While there has been a Head of the Lake trophy for the women’s open single for many years, it has never been named. As of 2015, it will be known as the “Lucy Pocock Stillwell Cup.”
Lucy Pocock was a pioneer in women’s rowing, paving the way for other women to race while also inspiring more women to take up the sport. Lucy began winning races in 1906, proving that ladies were not too delicate for sport. She was the sculling champion of England in 1910-1911. In 1912, she became the first Thames Ladies Championship Sculler.
Having successfully defended her Championship in a rematch and, with her prize money, she paid for herself, her father and her younger sister to travel to Canada to join brothers George and Dick at their shell building business in Vancouver, B.C. In the fall of 1913, they moved to Seattle to build shells and work with Hiram Conibear’s University of Washington crews.
At that time, there was a ban on women’s rowing due to lack of facilities and concerns about the physical demands rowing placed on women. Women were limited to ‘form competitions’. A quote from one of the rowers that was posted on the locker room door around that time said “I like to row, but I like to race even better”. In 1913 the facilities were rebuilt and women’s crew was reinstated. She became the first coach of the University of Washington’s woman’s rowing team under whom racing was allowed. She often coached the women while rowing a single. There were no other college programs in the NW so they had to compete against themselves in interclass races. Coach Conibear, the advisory coach for the women’s crews, was quoted saying that Miss Pocock was making remarkable progress with the women’s team. Lucy was a true trailblazer for women’s rowing!