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One of the finest oarsmen in the history of rowing in Thunder Bay, Bill Scollie held an overall record of more than 150 victories covering his two decades as a competitor. Born in Port Arthur in 1941 it was in his early 20s that he joined the Fort William Rowing Club and in no time at all was gliding past his toughest competitors.

Competing in singles, doubles, fours and eights, he found success in the majority of the races he entered. Moving quickly from the junior to senior category he placed first in a variety of events at competitions in Ontario and Minnesota. Taking a five year hiatus from the sport starting in the late 1960s, he turned his attention to other sporting endeavours including, golf, and remained active in rowing as a coach.

Jumping back into the sport after acquiring a new boat he picked up where he left off, winning the Thunder Bay Regatta, and placing second in the 1973 Ontario championships. In 1974 he amassed a total of 13 gold medals throughout the year in events such as the Ontario Championship, the highly competitive Royal Canadian Henley Regatta and earned a second place finish at the Canadian Rowing Championships. The following season he was standing atop the podium as the 1975 Canadian Singles Champion.

Opting out of trying to qualify for Canada’s Olympic team he ventured into World competition, earning a spot on the National team and traveling to Nottingham, England to compete in the 1975 World Championships where he just missed making the top 12 list in a very competitive field.

In 1977 he brought home double team gold from the Royal Canadian Henley contributing to the Thunder Bay Rowing Club victories in the Senior Heavyweight Pair and Fours. He rounded out his incredible rowing career in style by claiming the Master’s Men’s Singles title at the 1980 Canadian Amateur Rowing Association Regatta.

Remaining involved in the sport as a recreational rower, he continued to be a strong promoter of the sport and passed along his knowledge to the next generation of rowing stars who carried on his tradition of excellence on the water.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 29, 1984

Bill Scollie

Thunder Bay
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