Friday, February 10, 2012

2011-2012 Indoor Rowing Season One of the Best Yet: Impressive Erg Scores from the U.S. and Abroad



As has been acknowledged on the FISA website, this season of winter training has produced some of the most impressive ergometer results ever recorded, and, given the nature of the 'information superhighway' and the greater tendency among athletes to share their erg scores than in previous years, we know more than ever before about these impressive feats. (Disclaimer: the following is not intended to be a comprehensive list, but rather a selection from a season laden with highlights.) The above video shows Henrik Stephansen of Denmark breaking his own world record for lightweight men (besting his previous performance by over a second, from 5:58.5 to 5:57.4), and (amazingly), judging from his appearance following the test, he looks as though he could have gone even faster in his current form.

Not long ago, Cédric Berrest set a new French record for 2k, posting a 5:44.6 on a stationary 'ergo,' and, more recently, defending Olympic champion Olaf Tufte posted a 5:46.9 at the Norwegian Indoor Rowing Championships, while Frida Svensson of Sweden won the women's event in Norway with a time of 6:48.4. Going the distance, Anna Watkins of Team GB set a new world record for 5k, with a 16:56.4 (1:41.6 avg/500m). And speaking of long-distance, Eric Murray's 60-minute test has been widely discussed, but his 2k result of 5:41.8 has flown largely under the radar. Rounding out the recent international scores, the Canadian men's lightweight group has posted some very competitive times, as evidenced by Rares Crisan's most recent blog post (which, in addition to including raw scores from the most recent 2k on sliders–6:04, 6:07, 6:08, and 6:10–shows Crisan's knowledge of and appreciation for the Wu-Tang Clan).

Domestically, friend of RR and UVA men's rowing alum Matt Miller was back in action at the Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints last Saturday, and posted a 5:51.7 (dropping his score from last year by three seconds). Sarah Trowbridge (2011 U.S. national team member, placed ninth in the W2x in Bled with Kathleen Bertko), representing Potomac Boat Club, took first place in the open women's category at 'Mid-Atlantics,' with a time of 6:54.3. And last, but certainly not least, from the U.S. men's eight camp in Oakland, Beijing bronze medalist Steven Coppola recently congratulated Beijing boatmate Josh Inman for a 2x6k performance in which Inman managed two sub 19 minute pieces in a Twitter post.

Crash-Bs are just around the corner!

-RR

2 comments:

  1. Does anybody have an idea how times from the C2 dynamic erg compare to times on the normal stationary machine? Not trying to take away from his impressive scores, but both of Murray's "records" are on the relatively untested dynamic erg and I doubt that they are equivalent.

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    1. Thanks for the comment! Short answer is that there are not yet enough data to make a solid comparison, but that it is not the same relationship as with stationary v. sliders. Dynamic appears to be a different technique, and not necessarily 'easier.' I wrote an article (in the current issue of Rowing News) on the topic, with input from Concept2 and Eric Murray–interesting responses from both.

      Cheers,

      Bryan

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