About Thomas Jordan
Reported in "The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser" of Tuesday 12 March 1878:
"Sculling Match for Twenty Pounds. A-side. A rowing contest took place on Saturday afternoon last, says the Newcastle Herald of yesterday, between Thomas Jordan, who so easily defeated Dempsey a short time back and William Latham, both of Mosquito Island, for £20 a side. This match, which has been impending for some time, arose out of the late defeat of Dempsey. The course was from the Waratah shoots to the red beacon off the Mar- ket Wharf, a distance of about two and three quarter miles, The day promised to be a very suitable one in the morning but, towards the afternoon, a strong breeze from the southward sprang up, which caused the water to be some what broken. About four o'olook the men drew up for the start, and Jordan appeared very confident, though Latham was considered to be in the best condition. Jordan was favourite, and the betting was 6 to 5 on him Jack Dunnett, who performed the triple duty of starter, umpire, and referee, sent the men away on even terms; but Jordon seemed to get hold of the water first. Latham, however, soon got level, and a grand struggle ensued for about 290 yards, when Jordon took the lead, and seemed to go away as he liked. Offers of £20 to £5, and £5 to £2 were freely made on Jordon at this stage, with no takers. When about a quarter of a mile had been traversed, the Sappho (s ), which was accompanying the race, crossed in front of Jordon, thereby giving him a considerable wash, which caused an outburst of indignation from his friends on the Perserverence (s ), which was also in attendance. A mile from the start, Jordan had a load of about six lengths, and was evi- dently husbanding his strength. Latham seemed then to thoroughly settle down to his work, and soon lessened the gap till he was within two lengths of his rival. The betting now changed to level money, and the friends of Latham were jubilant. Jordan, however, held his own for another quarter of a mile; and then Latham again spurted, and got the nose of his boat almost level with Jordon's skulls. Jordan then went away again, and kept about half a boat's length ahead, until near the finish, in- creasing his lead to about two lengths when passing the red beacon. Latham pulled one of the best "losing races " we have ever witnessed, and his repeated spurts, which were really brilliant, "brought down" the steamers. Both men were completely exhausted at the finish. A very large number of persons had assembled on the wharf to witness the result, and there was great excitement amongst them. Martin Jordan steered his brother, and Latham's brother did the needful for him. Time, 23 min."