Jack Guest

Birth: Montreal, Quebec, March 28, 1906
Death: Toronto, Ontario, June 12, 1972
Inducted: Canada Sports Hall Of Fame 1955
1928. Amsterdam Olympics, Silver medal in double sculls; time: 6:51:00!
1929. Canadian Henley, National Single Sculls title
1930. Henley Royal Regatta, Diamond Sculls title
1938-1952 – President, Don Rowing Club
1946-1956 – President, Dominion Day Regatta Association
1955-1956 – President, Canadian Association of Amateur Oarsmen
1956 – Manager, Canadian Olympic Rowing Team
1960-1968 – Director, Canadian Olympic Association


Hard Work And Dedication Were The Cornerstones Of A Championship Title

Long before intensive training programs became common practice for athletes, Jack Guest Sr. proved that hard work and dedication were the corner stones of a hampionship title. “Jack of Diamonds” fulfilled his dreams when he claimed the world Diamond Sculls title at the Henley Royal Regatta in 1930.

Guest began his rowing career at Toronto’s Don Rowing Club in 1924, and a year later moved to the Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club. He began rowing in crews of fours and eights but soon proved himself to be a brilliant single sculler. Guest claimed the Canadian junior and association singles titles in 1927.


Jack Guest and Joe Wright






















A keen rivalry soon developed between Guest and fellow Argonaut rower Joe Wright Jr. Guest and Wright were known as the rowing twins of Canada, not only because they were born on the same day, but also because they were constantly neck-in-neck for single sculling titles. Guest narrowly lost the coveted Diamond Sculls title to his rival in 1928.

Despite any tension that might have existed between them, these two champion oarsmen combined forces later that year at the Olympics in Amsterdam, claiming a silver medal in the double sculls.

Guest won the national single sculls title in 1929 but lost the Diamond Sculls to Wright once again. With a driving determination to reach the top, Guest returned to the Don Rowing Club and started a rigorous 12-month training program with coach Harry Arlett. During the winter, he built up his strength and stamina in the gym, and in the spring he perfected his form on the water. By the time he reached the 1930 Henley Royal Regatta in England, Guest was in top shape. He sped victoriously through all of his heats, while Wright was defeated by German oarsman Boetzelen. When Guest met Boetzelen in the finals, the race was almost anti-climactic. Guest effortlessly crossed the finish line 200 yards in front of the German boat to claim the diamond sculls title.

After achieving his goal, Guest retired from competition, but he remained involved in the rowing world the rest of his life. He served as president of the Don Rowing Club from 1938-52, the Dominion Day Regatta Association from 1946-56, and the Canadian Association of Amateur Oarsmen from 1955-56. After managing the Olympic rowing team in 1956, he served as Director of the Canadian Olympic Association from 1960-68. In addition, Guest was the first Canadian elected to the International Rowing Federation (FISA) in 1969.


Jack Guest was a popular winner. His easy, long stroke was beautiful to watch: the English sporting papers raved about it. He was known to row at low rate, in long, effortless, flowing strokes. As Ted Reeve wrote at the time, “The Henley crowd dotes on a good style, and when the big Canadian came down the course as if he were coasting they were ready to roll over and butter themselves.”
Guy Nickalls, the great English rower who won five consecutive Diamond Sculls, wrote in his 1939 autobiography that Jack Guest was “the most perfect sculler that I have ever seen.”
After winning Diamond Sculls, on his return home, Toronto was on its feet. It is said that more than 70 000 people greeted him, including the Mayor of Toronto

Jack Guest Arrival 1930

On his arrival from England, after winning Diamond Sculls 1930, it is reported that 70 000 people came out on the street to meet and greet the champion, including the Mayor of Toronto. It was a true ‘rock star’ welcome.








Jack Guest Sr. and Jr. 1952

Jack Guest Sr. and Jr. 1952


His son, Jack Guest, Jr., also competed internationally in rowing; he was selected for the 1952 Olympics but had to withdraw due to injury.








Katie Guest 2009

His grand granddaughter Katie also rowed in Don Rowing Club, before she left for US, on a rowing scholarship.


Jack Guest Memorial Trophy – Senior Men Singles

DDRA and Don Rowing Club are excited to report that we are reinstalling Jack Guest Trophy, for Men’s Senior Singles winner. Previous winners include Olympians, Canadian and International champions. So, Senior Men Singles – put your best foot forward!

Previous winners of the trophy:

1973 Peter Barr, St. Catharines

1974 David Mossop, St. Catharines

1975 Bill Scolle, Thunder Bay

1976 Tony Novotny, St. Catharines

1977 Serge Dubouis, Boucherville

1978 Brian Elliot, Ridley

1979 P. Beedling, St. Catharines

1980 Dave Patchell Evans, Western

1981 Greg Murphy, St. Catharines

1982 Paul Beedling, Western

1983 Greg Murphy, St. Catharines

1984 Mel LaForme, Leander

1985 Rob Haag, Argonaut

1986 Phil Monckton, Argonaut

1987 Henry Herring Quebec

1988 Phil Moncton, Argonaut

1989 Rob Marland, Don

1990 Bob Blunt, Argonaut

2014 Matthew Greenwood, Don

2015 Aubrey Oldham, Leander