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