Thursday, December 31, 2015
Monday, December 28, 2015
|Kiwi rowers training on Lake Karapiro (Screen capture)|
This week's featured video comes to us from New Zealand, where Olympian Nathan Twaddle checked in recently with some of the top Kiwi rowers on training and Christmas break.
Friday, December 18, 2015
|Crate Digging with #RowingRelated|
It's that time of year again. That's right, it's time to kick the erg tires and light the indoor rowing fires, and we think these tunes might just help you accomplish both of those things.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Rowing Video Of The Week: 2k Testing with Leander Club, Plus Recent European Results, on and off the Water
|Erg testing with Leander Club (Screen capture)|
This week's video comes to us from the riverbank in Henley-on-Thames. The video, shot by Nick Middleton (check him out on Instagram here), gives a dramatic look into the intensity inherent to the approach of Leander's athletes, as well as a sense of being in the room—and we've all been there, packed closely together in the boathouse, on test day.
Monday, December 7, 2015
|Hanging loose on the water (Screen capture)|
This week's video comes to us thanks to Julien Bahain of Rowing Canada Aviron, and features a behind-the-scenes look at some of the training the Canadian heavyweights have been up to in 2015.
Monday, November 30, 2015
|Yale launching for the Champ Eight at the 2015 Head Of The Charles (Photo: B. Kitch)|
This week's video offers an inside look at a training session with Steve Gladstone in the launch, as Yale goes through exercises and then some rate-building work in the fall of 2013. If you haven't seen it before, it's a fine example of technical rowing as Gladstone puts the crew through their paces; if you have seen it before, it's well worth a second look.
Saturday, November 28, 2015
|It's that time of year again (Photo by Eigenberg Fotografie/Flickr)|
Given that we cover a water sport, it has been an impressive year on dry land.
Monday, November 23, 2015
|Launching from the docks at Conibear (Photo: B. Kitch)|
There are rumors emerging from Seattle that longtime Washington coach Bob Ernst may be parting ways with the Huskies.
[Updated December 3, 9:00pm PST below]
|Germany races Great Britain for the Grand Challenge Cup (Screen capture)|
This week's video comes to us from the banks of the Thames River, and looks back at the final of the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta last July.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
|C2 monitor from OUBC test, via @OUBCsquad (Screen capture)|
The answer, it would appear, is yes. (And we should have seen this coming.)
Monday, November 16, 2015
|From "Ever to Excel: The Power of Resilience" (Screen capture)|
This week's featured video comes to us from Boston College, and offers a reflection on the power and importance of resilience, in every aspect of our lives.
Friday, November 13, 2015
The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month: Here's How the Rowing World Saluted Veterans in 2015
|The Huskies ran through the Cascade Curtain on Wednesday (Photo courtesy Washington Husky Crew)|
Across the U.S., Canada, and the world, rowers saluted veterans with photos, articles, and remembrances on Wednesday.
Monday, November 9, 2015
|The Canadian lightweight men's four, training video (Screen capture)|
This week's featured video comes to us from the Canadian national team, and offers two minutes of pure rowing zen.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Monday, November 2, 2015
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
|Matt Gotrel: Rowing to Rio (Screen capture)|
This week's video comes to us thanks to James Poole and Loughborough University, and features reigning world champion Matt Gotrel, who reflects on a golden 2015, and offers insights into the daily life training with what has become the best rowing team in the world.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
|Big Red at Henley Royal Regatta (Screen capture)|
This week's combo #TBT-Video Of The Week post comes to us thanks to Cornell Rowing, whose lightweights made their dynastic aspirations clear earlier this year with a second-straight undefeated season, culminating in an IRA title.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
|Huskies on the dock, Conibear Shellhouse|
While the Intarwebs might be blowing up today with Back To The Future references (after all, it's 10/21/2015), yesterday was all about a blast from the past in Seattle, where the Washington Huskies donned vintage kit and rowed with wooden oars in wooden boats for 'an upcoming documentary.'
Thursday, October 15, 2015
|#HOCR51 Resources (Photo: Pete Biro)|
The 51st Head Of The Charles Regatta is now just over a day away! While the rowing world descends upon that narrow stretch of the Charles River, we'll be on the scene to cover the regatta on social media and in print for ROWING Magazine. And, before the fun gets started on the water, it just wouldn't be us if we didn't throw a few picks and predictions out there for the weekend—read on for resources around the web, as well as our take on who'll be in the winners' circle on Saturday and Sunday.
Friday, October 9, 2015
|Marin Rowing, 2015-2016 Preview (Screen capture)|
This week's featured video comes to us from Marin Rowing Association, and offers a quick window into their early season preparation and program outlook for the 2015-2016 season.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
|The UCSB boathouse (Photo by Culver Lau)|
Editor's Note: In 2013, Olympian Brad Lewis discussed his time coaching at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in a podcast for a website called Sports Coach Radio. In the interview, which covers a range of coaching-related topics, Lewis attributes the team’s struggles to drunk and hungover athletes, calls the program "the worst in the country, bar none," and states that most students at the university have a medical marijuana card (skip forward to minutes 39-42 for Lewis' thoughts on UCSB). As most readers of RR know, UCSB has long had one of the strongest club rowing programs on the West Coast, and as such we thought there was more to the story than the singular perspective that Lewis offers.
Here's a look at the reality behind the fiction.
After Brad Lewis wrote one of the best books ever about rowing, Assault On Lake Casitas, he wrote a work of fiction entitled Wanted: Rowing Coach. Although Lewis chose to present his work in this fashion, he had himself actually coached a year at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the setting for the book, and many of the characters portrayed were based on real people. Namely, my teammates and me.
It all began, like most ill-fated journeys, in a blaze of hope and promise. Lewis had become acquainted with UCSB's rowing program partly through me, or perhaps more accurately through my parents, whom he had met at the San Diego Crew Classic. That chance meeting led to the opportunity of a lifetime for me, a row in Newport with Brad in a double. A relatively brief row, at least for him, as his place in the boat was willingly conceded to a college rower who happened to be around at the time. I don't fault Brad for the brevity of that row, in fact I'm amazed we made it as far as we did. He was a gold medalist, I was a second year college rower who had basically never sculled before.
Upon our return to the dock, I got the best of Brad Lewis the coach. He talked about rowing, and about how to push yourself to the limit. We even did his famous test of mental and physical toughness—what he called “Hang Time” in Wanted: Rowing Coach, where the goal is to hang as long as possible on a chin-up bar without re-gripping. I was enthralled; this was gold medal material, straight out of the pages of my favorite book. I would later realize that this was Brad’s best coaching medium and subject matter, a one on one conversation with a rower who just wanted to go faster.
When the men’s varsity coach at UCSB left the following spring, Lewis was interested in filling the position. I don’t think many of us spent too much time wondering why, though perhaps we should have given that he himself had chronicled his many struggles relating to coaches. Later we wondered if his interest had just come from a desire to create material for a book, or if he truly wanted to be the coach he had always wanted. Perhaps it was both.
The varsity squad that fall was a promising one, numbering just over two eights. At the time, UCSB had a particularly strong tradition of lightweight rowing, with a streak of six consecutive Pacific Coast Rowing Championship titles in the men’s lightweight eight. On the heavyweight side, while we couldn’t claim a streak of titles like the lightweights, or a recently graduated Olympic silver medalist in Amy Fuller like the women’s team, there was enough talent and experience to believe that we could win some races.
The enthusiasm over the news that Brad had agreed to coach the varsity men was shared by everyone in the program, men and women alike. He was a gold medalist, and one of the most famous rowers in the United States. But he wasn’t just a famous gold medalist, he was a California kid who won his gold medal a few miles down the 101, and did it by beating the system. Brad didn’t have the pedigree of his domestic protagonists, and as club rowers from a school many associated with a Halloween street party, neither did we. It seemed like the perfect fit.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
Though Brad brought much of what had made him successful as an athlete, from workouts to mental training, he also brought the lessons of a single sculler, the need for independence and the desire to control one’s own destiny. He also expected to see in us a similar quantity of that which he possessed in abundance—self-direction. Like any Olympian, and certainly any Olympic gold medalist, he was exceptionally self-motivated, but also uniquely motivated to chart his own path. As chronicled in both Assault and The Amateurs, how else could he have endured thousands of hours of solitary training and the many setbacks before his ultimate success at Lake Casitas?
His athletes that year though, while not the disaffected, goofy beach kids portrayed in the book, didn't share Brad's passion for independence. We were normal college students, who ran the gamut in athletic maturity. We wanted to be pushed by Brad, but that wasn’t what he was there to do, at least in his estimation. He was there to guide us, to mentor, but ultimately to allow us to choose the path that we wanted to travel.
And that fit with who he was as an athlete; he didn’t need to be yelled at, he just wanted some feedback every once in awhile. It’s the sort of relationship seen in his interactions with Tony Johnson and Mike Livingston in Assault On Lake Casitas.
|UCSB racing in San Diego|
We needed more. Throughout our athletic backgrounds we had been pushed by coaches, told what success was, and how we measured up on a daily basis. When our team captain called Brad to ask that he push us harder on and off the water he responded somewhat dismissively with “well Captain, part of my job is to teach you to push yourselves.”
His job was to do that, but he was also fond of telling us that rowing should be a lower priority in our lives behind school, family, and relationships. It’s not that this was wrong, but the repetition of that statement felt disconnected from the competing message of self-motivation. Maybe we should have done a better job of being proactive, doing workouts on our own, and looking back I can’t blame Brad for having high expectations for our capacities, or for encouraging us to put rowing into context. It just didn’t translate to success on the water.
We were slow that year. Slower than we had been the year before, or would be the year after. This was largely a product of under-conditioning and a lack of cohesion, both technical and psychological. In his effort to empower us Brad had decided on an athlete centric decision matrix, wherein we decided what the lineups would be.
That year, as a starboard, I raced in every odd numbered seat in the eight, with each position change representative of a response to a loss and the hope that the reorganization of personnel would lead to a different result. I can remember a few post-race conversations starting with “if I were at stroke”; in the Brad Lewis system such a statement was more than a hypothetical, it was a precursor to tomorrow’s lineup change. It was also how we broke down as a team. While it wasn’t intended, putting the decisions in our hands, especially after the losses mounted, pitted teammates, friends, and roommates against one another. That breakdown would culminate, at least in a team sense, in the defection of the lightweight eight from Brad to the novice men’s coach, a division that separated us from friends that we had shared workouts with for years.
Competition between teammates was a recurring theme, mostly in unique, and sometimes peculiar, ways. While we had many intersquad races in small boats around Lake Cachuma, we also had contests to see who was the best at punching the speed bag Brad installed in the boathouse, who could pull the best erg time with a five-pound plate balanced on our heads, who could race down a mountain the fastest, through thickets of Manzanita and poison oak, and of course, who could hang on a chin up bar the longest. We ran quite a bit as well, around the Santa Barbara Airport, up the old San Marcos pass, or along Goleta Beach. The prize for all of these competitions was usually a Crunch bar, a token of praise from our coach that most went to great lengths to secure.
Peculiar methods or not, we wanted Brad’s approval. In that race down the mountain my roommate, a caricature of whom would appear in the book as a stack of fabrications named "Moose Morse," knowingly went through poison oak to take the shortest path to the finish line, a decision that would ultimately lead to a trip to the hospital to treat the severe rash that was a byproduct of his determination.
Taken individually all of these workouts and practices were fresh and innovative, the kind of singular experience that would have been perfect to break up the monotony of more traditional training. Stitched together into a whole season, however, they left us lacking in the type of hard training and technical repetition that characterizes the sport. Shadow rowing can’t replace what it’s meant to simulate, and thus we returned again and again to the need to be pushed by Brad. For some reason he held back from prescribing to us the type of hard work that made him a champion.
And so it ended a frustrating year for us, and probably for Brad as well. As much as would I have liked to have it turn out differently, with a pile of shirts and medals to cap off a year under the tutelage of a famous Olympian, it didn’t work out that way. That it wasn’t a successful year was no one’s fault and everyone’s. He wasn’t suited to be a coach, and we weren’t suited to be eight single scullers who got together on the weekends to race an eight.
I think that perhaps he thought that a club program, as opposed to a varsity one, would be the perfect lab for his experiments in athlete empowerment and unconventional training. Unrestrained by the trappings of an athletic department, with athletes so motivated to row that each was willing to pay for the opportunity, he would have willing subjects and the flexibility to do what he wanted. If it didn’t go well then who would believe that a bunch of kids from a party school could ever be disciplined enough to be rowers anyway. This would manifest itself in Wanted: Rowing Coach, and in comments since, wherein he reduced us to the types of shallow generalizations he fought for years to overcome as an athlete.
Despite all of this that year wasn’t a waste. In the immediate aftermath it was difficult to get past the frustration and disappointment, but in the long term I’ve learned to find value in the lessons learned. Ultimately, though that year was the most unsuccessful of my four years as a collegiate rower, I carry more from it than any other. Each day with Brad came with a lesson; mountaineers, religious figures, weightlifters, and rowers all contributed their teachings in an anthology edited by Brad.
In Wanted: Rowing Coach he, or his fictional counterpart, assumes his athletes’ weren’t listening. We were. I just wish he would have told the story differently, and explained his own limitations as opposed to just ours.
As Virginia Woolf once said, "If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people."
Sunday, October 4, 2015
Saturday, September 26, 2015
|The 2015 RoRys, Elite Edition (Photo thanks to David Watts)|
Are you ready to celebrate the best of the best, bar none, in rowing? Don't answer that, because we're going to do it anyway. Too. Much. Excitement. This being a pre-Olympic year, there was even more at stake at the World Rowing Championships, with qualification making every semifinal and final a tense affair. As usual, the best of the best rose to the occasion. Let's talk about it.
Friday, September 25, 2015
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
|Karsten competing at the 2010 world championships in New Zealand (Photo: © Kevin Light)|
This week's video comes to us via the official YouTube Channel of the Olympics, which recently spent a week honoring the best athletes and performances on the Olympic stage.
Friday, September 11, 2015
While most of the headlines have gone to the teams atop the medal table, the French lightweights are certainly deserving of recognition, medaling in every event that they entered, including gold for top crew Jérémie Azou and Stany Delayre in the lightweight men's double. They earned a second gold medal in the lightweight quad, silvers in the LM2- and LM8+, and a fifth medal (a bronze) in the stacked lightweight men's four field.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
|Epic screen capture from Henry Fieldman's new video|
This week's video comes to us thanks to Henry Fieldman, coxswain of the British men's coxed pair, and details the harrowing journey that the crew endured along the way to the World Rowing Championships this year. Let's just say, it was touch and go for a while there.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
|No shortage of boats at the course at Lac d'Aiguebelette (Photo by Cam Girdlestone)|
The 2015 World Rowing Championships are nearly upon us at Lac d'Aiguebelette, France, and the conditions couldn't be nicer for a contest between the world's best rowing athletes. This being an Olympic qualification year, there's still more at stake, and we're expecting a host of impressive performances as rowing federations jostle for position with a view toward Rio.
Friday, August 21, 2015
|The course for head-to-head racing on the Charles|
The latest in the Red Bull rowing event series, which includes the famous Red Bull XRow held in Switzerland, is coming to Boston this weekend, and there will be no shortage of talent on the Charles River. And, as is typically the case with Red Bull events, it looks to be both unusual and hair-raising for athletes and spectators alike.
Monday, August 17, 2015
This week's video comes to us thanks to U.S. national team rower Matt Miller, who today released the latest in his series of training features with the men's eight, this one covering their summer training and the build up to the world championships.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
|The U.S. men's eight crosses the line first at the 2015 Universiade (Photo © Chris Brown)|
We're now just a little over two weeks away from the World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette, France, where the world's top rowing athletes will gather to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio next year. Team USA is coming off a series of strong international performances, including multiple trips to the podium in Plovdiv at U23s, as well as a historically good World Rowing Junior Championships, but we thought we'd take a look back to one of the earliest successes of the summer: The victory for the U.S. men's eight in Chungju at the World University Games.
Thursday, August 6, 2015
|Early morning training at California Rowing Club (Photo: B. Kitch)|
The final boats for this year's U.S. world championships team have been named, following trials on Wednesday in Princeton. And, we've got to say, we don't understand the logic behind the selection procedures for the men’s quad.
Monday, August 3, 2015
|The junior women's eight from the Netherlands training on Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon (Photo courtesy Erik Mus)|
The World Rowing Junior Championships are set to kick off this week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and despite the less-than-ideal water conditions (a situation that is a developing concern for the upcoming Olympic Games as well—of that, more later), the world's best high school rowers are keeping a sunny disposition and gearing up for a week full of racing.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
|The view from the boat bay (Photo: B. Kitch)|
Coaching is difficult. Success depends on the right mixture of soft and hard skills, in many cases unique to a particular group of athletes, program type, or other circumstance. Examples abound across all sports and professions. It’s not uncommon for a successful coach at one program to move to another and not see the same results.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
|The Brazilian men's double training in Rio (Screen capture)|
This week's featured videos offer two views of the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, one from Chile, and the other from Brazil.
Monday, July 20, 2015
|The Kiwi Pair celebrate Olympic gold in the London 2012 edition of ROWING Magazine|
This week's video comes to us from the Rotsee in Lucerne, Switzerland, where the Kiwi Pair re-entered international competition in 2015 with yet another win, this time capping off the World Rowing Cup series for the year.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
|Opening Day, 1987 via KOMO News (Screen capture)|
This week's combination #ThrowbackThursday-Video Of The Week post comes to us thanks to KOMO News, Seattle, and is a look back at the 1987 Windermere Cup, which saw the Soviet national rowing team come to the Northwest to race the Washington Huskies.
Friday, July 10, 2015
|David Watts and the Aussie M4x training on the Rotsee (Photo: © David Watts)|
The third and final World Rowing Cup of the year is already well underway, with the heats earlier this morning and the semis and finals upcoming over the weekend
Monday, July 6, 2015
|Yale on their way to winning the semifinal of the Ladies' Plate (Photo: RR Staff)|
This week's video comes to us from the banks of the Thames, and features some of the most outstanding performances from the 2015 Henley Royal Regatta, which wrapped up yesterday after nearly a week of top-notch racing.
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Cornell Lightweights Have Had Tough Road to Semifinals in Temple, and Face Toughest Competition Yet Saturday
The Cornell lightweight men have shown poise throughout the first three rounds of the Temple Challenge Cup, but will all these tight races take a toll heading into the semifinals?
Friday, July 3, 2015
|High Tea with the Hoos|
The following is the fifth installment of our series with Virginia's Forrest Brown, after the Hoos' close loss to Hobart in the Temple Challenge Cup.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
|Virginia racing past the Progress Board in Round One of the Temple|
The following is the fourth installment of our #HoosGoingToHenley series with Forrest Brown of Virginia Men's Rowing.
|Things are already heating up in Henley-on-Thames (Photo: B. Kitch)|
While the first day of racing at Henley is nearly over, there are many events that have not yet begun. Wednesday was a hot one, both in terms of the weather and the action on the water, and we don't see any reason what that should change (in the case of the latter, at least) throughout the week on the Thames. Here are a few choice picks and predictions for the racing to come, thanks to the RR International Research Department.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
|Not long now! Catching up with the Hoos on the eve of Henley Royal Regatta|
What follows is the third installment of our #HoosGoingToHenley series, thanks to Forrest Brown of Virginia, as he and the Cavaliers gear up for the first day of racing at Henley Royal Regatta.
|Kent School Boat Club at Dorney Lake (Photo courtesy of KSBC)|
This week's featured video comes to us thanks to Sam Haack of Kent School Boat Club, as KSBC prepares to take on the competition in the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta, starting tomorrow!
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
|#HoosGoingToHenley, Part Two: Dude, where are our oars?|
While Henley is still a week away, it's time for the second installment of the #HoosGoingToHenley series, with Forrest Brown.
Monday, June 22, 2015
This week's double-feature comes to us from England, where Oxford Brookes is looking to put the finishing touches on a stellar season, while Leander is aiming to defend home water at Henley Royal Regatta.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
|Last strokes of the men's varsity eight final at USRowing Youth Nationals, 2015 (Photo: J. Price)|
It was another Year of the Dynasty in college rowing in 2015, but this year’s running of USRowing Youth Nationals saw new champions crowned.
Friday, June 19, 2015
|Results from H1 of the M2x (via @SinkovicBros)|
The second World Rowing Cup of the season is underway in Varese, Italy, and there are a couple international athletes who are winning both on and off the water. After the racing today, which saw both Mahe Drysdale and the Sinkovic Brothers progress to the A/B semifinals, three of the world's best scullers took to Twitter, with Drysdale challenging Martin and Valent Sinkovic to come race in the single. And the results? Fantastic.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
#HoosGoingToHenley, Part One: Forrest Brown of Virginia on Henley Training at Home in Charlottesville
|RR series: #HoosGoingToHenley, Part One|
As longtime readers of RowingRelated will remember, we have twice connected with athletes and crews heading over to Henley Royal Regatta in the past. This year, we're doing it again.
Monday, June 15, 2015
|Coxswain's view of the Norcal men's lightweight eight (Screen capture)|
This year's running of USRowing Youth Nationals is in the books, and while the college rowing championships saw repeat champions in most cases (and the return of the Stanford Lightweight dynasty in others), the racing in Sarasota featured a bevy of new crews crowned.
Saturday, June 13, 2015
|Matt Miller (right) training with the U.S. men's eight (Screen capture)|
World Rowing Cup II is just around the corner, and the U.S. men's eight is gearing up to head over to Europe for their first international competition of this pre-Olympic year. And, thanks to the work of Mike Gennaro and Matt Miller, we've got an inside (read: banter-laden) look at just who these guys are donning the red, white, and blue in the big boat this season.