Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Five Rowing Moments of 2013, Part IV: Washington Sweeps Second Straight IRA Regatta



Our pick for the No. 2 moment in rowing this year goes to the Washington Huskies for sweeping the IRA Regatta for the second straight year—a very rare feat—despite losing Luke McGee to the U.S. national team early in the campaign. The Washington varsity eight had a season to remember, including wins against Cambridge (on the Boat Race course) and the Polish national crew (at Henley) in addition to another IRA title, but ultimately, the story once again for Washington was top-to-bottom dominance at the national level. Not only did the Huskies win all five races in Sacramento, but they won each of the eights races by more than a length en route to their unprecedented seventh straight Ten Eyck Trophy. Hats off once again to Michael Callahan and Rick Gherst for another great performance with the national title on the line in 2013.

Our pick for the No. 1 rowing moment in 2013 is coming up tomorrow—until then, enjoy your New Year's Eve celebrations (and Happy New Year to those readers in New Zealand and Australia)! You can read our full recap of the 2013 IRA Regatta here. And, give us your feedback on what you'd like to see more of here on RR in our reader poll.

-RR

Monday, December 30, 2013

Top Five Rowing Moments of 2013, Part III: The Harry Parker Memorial Row



Without a doubt one of the most influential coaches in the history of our sport, Harry Parker was honored in the most fitting way in August, when members of Crimson crews ranging from the 1960s to the 2000s came together in Boston for the Harry Parker Memorial Row. Olympians like Charlie Hamlin, Tiff Wood, Adam Holland, and Malcolm Howard (among many others) were on hand, spread out among the roughly 50 crews that promenaded down the Charles past Newell Boathouse, where a banner that read simply, "Thank You, Harry," stretched across the building's crimson façade above the boat bay doors. While it marked a sad occasion, the event itself was a tremendous tribute to a legend in his own time, and one whose coaching resume may never be equalled.

Our pick for No. 2 moment in rowing this year is coming up tomorrow! You can read more about the Harry Parker Memorial Row and further tributes to the legendary Harvard coach via the official website of the Crimson.

-RR

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Top Five Rowing Moments of 2013, Part II: Bond and Murray—Peerless



The Kiwi Pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray are featured here quite a bit, and for good reason. While there's no shortage of records to their name, perhaps one of the most meaningful and long lasting will be the one that they set with their performance at the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, where they eclipsed Ekaterina Karsten's number for most consecutive international victories—the tally so far? 16. Among those international wins are four world titles and an Olympic gold medal, and, based on their recent performances on the erg, they don't show any signs of slowing down.

The video above shows the duo shortly after their first international victory in the pair at the Munich world cup in 2009, on their way to winning the Silver Goblets & Nickalls' Challenge Cup—a race that set up a would-be rivalry with GB's top oarsmen Andy Triggs Hodge and Pete Reed that lasted through the 2011 season. This year, Bond and Murray won the event at Henley for the third time, equalling the course record en route to victory.

Coming up tomorrow is our pick for the No. 3 rowing moment in 2013—keep it locked! And, in the meantime, let us know what you'd like to see more of here on RR in our reader poll.

-RR

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Top Five Rowing Moments of 2013, Part I: Kjetil Borch Destroys Course Record on the Charles



Today we kick off a five-day event here at RowingRelated, celebrating the top five moments in rowing from 2013—coming your way will be one of our top picks each day, with the overall top moment to be announced on January 1, 2014, just to get the New Year started off right. And so, without further ado, here's why Kjetil Borch's performance at the 49th Head Of The Charles is on our pick for No. 5.

Not only did Norway's Kjetil Borch repeat as champion at the Head Of The Charles in 2013, he did so in record time. How remarkable was his performance? Borch bested the previous course record by some 17 seconds, backing up his victory at the 2013 World Rowing Championships in South Korea along with partner Nils Jakob Hoff (who also broke the previous course record in Boston, but finished roughly 11 seconds back of Borch). Listening to his FISA interview (above), Borch managed to prove himself something of a prophet: "We will make it to the final, and we will try to give our best to earn a medal. That is the goal—anything else is not good enough."

Our pick for No. 4 is coming up tomorrow! In the meantime, take a second to vote in our reader poll—what would you like to see more of on RR?

-The RR Team

Monday, December 23, 2013

Video Of The Week: Watch Bond and Murray Take Down Two More World Records



As 2013 draws to a close, the records continue to fall as the best rowers in the world push themselves to new heights. If there were any remaining questions about whether or not Eric Murray's 60-minute record, set on a dynamic erg in December of 2011, meant something, then those questions have officially been put to rest. In the above video, posted yesterday to the Kiwi Pair's YouTube Channel, Eric Murray set a new world record for the half marathon distance (21,097 meters) on a stationary erg, with a time of 1:07:58.1. The split? 1:36.6. Not to be outdone, his pair partner, Hamish Bond, also cranked out a new world record on the stationary erg, this time for a 60-minute piece, with a 1:37.5—a split that Bond (at 6'2" and roughly 200 lbs) maintained at a rate of 26 strokes per minute.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Double-Feature Video Of The Week: Winter Training, Two Ways



This week's double-feature is all about winter training, be it on land, or on camp. The above video comes to us from Bernhard Stomporowski of California Rowing Club, who is in Mexico City with the U.S. women's lightweight double training on the 1968 Olympics course. For athletes Kristin Hedstrom and Kate Bertko, it looks like the trip was timed just right, escaping the cold snap in Northern California (it was a frigid—get ready for this—37 degrees for about three hours one morning in San Francisco) and catching some rays at altitude (the real reason for the trip, no doubt).



Meanwhile, in France, lightweight phenom Jérémie Azou was at it again, breaking the French official record for lightweight men in a time of 6:06.1 (though this is not a personal best—last year, Azou recorded an unofficial 6:02.9 before picking up a silver in the LM1x in Chungju). Given that this result comes from early December, it looks like Azou will be even faster this spring—though whether his double partner Stany Delayre (who missed worlds after a boat collision in training last summer) is able to return remains to be seen.

Thanks to Hugues for sending along the video! Have a submission for 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestions via Twitter, or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

-RR

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Video: Watch Roel Braas Set a New Dutch Indoor Record for 2k



The records have already started to fall early in this 2013-2014 indoor rowing season. Just a few weeks ago, California Rowing Club's Kate Bertko broke her own world record for 6k, recording a 21:45.3 having weighed in a 129.6 pounds (smashing her previous record of 22:06.3 also set this year). And now, the 26-year-old Olympian Roel Braas has continued to add to what has already been an outstanding year with a new Dutch record, posting a 5:43.7 after an all-out battle with the young Stef Broenink (just 23 years of age), who finished close behind in 5:45.3. Braas announced his candidacy for the podium at the world level with a victory over defending Olympic champion Mahé Drysdale at the 2013 Holland Beker, and backed up that performance with a fifth-place finish in Chungju in a hotly contested final, which saw all six scullers finish within 11 seconds of one another (Braas' time was roughly seven seconds short of world champion Ondrej Synek, and three seconds from a medal). Like the USRowing's Elle Logan, Braas managed to crack the A final at the highest level of sculling after competing in the eight at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Have a tip or breaking news you think we should share? Get in touch via email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, contact us via Twitter, or reach out via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

-RR

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

True Grit: Row2Recovery Takes on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge

It's nearly winter. For many a rowing program, there are many miles to be logged on the erg, weights to be lifted, body circuits to be done. And there are many people under the impression that those things are hard.



Enter Row2Recovery. Row2Recovery provides Para-Rowing to the British Military and partners with the charity Help for Heroes, which supports wounded veterans. The 2013 Row2Recovery crew, featured in the video above, is minutes away from embarking on a 3,000 mile journey across the Atlantic: The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. The four servicemen are Lance Corporal Cayle Royce, Corporal Scott Blaney, Captain Mark Jenkins, and Captain James Kayll. Both Royce and Blaney suffered life-changing injuries while serving in Afghanistan (you can read the crew bios here). Together, these men will compete against crews made up entirely of able-bodied rowers over a racecourse that spans an ocean. Now that, dear reader, is hard.

Not only are these men taking on a tremendous challenge, and raising money for charity in the process, they are also shining a light on the power of will—after all, its the very motto of the enterprise: "Beyond Injury, Achieving the Extraordinary."

You can follow all the action from the event—billed as 'the world's toughest rowing race'—via the official website of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, as well as via their Twitter handle: @RowTheAtlantic.

-RR

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Late-Night Edition Video Of The Week: CR(C)AZY



Not only are the folks at California Rowing Club going fast, they're having a good time doing it. This week's video, courtesy of the one and only Bernhard Stomporowski, is one for the ages, offering a comprehensive look at a day in the life in Alameda, California, with a typically quirky soundtrack. The CRC athletes are shown sculling in mixed crews, logging miles on land, and even talking a little friendly smack between pieces in this training video, shot just prior to the West Coast Speed Order (hosted at the club). And it's not just banter, either:

Hey—we're not exactly sure what's going on over there, but whatever you're doing, keep doing it.

Have a submission for 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestions via Twitter, or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

-RR

Monday, November 25, 2013

Winter Erg(o) Music, Part Two: Will Daly's 6k Mix



You don't go to the Olympics without pulling a solid 6k, and Will Daly is no exception to that rule—in fact, he just recorded the fastest lightweight men's score at the OKC High Performance Center earlier this month, with a 19:45.7 at the Midwest Speed Order. Here are Will's thoughts on putting together the right playlist for a 6k race piece:
A 6k playlist has to be loud and full of energy. I like to start mine off with a song that is high energy, but not an anthem—something that is a little longer to really get you into the piece. In this case, I chose Teisto's "Love and Run." Then push the gas peddle down a little more with the Martin Garrix's new hit "Wizard." After that, we go into overdrive with "Stampede" by Dmitri Vegas &Like Mike vs DVBBS & Borgeous. SLVR and Antidote carry us through the real pain and grind. Finally, it's on to the sprint, and we have the huge anthem Tsunami to carry us home. I normally set up the playlist to tie in with the timing of my own piece, but I also make sure to put a little something extra on the end, in case someone is having a tough go of things.
So there you have it—whether you are focusing on putting in high-quality miles of steady state, or gearing up for your best 6k test yet, we've got you covered this winter. Thanks very much to Will for putting these playlists together, and happy hunting on the erg! The 2014 Crash-B Sprints are set for February 16th, 2014.

-RR

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hour of Power Erg(o) Mixtape with U.S. Olympian Will Daly

Brace yourselves: winter is coming
Beijing Olympian and 2016 hopeful Will Daly is no stranger to logging high-quality miles on the erg. And, he knows just the kind of tunes that can help motivate you, whether you're knocking out an hour of power, or pushing through a 6k test. Our first installment is perfect for your Sunday afternoon workout—just over 60 minutes of music to help you stay focused and on point through your steady-state or controlled-rate piece. From Will:
So I am big into EDM [electronic dance music], especially when working out. I think things that are up tempo and have a good beat make you want to stay active and keep moving. This playlist isn't overly energetic, with big anthems or too much Dub or Trap, but its something nice to get you through that hour of training. I am big into Rudimental right now, and I'm also a huge fan of the Avicii song, "You Make Me." I am also really into Hardwell at the moment. (Who isn't? He was just named #1 DJ of 2013. I recommend just putting on one of his live sets for a work out—it's great.) There is also some nice remixed rap near the middle, which I find to be a nice way to break up the set and the workout.



Coming up tomorrow: Will's mix for that all important 6k test, looming ever larger as we enter winter training in earnest. In the meantime, read more about Will's racing career in our 2011 interview.

-RR

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Video Of The Week: Rowing versus Kayaking Down Under



This week's video comes to us from the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia, where a star-studded crew of Aussie international rowers took on an equally loaded K4 (kayak) over a 500m course. The conditions were a bit tricky, but these athletes make it look easy, and the race is quite a barnburner. The event, a publicity stunt done right for 776BC, has generated quite a buzz (the video, uploaded yesterday, already has over 14,000 views at time of writing), and for good reason—it's very cool that Olympians like 2012 silver medalists Josh Dunkley-Smith and Will Lockwood were willing to mix it up with pride on the line. While the K4 got the better of them this time, there's no shame in it—the crew of Tate Smith, David Smith, Murray Stewart, and Jacob Clear were Olympic champions in London. You can read more about the background of the race via the official website of the Australian Olympic Committee, as well as via Reddit.

Have a submission for 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestions via Twitter, or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

-RR

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fall Season Review: Who's Ahead in the Collegiate Ranks as Winter Training Begins?

Cal varsity eight

The fall racing season has drawn, in large part, to an end, and as we move into that 'long, dark, tea-time of the soul' that is winter training, it's time to take a look back at the best performances of 'Michaelmas term.' There has been a great deal of change in collegiate rowing this season, with the passing of legendary coach Harry Parker and the subsequent appointment of long-time Harvard Lightweight coach Charley Butt to the position of Bolles-Parker Head Coach for Harvard Men's Heavyweight Crew, and a host of new talent rising to the intercollegiate ranks after stellar junior careers. The fall also saw a handful of young programs challenging perennial contenders, no shortage of speed at the international level, and the first opportunities for rivals to lock horns (but hopefully not oars) on the water, setting the stage for what will surely be an epic spring season. Let's take a look, shall we?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Video Of The Week: On the Water with the University of Cape Town



This week's video comes to us from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where the summer racing season has nearly arrived even as we in the Northern Hemisphere prepare to tackle winter training (of that, more later). While it's little more than one minute in length, you'll be excited to race by the time it draws to a close. This isn't the first time we've featured the UCT crew—they produced this awesome video back in 2011—and, given what we've seen so far, it likely won't be the last. The clip above comes from a longer video showcasing all the sports offered at the university (for the full version, click here).

It has been a busy week behind the scenes at RR, as I've been quite busy putting together two year-end features for the upcoming issue of Rowing Magazine. It has been quite a busy week on the water as well, and we'll have some thoughts and opinions on the teams to watch entering the 2014 season, coming up soon here on RR.


Also, before we begin to look too closely at the coming year, I'd like to note that October 11th marked the third anniversary of our first post here on RowingRelated. In that three years, I've had the opportunity to meet, work with, and even count as friends some of the people I've long looked up to in the rowing world, travel across the U.S. and beyond, and contribute to the very magazine that has helped me to better understand and follow the sport since I began rowing. And that, dear reader, is a long-winded way of saying thank you.

Whether you've shared one of our articles, followed us on Twitter or Facebook, or simply enjoyed a bit of rowing banter on the interwebs here on RR, to quote that most illustrious of convenience store chains, "every little helps." All joking aside, your readership is greatly appreciated by the whole team here at RowingRelated.

Have a submission for 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestions via Twitter, or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

-Bryan

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Video Of The Week: Behind the Scenes with Washington at the Head of the Lake



This week's video gives us a behind the scenes look at the University of Washington Huskies as they prepare for and race the Head of the Lake, which took place over the weekend in Seattle. The video, brought to you by freshman Kevin Shoop, kicks off with shots of the Huskies warming up in the Conibear Shellhouse, and follows their progress through the day. The Huskies have enjoyed a series of seasons at the top, and capped off an undefeated season in the varsity eight—including winning the Head Of The Charles, defeating the Cambridge Blue Boat in their Tideway Fixture, and winning their third-straight IRA title—as part of the Huskies' second-straight sweep of the IRA Regatta in June. This year, the Huskies may have an even greater task on their hands, with the 'other' Huskies on the rise at Northeastern, a very strong program at Brown, Harvard looking very quick on home water, California back in the mix for the medals at the varsity level after a fifth-place finish at the 2013 IRAs, and Princeton and Yale looking to build on solid results last season—and they'll have to tackle it without a heavy-hitter in Conlin McCabe, who graduated last season after anchoring (in a good way) the UW varsity eight in the six seat in 2013. That's not to say he has left the building, however:

Having started the season with a ninth-place finish at the Head Of The Charles (fifth place among collegiate crews), the Huskies ran the table in the eights in Seattle at the HOTL, their final race of the fall season. For complete results from Seattle, visit the official website of the Head of the Lake. Also, check out a nice gallery of photos from the HOTL thanks to Kevin Light here.

Have a submission for 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestions via Twitter, or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

-RR

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Costumes and Rowing: Mike Gennaro Showing Us How it's Done

While we're anticipating another good weekend of racing, with data from the Head Of The Charles, the Head of the Schuylkill, and the Princeton Chase already available for rowing hot stove discussions, it's nearly time to get serious again. But before we do that, we'd be remiss if we didn't celebrate some of the best rowing Halloween costumes of the 2013 season. And, never short on banter, Mike Gennaro and his fellow teammates on the U.S. squad brought their A-game to Lake Carnegie this morning.

While Gennaro may be the first-ever hot dog to do pieces in a pair, Grant James was keeping things in order in the bow, though the rowing was a bit, robotic (sorry).

Monday, October 28, 2013

Double-Feature Video Of The Week: Elevating the Recruiting Video to an Art Form



This week's double-feature is thanks to your submissions, and showcases two equally well executed, yet totally different approaches to the recruiting video. In fact, I hesitate to use the term recruiting video, lest it cheapen the efforts of the filmmakers here—from the variety of shots, to the careful editing, to the clear narrative that each video follows, these films are fine pieces of work. In the above video, Chris Mare introduces us to Sagamore Rowing Association in a piece that gives an impression of the variety of boat classes, the skill and technique involved, and the natural beauty of rowing and sculling, all without a single spoken word.



Our second feature comes from Julien Rodier and the University of Vermont, where we are shown the full arc of a season of training in seven minutes, thoughtfully narrated and capped off with a great line: "We have our own lives, our own aspirations, our own goals. But when we get in that boat, we are one—one life, one aspiration, one goal. We are more than just a team. We are a crew."

While, in both cases, the rowing itself isn't as polished as at the top-flight varsity programs, the values that are celebrated—hard work, teamwork, dedication, selflessness—are universal, and, in many ways, define our sport. Hats off, gents.

Have a submission for 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestions via Twitter, or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

-RR

Friday, October 25, 2013

Caution: Falling Records at the Head Of The Charles



Last weekend in Boston saw many records fall, and new stars rise. Indeed, as pointed out by World Rowing, ideal weather conditions and tremendous talent came together to produce no fewer than 20 new course records. Also, given the proliferation of digital video cameras on the water, it was perhaps the most well-documented race in the 49-year history of the event (see above—and thanks to Phil Hoyle of Potomac Boat Club for submitting what is likely the first-ever 'five-seat view' Charles race video).

The competition was heavily laden with international stars in our sport, and the men's championship single event was a prime example, featuring newly crowned world champions Kjetil Borch and Nils Jakob Hoff of Norway, defending Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale, U.S. Olympian Tom Paradiso, and several U.S. athletes recently returned from sculling events in Chungju in the form of John Graves, Ben Dann, and Willy Cowles. Not only did Borch repeat as champion, he crushed the course record by some 17 seconds. So fast was Borch that his double partner Hoff, who also broke the record by roughly six seconds, had to settle for second place. Drysdale finished third, and looks to be getting back into the right kind of shape, with a more focused approach and attitude after having taken some time away from sculling following his Olympic title last year—not to mention some quality post-race banter:

Graves finished an impressive fifth, just behind Dutch Olympian Jozef Klaassen two seconds ahead in fourth place. The result for Graves put him just over 2% back of Borch, and less than four seconds back of Drysdale.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Video Of The Week: Michigan Alumni Honor Bill Schnittman at 2013 Head Of The Charles



The 2013 Head Of The Charles is in the books, and the 49th edition of rowing's 'Fall Classic' had all the drama, close finishes, and great racing that so characterize the event. A great deal of international talent was on display throughout the weekend, with the above crew from Michigan—stroked by 2012 U.S. Olympian Tom Peszek—taking fourth place in the men's alumni eight on Saturday afternoon, just three seconds back of a Cambridge alumni crew (Crabtree) stroked by double Olympic gold medalist Tom James of Great Britain. The Michigan crew donned special uniforms, designed by the late Bill Schnittman, in honor of their fallen Wolverine teammate. The championship events were, as usual, loaded—we'll take a closer look at our favorite moments from the 2013 Charles later this week. In the meantime, you can get caught up on all the action in Boston, and view complete regatta results, via the official website of the Head Of The Charles.

Also on tap are more of your recruiting videos—thanks for all your submissions and we'll post our top picks later this week, and feature our overall favorite as next week's #VOTW.

Have a submission for 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestions via Twitter, or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

-RR

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Charles Chat: Riverside's Sean Wolf on Taking the Best Line in Boston

Wolf racing the Head Of The Charles (Photo courtesy Igor Belakovskiy)

The Head Of The Charles is looming ever larger this weekend, and the rowing world has already begun to descend upon Boston. The Charles is a fantastic, fun race, and a challenging course. Here, we check in with friend of RR Sean Wolf of Riverside Boat Club and Rowing Illustrated—a man who has spent many morning and evening flying down that famous stretch of river—about what he feels are the most difficult turns on the course, and how to approach them.

RR: I’m not calling you old, but you’re one of the ‘venerable’ (old) Charles competitors, so it seemed only right to check in with you on what you feel is the most difficult turn at the Head Of The Charles, and how to handle it.

Sean Wolf: [Laughs] It’s a good question. Everyone talks about [John W.] Weeks Bridge—I always stress to people that it’s not so much about messing up as you begin the turn, it’s how you recover from a mistake. Sometimes people just don’t recover in the right way, if that makes sense. Most people don’t get it 100 percent right—Weeks is a difficult turn. If you don’t come through Weeks right, you could be totally thrown off for Anderson [Memorial] Bridge. I come through Weeks, I find my point off the clock tower—when I finish up with my turn, I look straight up, find the clock tower there and use the base of the clock tower to take a direct line from the tower to the right side of Anderson Bridge.

Most people, if they don’t approach Weeks right, then they don’t recover, and it just spirals out of control by the time they reach Anderson. It’s important not to overcorrect—you can lose 10 seconds in that stretch if you try to do too much.

For me, I worry about Boston University Bridge when they set up the chute—there are too many of us that end up hitting the B.U. Bridge depending on the way they line up the starting queue because we’re just used to approaching it in a different way. So that’s my own little struggle getting through there—I usually get it down, but it’s always in the back of my mind.

RR: What about the age-old debate about the right-hand arches versus the center arches on the Powerhouse Stretch?

SW: It’s all about what’s going on in front of you, if you are passing people. For years international crews have come down and used those right-hand arches to just blow by a couple boats if they start in the back of the pack, and a lot of the hometown scullers, if the turn is set up right, will go through the first right arch. However, you can get lost if you’re trying to get over to the right arch and get sucked into shore if you don’t do it right. I always tell people that when you come off the turn, see where you are—you don’t want to overcorrect either direction. If you end up more toward the middle, then go for the straight shot. If you end up more on the right side, then go right first then center. The fastest shot, I’ve always felt, is to go right, center, center through the three bridge of the Powerhouse Stretch. But again, it all depends on how you come off that Magazine Beach turn—you don’t want to spend time correcting, you just want to take that straight shot and go.

RR: I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you about the increasingly famous (infamous?) Riverside party on Sunday night. There’s a video floating around using some of The Spracklen Philosophy that even Kevin Light thought was pretty funny.

SW: It’s the party to go to—my company, WinTech King, is sponsoring it this year along with Riverside. We’re looking forward to a great time, people getting together from all levels of rowing just to have some drinks and tell some good stories. And as for the rest—how does that Las Vegas slogan go?

Thanks very much to Sean for taking the time, and good luck to everyone racing in Boston this weekend!

-RR

Monday, October 14, 2013

Video Of The Week: Head Race Training with Maritime Rowing



It's Charles week! In honor of that most famous parade through the heart of Boston, we're taking a look at the hard work that it takes to get there. Maritime Rowing Club's men's masters crew is entered in the men's club eight event for Saturday afternoon, and features 2009 USRowing U23 national teamer Nate Kelly (formerly of Trinity College) in the stroke seat, and former junior and U23 national team oarsman Brendan McEwan (a Georgetown alum) in the six seat. Not only does the above video involve some nifty editing and camera work, it sums of the kind of fall training that every crew headed to Cambridge this weekend will have done in preparation for the biggest rowing event in the U.S. For more information on the Head Of The Charles—now just a few short days away—visit their official website, and for entries and schedules, head over to RegattaCentral.

Over the past few days, we've received some pretty outstanding rowing recruiting videos from you, our beloved audience—look for more videos to be featured soon here on RR, and if you've yet to submit a video that you think is worthy of a look, then don't be shy.

Also coming up—we'll connect with Sean Wolf, the cagey veteran of Cambridge, on what he feels is the most challenging part of the Charles, and how to handle it.

Want to suggest the next 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestion via Twitter or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

-RR

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rowing Erg(o) Playlist for Fall 2013: Get Amped



Thanks to your submissions, we've pieced together the above erg(o) training mix to get you ready to tackle your 10k steady state, interval training, or whatever your assignment may be in style. It's bass-heavy and electronic, adding an element of rhythm. Also, we've left just a little more room for additions, in case there's a favorite of yours that you don't already see included. 

While we can discuss the problems and benefits of having music during training (having trained with coaches on both sides of that fence), we hope you enjoy it, and use it (or not) as you see fit. 

And yes, we just made you a mixtape. 

-RR

Monday, October 7, 2013

Video Of The Week: UCSB Gauchos Rowing Recruitment 2013



The Gauchos have stepped up their game. The 2013 spring season was one for the record books at UCSB, winning the Cal Cup at San Diego Crew Classic, as well as an ACRA victory in the men's lightweight varsity four, while the women's varsity eight took second behind Grand Valley State at ACRAs. The above video is their 2013-2014 recruiting video, and clearly they've gone the extra mile here, too—nicely edited to match the soundtrack, and a variety of camera angles on the water, land training, and a whole montage of coxswain tosses. Hey, it was that kind of season.

Last year, we ran our first-ever RRecruiting Video Contest, and we counted down our top five entries en route to crowning an overall winner. While most varsity programs have year-round recruiting programs and a host of resources dedicated to that purpose, the club system renews its search for the next Seth Weil, or Amy Fuller Kearney (herself a former UCSB rower), or Bryan Volpenhein. Have you been putting together a rowing recruiting video this season? Ship it our way and you might just see it featured right here on RR.

Want to suggest the next 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestion via Twitter or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

-RR

Friday, October 4, 2013

Feature: Mike Nicholson on the 2013 World Rowing Masters Regatta, MUBC, and His Rowing Films



The above feature comes to us from the prolific rowing filmmaker, Mike Nicholson, and is the latest in a series of rowing documentaries that Nicholson has out together detailing the sport's past and present. Here, finally, we not only get a sense for the other athletes and for the regatta itself, but also for Nicholson's own background—a life that has been closely tied to rowing from an early age. And, to the delight of rowing enthusiasts and historians alike, his passion for filming and documenting our sport goes back almost as far. Even better—his work is posted to his YouTube Channel, available to all for free. Here, we catch up with Mike on his personal background in rowing and as a filmmaker.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

RR Interview: Seth Weil of the U.S. Men's Four

Seth Weil had a phenomenal year. Having begun his career as a club oarsman at the University of California, Davis, under head coach Sam Sweitzer, Weil began training in the single shortly after finishing his intercollegiate career, first at his old program, then at GMS, and finally under the tutelage of Carlos Dinares. Then, following roughly a year of training at Lake Samish, an opportunity to attend a training camp at Chula Vista with the U.S. national team arose. Weil immediately made an impression, despite not having rowed as a sweep oarsman in some time, and began to rise through the ranks. With pair partner Henrik Rummel, Weil won the NSR I, and from there earned a seat in what had been deemed the top priority crew for the U.S.: the men's four.

Lucerne was the site of the third World Rowing Cup this season, and Weil and the U.S. men's four immediately made an impression, winning the heat and setting themselves up as probable favorites to take gold in the final. And, when it came time for the final, they didn't disappoint. Despite it being Weil's first-ever international regatta, he and the crew of Rummel, Mike Gennaro, and Grant James led from wire to wire and took gold for the U.S. in the event the first time since 2004. Later, the crew once again found themselves on the podium, this time with a bronze medal at the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, South Korea.

Here, as promised, Weil—winner of the 2013 RoRy for Breakthrough Performance of the Year—speaks about his beginnings in the sport, his early progress and training in the single, and his fantastic summer.



-RR

Monday, September 30, 2013

Video Of The Week: A Rowing Phalanx?



The folks at WSV Ottensheim have done it again. After their first video, "Rowing is Passion" (which was featured in our RR Recruiting Video Contest in January of this year), reached over 100,000 views on YouTube, filmmaker Erwin Trummer and WSV Ottensheim decided to add a second episode—the aptly named, "Rowing is Passion 2"—picking up on the intensity of the first, but incorporating a few new twists. Our favorite of those twists has got to be the 'rowing phalanx' and subsequent charge (see above) that launches the viewer into some race footage with a pulse-pounding soundtrack. Nothing like a little rage to get the fall racing season started right. Well done once again to WSV Ottensheim, and thanks very much to Clemens for sending along the video!

Want to suggest the next 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestion via Twitter or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

-RR

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rowing 2013-2014: A New Season Begins

It has been a quiet week here at RowingRelated as we gear up to take on our fourth season of rowing coverage, analysis, and banter—but not so around the junior, collegiate, and elite rowing ranks. The new season has begun already for many programs, and, thanks to the wonders of social media, we're right alongside the coaches and athletes on the water for autumn training sessions, and on land for early-season erg tests. Here are a few of our favorite shots from the early going at the intercollegiate level:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The 2013 RoRys, Part Three: The Elite Level

Yes, 2013 is a post-Olympic year, and naturally, one might expect there to be a slight dip in performance at the international level at the outset of a new Olympic cycle. But not so this season. The elite level of rowing enjoyed one of its most successful world championships to date, with the largest number of federations ever involved (73, up from 68 at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia) kicking off the quadrennium in style, and a mixture of new and familiar faces on the podium. And so, the 2013 RoRys for the elite level go to...

RoRy for Program of the Year
USRowing, Curtis Jordan
Even though it'll likely make Pete Cipollone spit out his coffee when he hears us say it (just kidding, Pete), and much as we have been critical of USRowing in the past, we must admit that this season proved to be eye-opening not only for the folks at home, but also for the rowing world at large. Despite losing the men's head coach shortly after the Olympics, new high performance director Curtis Jordan and USRowing have put together what appears to be a winning formula—and it's already paying dividends. While Tom Terhaar and the U.S. women have been dominant throughout, setting yet another new world best time in the eight this season with only one returning athlete in that crew is an accomplishment that shouldn't be overlooked. On the men's side, newly appointed coach Luke McGee has stepped in and immediately shown that he is ready to compete at the highest level of our sport, leading a men's eight to victory over a heretofore undefeated, 2012 Olympic champion German crew (with five athletes back from London) in Lucerne, and a bronze in Chungju. A reinvented U.S. men's four guided by Bryan Volpenhein also won Lucerne and claimed bronze at worlds, and the lightweights on both the men's and women's sides had great results as well, with two silvers in the LW2x and LW4x, and the LM4- making the final for the first time since 2000 (and finishing fifth, ahead of Olympic champion South Africa).

Honorable Mention: Federazione Italiana Canottaggio, Giuseppe Abbagnale
Like Curtis Jordan with the USRowing program, new Italian rowing federation president Giuseppe Abbagnale has had an immediate, positive impact at the highest level. Italy topped the medal table in Chungju, winning a total of eight medals (three of them gold), and placed a tremendous number of crews in the finals (they narrowly missed further hardware in the men's lightweight double and men's four, placing fourth in both events).

RoRy for Efficiency
Norway, Norges Roforbund
While Norway did not have a large contingent in Chungju this year, they certainly had a memorable regatta. The Norwegians entered just five crews, but claimed no less than three medals, two of them gold (for an overall ranking of fifth). Standouts Kjetil Borch and Nils Jakob Hoff ran away with the men's double (and posed for what has become the signature victory photo from the regatta—clearly, these guys know how to have fun), while teammates Kristoffer Brun and Are Strandli sprinted through Italy and onto the top of the podium of the LM2x, having taken second at the European championships earlier this summer. Also earning a trip to the podium was Birgit Skarstein, who took silver in the ASW1x behind Russia's Natalia Bolshakova—both Skarstein and Bolshakova broke the previous world best time.

RoRy for Coach of the Year
Robin Williams MBE, Great Britain
Having coached the GB women's pair of Heather Stanning and Helen Glover to the first-ever Olympic gold medal for British women's rowing at Eton Dorney last year, Robin Williams was faced with no small task—with Heather Stanning returning to military service following the Olympics, Williams and Team GB selected Polly Swann to step into the pair with Helen Glover to see if they could keep the momentum going on the Road to Rio. Not only did they continue to have success, the new-look duo enjoyed an undefeated season, culminated in a world title in Chungju. To swap out 50 percent of a lineup in an eight and still win is an achievement—to do it in a pair? Hats off, Sir Robin.

RoRy for Race of the Year
A Final of the Women's Double Sculls, World Rowing Championships
If you haven't seen this race yet, watch it. The A Final of the women's double in Chungju pitted a new, and very promising combination from Lithuania featuring Donata Vistartaite and Milda Valciukaite against Fiona Bourke and Zoe Stevenson of New Zealand and Francis Houghton and Victoria Meyer-Laker of GB (both of them in the 6:30s on the erg) in an all-out battle to the line. Also racing the final was five-time Olympian Ekaterina Karsten with new partner Yulia Bichyk. The Lithuanians took an early lead, but faced a significant challenge from the Kiwis in the second 1000m. With 300m to go, the Kiwis surged into first place, and it looked like there would be nothing that Vistartaite and Valciukaite could do to reel them back in before the line. However, in the final ten strokes of the regatta, the Lithuanians found that extra gear that they needed. Five strokes to go and there was nothing in it. As the two crews crossed the line, none of the athletes knew who had won. The result? Gold to Lithuania by 0.04 of a second.

RoRy for Breakthrough Performance of the Year
Seth Weil, USRowing
UC Davis alum Seth Weil's rise over the course of the 2013 season was nothing short of meteoric. How so, you ask? This was Weil's first-ever year on the national team, and at his first-ever international regatta—World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne—he and the U.S. men's four took down pre-race favorite Australia and won the first gold medal for the United States in that event since their coach, Bryan Volpenhein, and co. did it in 2004. Having worked with Carlos Dinares in the single, Weil showed that he had no trouble jumping back into sweep rowing, earning his way into camp and moving consistently up the ranks until he found himself in the priority boat for the U.S., which capped off a great season with a bronze medal at the world championships in Chungju. (Look for an interview with Seth coming up soon right here on RR.)

Honorable Mention: Koninklijke Nederlandse Roeibond
The Dutch rowing federation had an outstanding year across a large number of events, moving up the standings to sixth overall and making the A Finals of the men's single, men's pair (bronze), men's four (gold), men's eight, women's single, women's pair, women's quad, women's eight, lightweight women's double, and lightweight women's quad (gold), as well as the TAMix2x.

RoRys for Athletes of the Year
Hamish Bond/Eric Murray, Rowing New Zealand
Okay, so we know it's a bit of a cop-out to pick two athletes for Male Athlete of the Year, but these guys are pretty much inseparable, and they're doing things that no one has ever done before in a rowing shell. Having decided that an undefeated quadrennium resulting in an Olympic gold medal wasn't enough for them, this duo returned to training shortly after London, and has since set a new record for most consecutive international wins—16.

Elisabetta Sancassani/Laura Milani, Federazione Italiana Canottaggio
Again, we're picking a crew of two here, but hear us out. While both of these athletes have a great deal of experience at the international level, dating back to their first appearances at junior worlds in the early 2000s, Elisabetta Sancassani and Laura Milani appear to have discovered lightning in a bottle from the moment they teamed up prior to the European Rowing Championships last year—the duo have been undefeated since, and in 2013 accomplished something that no Italian women's crew had done before: win a world championship title.

And with that, the 2013 RoRys come to a close. Congratulations to all the winners for your truly outstanding accomplishments over the course of the 2012-2013 season! Now, having reflected on the best of the best from the last year in rowing, it's time to move on—we can only imagine what phenomenal performances we'll be celebrating at this time next September.

Let the games begin!

-RR

Friday, September 20, 2013

The 2013 RoRys, Part Two: Celebrating the Intercollegiate Level

We're on to the next level of the 2013 RoRys, and there's a great deal to celebrate from the world of intercollegiate rowing this season. It was a season characterized by dynasties further adding to their incredible legacies, as well as of newcomers making a name for themselves at the highest level. And so, after much deliberation, and without further ado, the winners of the 2013 RoRys at the intercollegiate level are...

RoRys for Programs of the year
University of Washington Men
Despite losing one of the best coaches in the collegiate ranks—newly appointed USRowing men's coach Luke McGee—in the middle of the season, the Huskies of Washington showed that they were by no means ready to loosen their vise-grip on the Ten Eyck Trophy. Head coach Mike Callahan and assistant coach Rick Gherst not only stayed the course and pushed their athletes to achieve at the highest level, but also they did it while training new Husky coaches, who stepped up in the absence of McGee. Having begun their season with a victory at the Head Of The Charles, the Huskies then defeated Cambridge on the Thames in a Boat Race tune-up, before sweeping the IRA regatta for a second straight year.

The Ohio State University Women
Andy Teitelbaum has often seen his Buckeyes finish the season in the top 10 (in fact, Ohio State has finished in the top 10 in team points in 13 of the past 14 seasons), but this year his Ohio State squad would not be denied. Teitelbaum's crews medaled in all three events, with the Buckeye varsity eight taking bronze, while the second varsity and varsity four both won decisive victories in their respective grand finals. The Buckeyes also won their fourth Big Ten title, where Teitelbaum was named Big Ten coach of the year, and both Teitelbaum and assistant coach Diana Albrecht were named CRCA coach and assistant coach of the year for Division I.

RoRys for Coaches of the Year
Andy Teitelbaum, The Ohio State University 
Not to be repetitive, but that was one heck of a season for Teitelbaum and the Buckeyes. In addition to the above, it should also be noted that the second varsity had an undefeated season, and that the Buckeyes swept the NCAA events at their conference championships by open water.

Harry Parker, Harvard University
He was one of the most celebrated head coaches in our sport for a reason, and this season was yet another example of what made him so special. Despite battling cancer, Parker guided yet another Crimson varsity eight to an Eastern Sprints title, following another undefeated regular season, and finished the year with a silver medal at the IRA Regatta, and a sweep of Yale at Red Top—Parker's 44th victory over the Bulldogs in 51 tries. He was, quite simply, a legend in his own time.

RoRy for Club Coach of the Year
Gregg Hartsuff, University of Michigan 
The Michigan Wolverines had a season for the ages. Head coach Gregg Hartsuff has been at the top of collegiate club rowing for many years, despite rising challenges from a number of growing programs. After suffering a minor setback in the grand final of the men's varsity eight at Dad Vails, the Wolverines then drove up to Worcester, where they dominated ECACs, sweeping the men's eight events. They then carried that momentum into ACRAs, where they reclaimed the title in the men's varsity eight over rival Virginia, and added a second gold in the men's second varsity eight as well.

RoRy for Race of the Year
Northeastern v. Brown for the Dreissigacker Cup
While the 'other' Huskies have been on our radar for some time now, this was the race that really proved that what had been a young, talented, but inexperienced squad was now ready to take on the cream of the crop in collegiate varsity rowing. The Huskies headed to Providence to take on Brown on the Bears' home course, and fought off two late surges from an outstanding Brown varsity eight to defend the Dreissigacker Cup. In the end, the Huskies held off the Bears by just 0.4 seconds in a time of 5:26.1, setting up a new rivalry in the Northeast that extended through IRAs and will surely continue into the 2013-2014 season.

RoRy for Breakthrough Performance of the Year
Northeastern Men
The 2013 IRA Regatta marked the first time since 2005 that the Huskies of Northeastern had placed both the varsity and second varsity eights in grand finals, with the varsity eight just 0.2 seconds from the podium. John Pojednic, Ted Benford, Dan Walsh, and the whole staff at Northeastern have a lot to be proud of, including another gutsy performance in the final of the Ladies' Challenge Plate at Henley Royal Regatta, where they pushed a GB development crew—one that in most years would not have been allowed to race in that event—all the way to the line, only to lose by a canvas in a race that set a new course record of 5:58. As we said following IRAs in June, look out for Northeastern in 2014.

RoRys for Athletes of the Year
Andrew Campbell, Harvard University
While the young Andrew Campbell's resume is certainly not short on honors already, Campbell's 2013 season was his best yet. Having narrowly missed a bid for the 2012 Olympics, Campbell returned to Harvard, where he and the Crimson lightweight men racked up yet another undefeated season, culminating in an IRA title. But Campbell wasn't done there—picking up a second oar and jumping into the single, Campbell won the BLM1x in Linze, Austria, and followed that up with a seventh-place finish at senior worlds in Chungju. All we can say is, it's going to be fun to watch Andrew try to top that in the upcoming season.

Heidi Robbins, Princeton University
Heidi Robbins is, without question, one of the best athletes in the collegiate ranks. Want proof? Having won gold in the women's eight at the 2012 World U23 Championships, she returned to Princeton and stroked a very quick women's varsity eight to a silver medal finish at NCAAs this season, and later followed that up with a new world best time of 5:54.16, this time in the stroke seat of the U.S. women's eight at World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne. Robbins likely would have earned a second international gold medal this summer were it not for a back issue that precluded her from racing in Chungju, where the U.S. women's eight again dominated. All best to Robbins for a fantastic 2013-2014 season!

Also worthy of mention (though not quite fitting into the above categories) are the Stanford lightweight women, who made it four straight IRA titles this year, despite never having been granted a No. 1 ranking entering the regatta. Evidently, the Cardinal likes it better that way—and hey, if it ain't broke...

And with that, the 2013 RoRys for the intercollegiate level have now been presented. Congratulations to all the winners for your outstanding achievements this year! Coming up next are the RoRys for the best of the best at the elite level, to be posted this Sunday.

-RR

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The 2013 RoRy Awards, Part One: The Junior Level


The 2013 season is now complete, and it's time to reflect on the outstanding achievements from another year of racing in that most wonderful of all sports, rowing. Not that we're feeling old, but RR is fast approaching its third birthday—this marks the third edition of our RoRy Awards, and, since we cover three tiers of racing here at RowingRelated, we'll be recognizing and celebrating the best of the best at the junior, collegiate, and elite levels throughout the week. And so, without further ado, the 2013 RoRys go to...

RoRys for Programs of the Year
Narragansett Boat Club Men
Narragansett Boat Club had a tremendous regatta at USRowing youth nationals in June, in the midst of considerable emotional turmoil. Top talent Chase Buchholz and his NBC teammates honored the memory of their coach Peter Wilhelm's mother, Hope, with two gold medals in Oak Ridge. En route to gold, Buchholz defeated the defending champion, Chris Wales of Seattle Rowing Center, in the men's single, before taking a second gold in the men's quadruple sculls—the boat that was christened in Hope's name. For a club of such small size to take home two golds on the national level is certainly impressive, and congratulations to Peter Wilhelm, the athletes, and everyone at Narragansett for another fine season. Also—keep an eye on Isaac Mocarski in 2014. Rising senior Mocarski is 6'5'' is the heir to Buchholz, having gone 6:20 on the erg and served as an alternate for the U.S. junior team over the summer.

The Long Beach Junior Crew Women
The Long Beach Junior women's program has been on the rise over the past several seasons, and this year was a truly special one for the Southern California-based club. LBJC brought four women's crews to youth nationals this season—a lightweight eight, lightweight four, quad, and double—and medaled in three of four events, including two gold medals. Congrats to coaches Alfredo Montenegro, Brian De Regt, Pete and Tom Graves and everyone at Long Beach Junior Crew for an outstanding regatta. Also particularly worthy of mention are Katy Newmarker and Reilly Hayes, who doubled up in the women's double and women's quad, winning both events.

RoRys for Coaches of the Year
Sandy Armstrong, Marin Rowing Association
At this point, it's safe to say that Sandy Armstrong has a knack for winning the last race. She and her MRA disciples did just that again this year despite facing a stacked program at Oakland Strokes, who were the defending champs. Here's what we said about Sandy's varsity eight going into the finals in Oak Ridge:
While Oakland outpaced Marin last year, as well as recently at the 2013 Southwest Regionals, the Strokes will have to have everything going to defeat Marin for the national title—MRA head coach Sandy Armstrong knows exactly how to prepare her crews for the big moment on the big stage (as was surely noted, Marin posted the fastest time of the day in this event on Friday in a comfortable heat win), so watch out for upsets this weekend.
They don't always have the biggest kids—the stern pair were lightweights—but they row very, very well, and execute when it counts. In hindsight, the only thing we might change about our predictions for youth nationals is indicating that an MRA victory would be an upset.

Conal Groom, Seattle Rowing Center
Groom has accomplished a tremendous amount over the past three seasons with a young program at Seattle Rowing Center, and his athletes are consistently performing at a high level, including multiple medals at junior nationals this year. As we said following the racing in Oak Ridge:
Another outstanding squad in small boats was that from Seattle Rowing Center—mad props to Conal Groom and the whole staff at SRC, as Chris Wales took home silver in the men's single and gold in the men's lightweight four. SRC also won the men's pair event, placed second in the women's quad behind LBJC, and took a very close fourth in the women's lightweight double—this are looking up in Seattle.
Things are looking up, indeed.

RoRy for Race of the Year
The Junior Women's Quad, World Rowing Junior Championships, Trakai, Lithuania
The coveted RoRy for Race of the Year goes to the A Final of the women's quad at junior worlds this year. With 500m remaining in the race, it appeared that defending champions Romania all but had the race in hand, but the race for the lesser medals was completely up for grabs, with all the boats separated by roughly one second. Then, everything changed:
The finish of the women's quad had the entire crowd gasping as all six finalist boats closed in on finish bunched tightly together. Leaders for the majority of the race and reigning World Champions, Romania then took a bad stroke with five strokes to go allowing Italy to storm through to win. The United States took silver and Germany won the bronze medal. —WorldRowing.com
The U.S. women's crew—Shawna Sims, Elizabeth Sharis, Kendall Brewer, and Cicely Madden—was in sixth place, and sprinted nearly all the way through the tightly packed field to a silver medal, making it back-to-back silvers at junior worlds for USRowing in that event.

Breakthrough Performance of the Year
Sarasota Crew
The RoRy for Breakthrough Performance of the Year goes to the men from Sarasota Crew, under head coach Casey Galvanek. This season, the 10th season for Sarasota Crew, marked the third victory in a row at the Florida State Championships, and first time that Sarasota has captured the title in the junior men's eight at youth nationals—for Galvanek, it was a victory six seasons in the making. Given the increasing depth of their program, there's no reason to assume that Sarasota won't be a major factor at the 2014 regatta as well. And, with the 2017 world rowing championships now scheduled to be held at Nathan Benderson Park, it's safe to say that rowing is on the rise in Florida.

Athletes of the Year
Boris Yotov, Azerbaijan
2013 was an incredible season for the young Boris Yotov, who scored a bronze in the junior men's single in Trakai, placed eighth in the BM2x at U23 worlds in Linz, Austria, and—most impressively—placed fourth overall in the M2x at World Rowing Cup II in Eton Dorney with standout sculler Aleksandar Aleksandrov. All this at the age of 17—that's right, Yotov was born in 1996. Not to be trite, but the future looks bright for Yotov.

Cicely Madden, U.S.A
Community Rowing, Inc.'s Cicely Madden returned to youth nationals this season determined to move up the podium, having taken bronze in the women's single in 2012. The two-time Head Of The Charles winner scored her first national title in the women's single in 2013, and finished off the summer with her second silver medal at the world level.

Congrats to all the winners on a truly fantastic season, all best for the upcoming campaign! Friday, we'll continue our week long celebration, this time with the collegiate ranks—stay tuned to see who'll take home the coveted (figurative) hardware!

-RR

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rob Waddell and Emirates Team New Zealand Dominating the 34th America's Cup



Olympic rowing gold medalist Rob Waddell, who earned his title in the men's single in Sydney, and the Kiwi crew that makes up Emirates Team New Zealand have been dominating the 34th America's Cup on San Francisco Bay (home to the RowingRelated International Headquarters), ever since the finals began last weekend. The racing is head-to-head and the championship is riding on a best-of-17 series—after the first seven races, Waddell & co. have won six times, having been edged by a narrow margin just once to date. Needless to say, it's looking more and more like a romp for the Kiwis, and the championship would add to an already borderline unbelievable career of success on the water for Waddell—the victory would make him the only athlete, we believe, to have won Olympic gold in rowing as well as an America's Cup title.

The above video shows the complete coverage of races six and seven, which took place yesterday afternoon in San Francisco. The competition hasn't been bereft of tense moments, however, including a qualifying race that saw Waddell and a teammate washed overboard as his crew came around a buoy at great speed (these 'airplanes on the water' are capable of speeds in the range 50mph):



Fortunately, no one was injured, and the support launches arrived in seconds. More racing to come this weekend, and you can keep up with all the action via the official website of the America's Cup.

On tap for next week is our 3rd annual RoRy Awards celebration—three days of prize-giving for the best performances during the 2012-2013 season at the junior, collegiate, and elite levels. The categories for each level are as follows:

1. Program(s) of the Year
(Includes an award for Team Efficiency at the elite level)
2. Coaches of the Year
3. Race of the Year
4. Breakthrough Performance of the Year
5. Athletes of the Year

Who will walk away with the most prestigious awards in rowing? The 2013 RoRys are just days away.

-RR

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday Edition Video Of The Week: Putting Hay in the Barn with the Vikes



This week's video comes to us from the University of Victoria, and features the Vikes on their August training camp, already starting to build a base for the 2013-2014 season. Throw in a solid soundtrack, and you might just be inspired to throw down a few meters (or metres) yourself, be it on the erg, in the single, on the bike, or even on the track.

Like the Vikes, we too are already looking forward to a new season (the Head Of The Charles is now just 39 days away), but we're also still decompressing from what was an outstanding summer of international racing, especially for the U.S. men and women. So, as we start to gear up for the next go round, we'll also be reflecting on the last year with our third annual RoRy Awards—the most sought-after, highly-prized, and distinguished awards in the rowing world (in our opinion, at least). Stay tuned for more on that this week.

In the meantime, send us your favorite workout jams for a new erg(o) playlist to get you started on the path to 2014. Email us links to YouTube videos or SoundCloud posts and we'll compile our top picks into a list of tunes that'll be sure to help you rack up a few extra steady state meters this fall.

Want to suggest the next 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestion via Twitter (twitter.com/rowingrelated), or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

-RR

Thursday, September 5, 2013

World Rowing Championships, 2013: Setting the Stage for the New Quadrennium in Chungju

The 2013 World Rowing Championships were, by all accounts, one of the best championships to date, with state-of-the-art facilities, good racing conditions, and a host of talented athletes coming together to officially embark on the Road to Rio.

Before the slew of hotly contested finals, however, we did it again—what can we say? Shooting our mouths off about sports just comes naturally, and what you might call the 'RR ethos' is built on picks and predictions. So, now's the time when we reflect on the best of the racing, and see how our picks fared over the course of the week in South Korea.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Video Of The Week: The World's Best Coach?



This week's video comes to us courtesy of FISA commentator and GB Olympian Martin Cross, who had a fantastic week in South Korea, posting daily blogs and video interviews throughout the world championships. This interview, however, may be one of the most important, checking in with Team GB head coach Jürgen Grobler—possibly the best rowing coach in the world right now. In typical fashion, Grobler's crews had a slight performance dip at Lucerne, but were extremely well-prepared for the main event. Team GB were one of four federations to take home a total of eight medals from the championships, and tied for the most gold medals (three) with Italy and Australia. Among those gold medals was (rather unbelievably) British Rowing's first-ever world championship title in the men's eight—a first for Grobler in that event as well.

More to come on this year's World Rowing Championships in our recap and review later this week.

In the meantime, however, and speaking of Jürgen Grobler... A Twitter account, with the handle @JurgenGrowler, is well worth a follow. Included below are just a couple examples of the gems thus far:



While exactly who is behind it remains a mystery, we can only imagine that even Grobler himself might get a chuckle or two out of it in his office in "Großbritannien."

You can read World Rowing's recap of the final day of this year's championships here, and watch the racing again here.

Also coming soon: The 2013 RoRys—who will take home the most prestigious awards in rowing at the junior, collegiate, and elite levels this year?

-RR

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Martin Cross, The Blogging Oarsman, Breaks Down Day Five in Chungju



The further we get into the 2013 World Rowing Championships, the more it feels like there is already a 'great wave' (with apologies to Katsushika Hokusai, of course) of momentum building on the road to Rio. The racing has been, in a word, outstanding. In the video above, GB commentator Martin Cross breaks down Day Five at worlds, which featured several crackers, including the A/B semis for the the men's lightweight single and the men's four. As Cross mentioned in his race commentary (catch up on the semis here), the men's four event appears to be wide open, with our top picks the U.S., Australia, and Italy looking very solid, as well as a sprinting Dutch crew and a surprising British boat that has bounced back from a B Final performance in Lucerne to crack the A final in Chungju. (While Cross mentioned that he'll have his eye on Italy to top the podium, we're backing our top pick, USA, to take the title.) The race of the day, however, may well have been the first of the two A/B semis for the lightweight men's single, which pit Danish phenom Henrik Stephansen against Jérémie Azou of France in an all-out race for the line (and likely a preview of the battle for gold in that event come finals time). If you haven't seen it yet, it's well worth a look.

So far, our picks and predictions are in good shape, with the exception of defending Olympic champion Mahé Drysdale having to withdraw due to a rib injury—very unfortunate, but Drysdale further confirmed that he is a class-act earlier, apologizing to his competitors for not being able to race in his C/D semifinal. All best to Mahé for a speedy recovery, and here's to more fantastic racing in South Korea, as soon as the weather clears up!

-RR

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday Edition Double-Feature Video Of The Week: Rowing the World



This week's video is the official teaser for the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, South Korea, and features the theme song for the event, "Rowing the World," (or at least, we think that's the title). It's always fascinating to take a look at a familiar subject through the lens of a different culture, and that's just what you'll get from this video (in addition to a look at the racecourse and environs, with a bit of rowing thrown into the mix).



Also on the docket for this week is Team USA men's single sculler Stephen Whelpley's short video of the trip from the hotel to the course—it's a beautiful landscape, and gives you a better sense for what it's like to be on the ground in Chungju. The racing is heating up, and our picks and predictions are already being put to the test! So far, the U.S. women's quad of Megan Kalmoe, Kara Kohler, Susan Francia, and Esther Lofgren have given themselves a second chance at the podium via the reps, the British men's eight has looked every bit as good as we thought they might coming into Chungju, and Marcel Hacker (always a bit of a wild card) has shown early on that this may be another year to keep a close eye on him as the quarterfinals and finals approach! Also in action is RR interviewee Andrew Johnson, who took fourth in his race for lanes with the U.S. LTAMix4+ crew.

For complete info, results, live commentary, and a race tracker, please visit the official website of FISA.

Want to suggest the next 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestion via Twitter (twitter.com/rowingrelated), or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages.

-RR

Saturday, August 24, 2013

World Rowing Championships 2013: RR Picks and Predictions

The 2013 World Rowing Championships are underway in Chungju, South Korea, and it just wouldn't be right if we didn't throw our hats in the ring for some picks and predictions for the finals. While some post-Olympic regattas have been low on entries at the international level, this year's worlds feature more nations than ever, and there are a number of events where rivalries are already emerging on the road to Rio. And so, without further ado, here are the results of our glimpse into the crystal ball, hidden deep within the confines of the RR International Research Department.

Men's Pair
The Kiwis own this event, and, as pointed out by World Rowing's preview article on the upcoming championships, they are set to break yet another record—that being for the longest streak of consecutive wins at the international level. It's an event that other rowing federations have deemed low priority (in a number of cases), which has everything to do with Hamish Bond and Eric Murray being utterly dominant, and we don't see anything changing in Chungju. Another crew we're keen on is Shaun Keeling and Lawrence Brittain (2011 U23 silver medalist in the men's pair) of South Africa—the duo showed promise in Lucerne, and though it's a young crew, Keeling brings a great deal of experience to the table, having raced with three-time Olympian Ramon DiClemente from 2008-2010 (including a fifth-place finish in Beijing). Italy's Marco Di Costanzo and Matteo Castaldo, and Spain's Alexander Sigurbjonsson Benet and Pau Vela Maggi will be looking for repeat podium performances from Lucerne, however, so the battle for the lesser medals may be an intense one—it's also important to keep an eye on the Olympic silver medalists from France.

Podium Picks:
NZL
ITA
ESP

Women's Pair
Much like the last Olympic cycle, this looks to be a battle between New Zealand and Great Britain. Both 2012 Olympians have new pair partners, and both have already produced impressive results, with GB's Helen Glover and Polly Swann entering the competition with an undefeated season on the line, and Rebecca Scown and Kayla Pratt New Zealand looking to lay spoiler (having taken second in Lucerne). Also fighting for the medals will be USA's Meghan Musnicki and (Cornell alum) Taylor Goetzinger—it's never safe to count out a U.S. women's sweep boat at the world level, and there is a great combination of youth and experience in this crew.

Podium Picks:
GBR
USA
NZL

Men's Four
The Australian men's four will be looking to bounce back from a defeat in Lucerne, which saw the new-look U.S. crew of Mike Gennaro, Henrik Rummel, Seth Weil, and Grant James take a wire-to-wire victory over the field. This time, we're anticipating another battle between these two crews, with Italy once again chasing, and the U.S. defending their early season success. Also of interest will be The Netherlands and Canada—both crews are likely to be knocking on the door, and Canada's crew features four outstanding (former Pac-12) oarsmen, including three 2012 Olympic silver medalists from the men's eight, in Conlin McCabe, Rob Gibson, and Will Crothers.

Podium Picks:
USA
AUS
ITA

Men's Eight
Here, we're looking for a return to form for a GB crew that had what we're sure they would describe as a lackluster performance in Lucerne—never underestimate Jurgen Grobler. While the U.S. came out with guns blazing at the final World Rowing Cup, edging as-yet undefeated Germany for the top of the podium, the U.S. crew has lost one of their top oarsmen in Glenn Ochal, who is currently taking some personal time away from the national team (though rowing the single out at Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles and with plans to return). Still, we're anticipating another podium performance from Team USA, just behind the top German crew (much as it pains us to agree with Daniel Spring!).

Podium Picks:
GBR
GER
USA

Women's Eight
Team USA has had a stranglehold on this event for the last seven years, and, despite a setback in the first World Rowing Cup of the 2013 season, the Americans once again set the gold standard for speed in the big boat in Lucerne. However, it will be interesting to see how the crew reacts to a late substitution after their stroke seat, Heidi Robbins, had to be pulled due to a back injury (Meghan Musnicki will be slotted into the eight as Robbins' replacement, with Caroline Lind moving to stroke). As usual, we're expecting Canada to be the main challenger for the United States in this event, with a crew that features Natalie Mastracci, Sarah Black, Cristy Nurse, and Christine Roper (these four women are also doubling up in the women's four). Romania is our pick to round out the medals in this event.

Podium Picks:
USA
CAN
ROU

Men's Single
This is going to be another interesting event—so far this season, the reigning Olympic champion, Mahé Drysdale, has been working to get back into rowing shape after taking some time away from the sport following London. To date, the hot favorite in 2013 has been Ondrej Synek, and we see that trend continuing in Chungju. Also knocking on the door is likely to be Aleksandar Aleksandrov, who is coming off a win at Henley Royal Regatta. Angel Fournier-Rodriguez of Cuba has been coming on strong for a number of years now, and most recently took third in Lucerne—he may just wind up on the podium at worlds this year.

A Final Probables:
Ondrej Synek
Aleksandar Aleksandrov
Mahé Drysdale
Angel Fournier-Rodriguez
Alan Campbell
Luka Spik

Women's Single
The women's single is likely to be a heated battle for the medals between Australia's Kim Crow (our pick to win), defending Olympic champion Mirka Knapkova, and Eleanor Logan of Team USA. Crow was the only athlete in rowing to win two Olympic medals last year, and may be the best athlete in the field, though Knapkova's experience will be a tremendous factor in what looks to be close racing for the gold. Also, while Elle Logan is relatively new to the single, she's hardly unused to the grand stage, having won back-to-back Olympic gold medals in the women's eight.

A Final Probables:
Kim Crow
Mirka Knapkova
Elle Logan
Emma Twigg
Frida Svensson [withdrew due to illness]
Donata Vistartaite [withdrew to concentrate on the W2x]
Julia Levina
Magdalena Lobnig/Inge Janssen

Men's Double
New Zealand's crew Robert Manson and Michael Arms have been a dynamic duo thus far in 2013, and given their training partners (the Kiwi M2-), we're looking for another strong performance on the biggest stage. The most experienced crew in the event is the German lineup of Eric Knittel and Stephan Krueger, but their results have been all over the map to date, and we're feeling it a little risky to pick them for the podium in Chungju (though likely to make the final). Italy's Francesco Fossi and Romano Battisti will be among the top challengers for the Kiwis (as they were in Lucerne). Rounding out the podium, we're looking for Lithuania's Rolandas Mascincas and Saulius Ritter to move up a spot from their fourth-place finish at the final World Rowing Cup.

Podium Picks:
NZL
ITA
LTU

Women's Double
While many are looking for the Lithuanian duo of Donata Vistartaite and Milda Valciukaite to crack the podium at worlds this year, we're concerned about Vistartaite doubling up in the women's single affecting their chances for double hardware [update: no longer doubling up, concentrating on this event—therefore likely to be in the mix for the medals]. The Kiwis have been the form crew thus far, and again, given the dominance of the All Blacks in small boats, we're looking for that to continue in Chungju. Also, while so far the Belarusian double featuring perennial contender in the women's single, Ekaterina Karsten, has not managed to find podium speed, we feel that they'll be on top form in South Korea, and may even challenge for the gold.

Podium Picks:
NZL
BLR
GBR LTU

Men's Quad
This event has been a battle for supremacy between the Germans and the Croatians so far this year, and while the racing has been tight, the we're looking for the Germans to defend their Olympic title this season at the world level. Also looking to be one of the form crews is Estonia, with Great Britain and Switzerland also likely making the A Final in Chungju.

Podium Picks:
GER
CRO
EST

Women's Quad
Like the men's event, Germany looks to be the top contender in the women's quad, and are coming off a dominant performance in Lucerne. In fact, while we hate to be boring, we have to say that given the data, we're looking for a repeat performance from World Rowing Cup III, with the same three rowing federations hoisting flags on the podium in South Korea.

Podium Picks:
GER
POL
AUS

Lightweight Men's Four
The lightweight men's four is always a close event, but we think that the new-look Kiwi crew, featuring 2012 bronze medalist in the LM2x Peter Taylor, is certainly a 'crew to watch' in the event. However, our top pick is Denmark, a crew with three returning 2012 Olympians that finished a close second in Lucerne, tracking the Kiwis all the way down the course, but unable to find that extra gear to pull even. Look for another tight contest in South Korea between these crews, this time with Denmark coming out on top, with Great Britain's crew (featuring 2012 silver medalist in this event, Chris Bartley) rounding out the podium.

Podium Picks
DEN
NZL
GBR

Lightweight Men's Double
Great Britain looks like the form crew in this event, with the Chambers brothers having jumped out of the silver medal-winning lightweight men's four from London and into the double this season. So far, the duo have been very impressive, though they'll have very stiff competition from Italy in the final. We're looking for Switzerland's duo of Mario Gyr and Simon Schuerch to take the bronze, having also made the transition from the sweep crew (fifth in London) to sculling, with solid results so far. We'll be keeping a close eye on the U.S. entry of Austin Meyer and Nick Trojan as well, which could crack the final.

Podium Picks:
GBR
ITA
SUI

Lightweight Women's Double
This is likely to be a battle for gold between Italy (the winners from Lucerne) and New Zealand, and this time we're looking for Lucy Strack and Julia Edward to take the top spot on the podium (though Italy looked dominant in their heat, and appear to be on the same form as at World Rowing Cup III). We're also confident that the U.S. crew of Kristin Hedstrom and Kate Bertko will bring home more hardware at the world level, though it will be a tight final (surprise, surprise), with Great Britain's Kathryn Twyman and Imogen Walsh battling for a podium finish.

Podium Picks:
NZL
ITA
USA

As we like to say, better late than never—we'll be keen to see how the picks turn out, and the finals already drawing ever closer!

-RR

[Updated 25 August, 18:45 PDT]