturdy New Brunswickers – with their flesh-coloured jerseys, dark cloth trousers, leather braces, and bright pink caps, they were in striking contrast to their neat competitors.

(Brian Flood, Saint John: A Sporting Tradition 1785-1985)