Billy Webb

(1880 - 1960)

Billy Webb
Webb was the first of a long line of great New Zealand oarsmen.

He was the standardbearer for New Zealand in the quest for the world professional singles sculls title, a much-followed sporting event early this century.

Webb first won the title in Sydney in 1907 when he beat champion Charles Towns on the Parramatta River and such was the public response there was a formal move to rename Wanganui “Webbanui”.

He successfully defended his title on the Whanganui River in 1908 watched by a crowd of 25,000 including the Premier, Sir Joseph Ward. Later that year, he lost the title to fellow New Zealander Richard Arnst.

It was Webb who created the climate for Arnst and another New Zealander to win the world title, Darcy Hadfield.
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