Monday, September 29, 2014

Video Of The Week: Smooth Sculling with the Sinkovic Brothers



This week's video is a beautiful example of the kind of sculling technique that might just get you a sub-6 minute result, and a world championship title. At least, it worked for the Sinkovic brothers. This dynamic duo not only scored their first world gold medal in Amsterdam (as a double, that is—the brothers had won gold as part of the Croatian M4x last year, following a silver in London), but also did so ahead of a tightly packed field in a time of 6:00.52—only slightly off their own World Best Time in the event from the A/B semifinal (a 5:59.72) at the Bosbaan. While we're all getting our long and low strokes in this fall, it's important to think about consistency of technique and execution. The Sinkovic brothers stressed this idea in our VOTW last week, and here Martin and Valent are shown applying that theory to the fullest.

And there's more good news. The Sinkovici are coming to the Head Of The Charles this year, taking on several other very competitive crews in the Championship Double, including a new-look combo of Ondrej Synek and Olaf Tufte, as well as John and Peter Graves. With all of the big names heading to Boston this year for the 50th anniversary of the Charles (including multiple 'Great Eights' and men's and women's Championship Singles fields that read like world championship finals), it's sure to be every bit as epic as expected.

Note to readers: We ran across this video thanks to the Facebook page, "Centre of Applied Fluid Dynamic Leverage," which is a great place to go for technique-oriented rowing videos in its own right—check it out! 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, September 25, 2014

Moving Rowing Forward: The Evolution of Onboard Data Measurement Systems

Looking over the boat, IRAs 2013 (Photo: B. Kitch)

The development of the first Concept2 ergometer by the Dreissigacker Brothers in the early 1980s helped rowing make its first quantum leap in terms of affordable, objective data measurement systems. The erg was, and still is, the great equalizer—you can compare your split times, wattage, and power curves to the likes of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray in a real and meaningful way, whether you're sitting next to the Kiwi Pair at the Rowing New Zealand training facility, or in a boathouse on the Charles River. Now, of course, there are a variety of quality options for indoor rowing machines. However, more and more, the rowing world has been pushing for that next step—bringing those objective measuring systems and tools on board while on the water.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Stop Seat Racing: The Future of Crew Selection, with Virginia Head Coach Frank Biller

UVa men training on Rivanna Reservoir (Photo courtesy of Frank Biller)

For any coach, often the most difficult part of the job is selection. And, it's an area that is in need of innovation. While seat racing is the most commonly accepted means of determining the fastest crew, it is inherently flawed, given the number of variables at play in any given piece.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Video Of The Week: Talking Technique with Some of the World's Best Scullers



This week's video is another strong interview piece from World Rowing FISA, checking in on technique and coaching with three of the world's best sculling crews: The Sinkovic brothers of Croatia (2014 world champions and holders of the new World Best Time in the M2x—a blistering 5:59.72), Jérémie Azou and Stany Delayre of France (2014 world silver medalists in the LM2x), and New Zealand's Emma Twigg (2014 world champion in the W1x). As we get into the 2014-2015 season in earnest, there's never a better time to focus on learning and applying our technique on the water—right now, the cadences are low, and it's very important to take full advantage of the extra time to ingrain the right movements and sequences into our muscle memory. And, the first chance to test our progress against the world is only a few short weeks away: The 50th Head Of The Charles is just 26 days from now. Will you be ready?

Coming up this Wednesday: An inside look at the evolution of crew selection with Virginia men's head coach Frank Biller.

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, September 21, 2014

The 2014 RoRys, Part Three: The Elite Level


Can you believe we're already halfway through another Olympic cycle? The 'sophomore' season as we head toward Rio was filled with ups and downs, and wild turnarounds (and loads more prepositions) making for a great ride, as well as altering the competitive landscape from last year's World Rowing Championships in South Korea. And so, it is our great pleasure to reveal to you our picks for the 2014 RoRy Awards at the elite level...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The 2014 RoRys, Part Two: The Intercollegiate Level


It's time for the second installment of the 2014 RoRys, celebrating the best of the best at the intercollegiate level. This year was marked both by dynasties continuing to stamp their mark, as well as by closely fought battles and emerging programs realizing their potential. And so, after much deliberation, and without further ado, the winners of the 2014 RoRys at the intercollegiate level are...

Friday, September 19, 2014

The 2014 RoRy Awards: The Junior Level

The 2014 season is now complete, and before we get started with the 2015 campaign,  it's important to take time to reflect on the outstanding achievements from another year of racing in our favorite sport (that's rowing, in case you need us to spell it out for you). This marks the fourth edition of our RoRy Awards (can you believe it?), 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 weekend. And so, without further ado, the 2014 RoRys for excellence at the junior level go to...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

RR Interview: Harvard Crew's Mike DiSanto Recaps the 2014 Gallagher Great Race

DiSanto (fourth from left) and the Harvard crew (Photo courtesy Mike DiSanto)
Last weekend, the 2014 Gallagher Great Race took over the Waikato River, and pitted local favorite Waikato University against a Harvard crew in the men's eight race for the Harry Mahon Memorial Cup. While Harvard managed an early lead, a clash led to an ejection in the Waikato boat; the race was restarted, and following the restart, the hometown crew got the better of the Crimson. Strangely, it wasn't the first time that a Harvard entry had faced a penalty and a restart in the Gallagher Great Race, as, controversially, the race was stopped and restarted in 2007 (that time, the Waikato crew made a successful protest saying that the leading Harvard crew had impeded their progress, resulting in a restart and another Waikato win). Here, Mike DiSanto brings us up to speed on what went down in New Zealand.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Video Of The Week: Preseason Cycling Camp with Imperial College Boat Club



This week's video comes to us from Imperial College Boat Club's preseason cycling camp in France, and while it may be short on rowing, there's no shortage of tough climbs, mileage (kilometerage?), and banter in this one. In fact, over the course of the camp, the ICBC lads covered some 813km, and climbed over 16,000m, over the 11 stages of the trip. Thanks to ICBC athlete Josh Butler for putting together this montage—arguably the best way to get your training in order in a hurry.

Earlier this week, we asked via Twitter if your team was getting back on the water and taking their #firststrokes of the 2014-2015 campaign.

Tag a photo with #firststrokes on Twitter and we'll share it via our account as the new season gets going in earnest!

Also coming up this week: The fourth-annual RoRy Awards! Can you believe it's that time of year again? Check back throughout the week to see who'll take home the most prestigious awards in rowing at the junior, collegiate, and elite levels. (And, just to whet your appetite, here's a look back at our previous RoRy winners.)

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, September 11, 2014

Video: Behind the Scenes with the U.S. Men's Eight in Amsterdam



There are lots of reasons to watch this video, but our favorite might be to learn that men's coach Bryan Volpenhein is the commissioner of the fantasy football league, and has "full veto power." This is the latest installment in senior national team athlete Matt Miller's series from a summer of racing at the elite level, which includes a look at the U.S. men's eight training in Princeton, traveling to Holland Beker, and racing at the second World Rowing Cup in Aiguebelette, France (Part Two here).

While the men's eight just missed the podium this year, having swapped places with Poland from last season, it was nonetheless a strong summer showing, with multiple victories on the international circuit. And, there is a solid sense of team and of building toward a common goal at the training center, as well as an expanding group of athletes. Maybe it's these rose-tinted glasses we're looking through, but we're expecting good things in 2015.

-RR

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

RR Interview: Harvard's Mike DiSanto in New Zealand for the Gallagher Great Race, 2014

Harvard Crew at Hamilton Boys' School Reception (Photo courtesy of Mike DiSanto)
As we noted yesterday, Harvard Crew will be represented at the 2014 running of the Gallagher Great Race on the Waikato River, New Zealand. Among the Crimson athletes competing is U.S. national teamer and Oxford Blue Mike DiSanto, who is teaming up with a few current students and fellow graduates to take on Waikato University over the 3.8km, upstream course. Here, we catch up with Mike on a few of the particulars so far.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Video Of The Week: Huskies Overseas



This week's video is a throwback to winter 2013, when the Washington Huskies headed over to London to face Cambridge in a Tideway fixture. The Huskies, then coming out of winter training and building toward spring, were in great form and featured a historically good lineup, including Canadian Olympic medalist Conlin McCabe. But why are we sharing this video today, you ask?

Friday, September 5, 2014

2014 World Rowing Championships Recap and Review: Kiwis Golden, Great Britain Rolling

Rainbows over the Bosbaan, Amsterdam (Photo: Nick D'Antoni)

Worlds have been in the books for a few days now, and we've all had the chance to reflect on what was another outstanding regatta capping off a great summer of international-level racing. Going in, the Kiwis looked to be firing on all cylinders—and the All Blacks didn't disappoint—while Great Britain, arguably the most complete team in the lead-up to their home Olympics, bounced back from midseason doldrums in the eight and emerged as the force to be reckoned with in men's sweep rowing. The U.S. women, on the other hand, continued their incredible run of success, and once again accounted for the lion's (lioness's?) share of the American medal haul.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Video(s) Of The Week: Jurgen Grobler and Elite Athletes Talk Rowing



Thanks to the FISA team, this week's featured video offers a little insight into what is currently the best sweep rowing program in the world, as well as some hints at race strategy from a few top athletes. Great Britain accomplished a stunning feat in Amsterdam, winning both the men's four and men's eight, and placing second in the men's pair (and you can hardly fault James Foad and The 2014 World Rowing Championships are now history, and once again it was New Zealand and Great Britain leading the way. While conditions varied throughout the week of racing, the Bosbaan tailwind was in full effect during the finals—the combination between conveyor belt and athletes at the top of their game typically means new world best times, and that's exactly what happened (in some cases more than once).