Émile Thubron

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameErnest Blakelock "Émile"•Thubron
Used nameÉmile•Thubron
Born15 July 1861 in Boldon, England (GBR)
Died22 May 1927 in Tokomaru, Manawatu-Wanganui (NZL)
NOC France
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


A keen cyclist, Ernest “Émile” Thubron was one of the founder members, and vice-captain, of the Boldon Cycling Club in 1879 before later riding for the Sunderland Bicycle Club. Thubron ventured into motor boat racing in the early part of the 20th century and was the owner of Trefle-à-Quatre (Four Leafed Clover) winner of the coveted Harmsworth Trophy 1904. His craft was driven by automobile manufacturer Charles-Henri Brasier whose Richard-Brasier cars carried the logo of a Trefle-à-Quatre and won the 1904 and 1905 Gordon Bennett Cup. Although he was British, Thubron’s boat Camille was built in France and was entered for the A-Class motorboating event at the 1908 Olympics under the French flag to give the event a more international feel about it. Camille did not take part in the first of the two races but was the only finisher in race two to capture the gold medal. An appeal was lodged against Thubron on the grounds he took the wrong course but the appeal was thrown out.

Thubron was an engineer and worked on Lord Kitchener’s Dongola Expedition in Sudan in 1896. He lived and worked in Egypt in the early part of the 20th century. His American-born wife was a descendant of Samuel Morse, the inventor of the Morse code and their grandson Colin Thubron was a well known British travel writer and novelist. Émile retired to New Zealand where he died in 1927.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Motorboating FRA Émile Thubron
A-Class (Open), Open (Olympic) 1 Gold