Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Edition Video Of The Week: Mahé's Inspiration



This week's Friday edition video comes to us from New Zealand, where the Kiwi sporting world recently celebrated the best of the best at the 51st Westpac Halberg Awards. The video follows the career of 2006 Halberg Award-winner (and four-time Sportsman of the Year) Mahé Drysdale, from beginnings and first world titles in the single, through difficulties in Beijing (where Drysdale battled illness, still managing to make the podium), to his Olympic champion year in 2012. Following their performance in London, the joint winners of the 2012 Halberg Award were Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, and the above trio have continued to reach for the loftiest heights on and off the water. While sculling success is nothing new to Murray, it's been Bond who has excelled in the single this year, racking up four straight victories over both Drysdale and Murray at the Christmas regatta, the Cambridge Town Cup, the North Island championships, and the national championships—the latter a close battle that saw all three of the above athletes cross the line within roughly four seconds of one another.

But that wasn't the only golden result for Bond—he and James Lassche of New Zealand's 2013 world silver medal-winning lightweight men's four teamed up in the men's pair event, winning and setting a blistering pace. The race saw Bond and Lassche cross the finish line in 6:12.42 seconds—the second-fastest recorded time in the men's pair, ever. (Yes, faster than Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell's former world best time of 6:14.27 from Seville in 2002, which lasted until the 2012 Olympic Games.) With athletes like Bond, Murray, and Drysdale battling against one another as training partners, it's small wonder that the Kiwis have found themselves at the top of the rowing podium more often than not in recent years.

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, February 27, 2014

An Important Note from U.S. Men's Coach Luke McGee: The Matt Farrer Fund

Sketch from Farrer's Husky Crew profile image
We received the following from U.S. men's coach Luke McGee, who is reaching out to the rowing community in support of his friend, former Washington Husky Matt Farrer:

"The secret to happiness is to find something you love and do it for the rest of your life. For me, that is rowing at Washington." —Matt Farrer

Matt Farrer is a rower battling colon cancer. He rowed at the Brooks School before making both the 1997 and 1998 U.S. junior national team. Matt earned a silver medal in the coxed four at the 1998 World Rowing Junior Championships. Farrer arrived at the University of Washington in the fall of 1998 and rowed all four years for the Huskies. It was a commitment he says taught him "discipline and perseverance under extreme conditions." Two characteristics he is now drawing upon to battle cancer.

In 2012, while working as a chef in Seattle, Matt was diagnosed with colon cancer. A visit to the emergency room revealed tumors on both his colon and liver. Matt has been living in the hospital for the past year receiving treatment and racking up substantial medical bills. Here is a video of Matt discussing a fundraiser in Seattle and his fight with cancer, and another of Matt looking over an album of rowing photos collected for him.

What are communities for if not to support one another?

The mission is simple. We are asking the rowing community to help Matt raise funds to pay his medical bills. Your donation will allow Matt to maintain the level of care necessary to win his fight with cancer.

If you'd like to help Matt in his battle please click here and select "Saint James, Matt Farrer Care Fund" in the drop-down menu. All donations are being run through Big Table.

"Washington rowing is where fury and beauty come together." —Matt Farrer

-Luke McGee

Friday, February 21, 2014

Hammer Time: The 2014 Crash-B Sprints World Indoor Rowing Championships

If you were in Boston over the weekend, you enjoyed quite a show. The 2014 Crash-B Sprints featured one of the deepest men's open fields in recent memory in terms of raw power, and there were equally impressive performances on the women's side.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Video Of The Week: Smooth Sculling Down Under



This week's video has us dreaming of spring racing season. While snowshoes may still be more appropriate than flip-flops on the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S., it's never too early to start thinking about on-the-water technique—and this video delivers a long and careful look at the Aussie approach to sculling. Featured in the video are ANA scullers Rhys Grant (President's Cup winner at the 2013 Australian National Rowing Championships—the first win for Western Australia in that event since 1961), Jack Cleary of the Australian junior men's double, and Alexandra Hayes (veteran of the Aussie LW4x). Grant is now gearing up for the 2014 Sydney International Rowing Regatta, scheduled for March 23-30, where he'll look to defend his title in the single.

Thanks very much to Jamie 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.

Coming up tomorrow: We head back indoors and take a look at the top performances in Boston over the weekend, not least of which came from our hero, 96-year-old Crash-B champion Paul Randall.

-RR

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Weekend Edition Video Of The Week: Winter Training with Harvard Men's Crew



This week's (slightly delayed) video comes to us from Newell Boathouse, giving us a glimpse inside Harvard men's crew's winter training regimen. Nicely edited, and with a solid soundtrack, this video hints that the speed that newly appointed Bolles-Parker Head Coach Charley Butt has to work with come spring, and even features a cameo from former Crimson varsity stroke Patrick Lapage. Harvard wasn't far off an IRA title in the varsity eight last year, and judging by their early season results, they've not shown any signs of slowing down in 2014.

And, while we're on about college rowing—look for the 2014 college season preview coming up in the next issue of ROWING Magazine, featuring interviews with (in no particular order) Mike Teti, Charley Butt, Andy Teitelbaum, Dave O'Neill, Kevin Sauer, Gregg Hartsuff, John Bancheri, Frank Biller, John Pojednic, and more.

Also, tomorrow marks the 2014 Crash-B Sprints—will you be racing in Boston?

-RR

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Double-Feature Video Of The Week: Spotlight on Adrien Hardy and Sébastien Vieilledent



This week's double-feature focuses on one of the all-time great technical crews in Olympic rowing history—Adrien Hardy and Sébastien Vieilledent of France. The above video shows their gold-medal performance in Athens, biding their time and making their move at precisely the right moment, holding off a field of household names (Iztok Cop and Luka Spik of Slovenia, a young Ondrej Synek at stroke of the Czech crew), in the rowing world over the final few strokes.



The second half of the double-feature takes a closer look at that technique—this was among the lighter crews competing in the event, but as Dan Topolski pointed out in his commentary for World Rowing, they allow the boat to continue to glide ever so slightly better between strokes than any among their competition. And by the end of the race, all those inches add up to quite a margin of victory.

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

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lightweights on Land: Making Waves in 2014



It has been another outstanding season of training for lightweights at the international level, with Olympians continuing to reach new heights on land. At the Euro Open Indoor Championships, Henrik Stephansen recently equalled his world record of a year ago, posting a 5:56.7, while 'retired' Thomas Keller Award winner, Eskild Ebbesen, set a new world record for the 40-49 category, with a 6:16.8. Meanwhile in Oklahoma, U.S. Olympian Will Daly has been breaking records as well.