Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Best Rowing Drills: Two-time NCAA Champion Kevin Sauer of Virginia's Fave Five

Kevin Sauer at the 2012 NCAA Championships (Photo: B. Kitch)
Having done a little research recently, I discovered that, surprisingly, there's not much available on the Internets in terms of useful content for rowing coaches. Try scanning the web for decent examples of drills and technique, and you'll find that what is accessible to most is largely race footage, which certainly has its place in the coaching toolkit, but ultimately isn't that informative on its own. This is the first in a series on the best rowing drills, featuring some of the top junior and collegiate coaches in the U.S. If you like this idea, let us know, and share it—if it takes off, then we'll continue to build a library and create an index on our Coaching page. For the first series, we'll be releasing the an article every Wednesday for the next five weeks.

As with this post, this early series will be mostly geared toward sweep rowing, but sculling will also feature in the near future. And so, without further ado, here are two-time NCAA champion head coach Kevin Sauer's five favorite drills.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Video Of The Week: On the water with the Princeton Tigers in Tampa

Pinceton's 2015 winter training camp (Screen capture)
This week's video comes to us via the Ivy League Digital Network, and features the Princeton Tigers during their winter training trip to Tampa last month. In addition to a host of on-the-water shots and footage from the coach's launch, Tiger men's head coach Greg Hughes offers an inside look at a new onboard telemetry system that the Tigers have begun using to measure individual and crew output in the boat. And, the Tiger coaching staff was joined on the trip by biomechanics expert Connie Draper (for a video interview with Draper, please see this post thanks to Tom Carter), who has worked with the Australian Institute of Sport, and who helped to interpret and make the most of the newly available data.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

World University Games: Michigan's Gregg Hartsuff Putting Experience to Good Use

Michigan men racing at the Head Of The Charles (Photo courtesy of Gregg Hartsuff)
Working from his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, longtime Wolverines head coach Gregg Hartsuff is putting together what he hopes will be a podium-ready team for the 2015 World University Games, under the aegis of USRowing. Following the performance at least year's World University Games, USRowing had decided against sending another team this year, but when representatives from the Games reached out to Hartsuff, he felt that it would be a worthy project, and USRowing later agreed to back the team. (The team will be allowed to use the official crest, and will be racing as the United States in Korea this summer, but must fund its own trip to the regatta.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

RR Interview: Beijing Bronze Medalist and Rio Olympic Hopeful George Bridgewater of New Zealand

George Bridgewater racing at the 2015 New Zealand Rowing Championships (Photo: Steve McArthur)

Already a double Olympian after Beijing, where he won a bronze medal with partner Nathan Twaddle in the men's pair, George Bridgewater decided it was time for a new challenge. The next chapter in his life took him from Oxford (where he won the Boat Race) to Hong Kong, where he put his considerable competitive drive to good use in the business world. But something wasn't quite right—Bridgewater knew that he could still be competitive on the water as well, and last year made the decision to give it one more go. The goal: Rio 2016. Here, George shares some insights about his previous Olympic experiences, his time away from the sport, and the journey back to elite-level training and racing with Rowing New Zealand.

Monday, February 16, 2015

VOTW: Canterbury Rowing Club Prepares for the New Zealand Rowing Championships

This week's video comes to us from Christchurch, New Zealand, where Canterbury Rowing Club (est. 1861) is preparing for the New Zealand Rowing Championships, to be held this week at Lake Ruataniwha. The video offers a mix of on-the-water training, land workouts, and the kind of general faffing about necessary at all good rowing clubs. Along with Canterbury Rowing Club, the best of the best will be competing this week, including Mahé Drysdale, Robbie Manson, and Hamish Bond—the trio who finished first, second, and third (separated by 0.6 seconds) at the North Island Club Championships, featured in our VOTW last week. This year, Bond will be racing in the M1x, M2-, M4-, and M8+ (for a look back at the final of the 2014 championships, which Bond won by roughly half a length over Drysdale, watch the video here).

Keep tabs on the results from Lake Ruataniwha here:

And coming up this week, our interview with Beijing bronze medalist and Rio 2016 hopeful, George Bridgewater. Keep it locked!

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.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Oxford University Boat Club's Mike DiSanto Checks in on Winter Training with the Dark Blues

The OUBC Christmas sweater row (Photo courtesy Mike DiSanto)
The following is the second installment of Harvard Alum Mike DiSanto's training log from the 2014-2015 season with the Oxford Blues, this one detailing the Trial VIIIs and their winter training camp in France. From Mike:

Hey everyone,

Hope the winter training is going well. I haven’t been home since Christmas but I’m hearing Boston is currently under about four feet of snow! Sometimes living abroad has its perks and not having to deal with a frozen river and consecutive months on the erg is definitely one of them. When I last checked in, OUBC had just taken part in a successful Fuller’s Fours Head. Since then a lot has happened and I’ll do my best to bring you up to speed.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Video Of The Week: As close as it gets at the North Island Club Championships in New Zealand

This week's video comes to us from New Zealand, where the North Island Club Championships took place at Lake Karapiro over the weekend. The regatta saw what is currently the best overall team in the world go head to head in small boats, and the results were suitably outstanding, with perhaps the ultimate nail-biter finish in the men's premier single, shown above. Heading into the final few meters, reigning Olympic champion Mahé Drysdale just barely holds off a furious charge from two other Olympians—Robbie Manson and Hamish Bond. As they cross the line, less than 0.6 seconds separates the first three athletes, with Drysdale avenging his loss to Bond at last year's North Island Champs, and Manson making good on early season promise in 2015. When all was said and done, Mahé took gold in a time of 6:58.46, Manson silver in 6:58.79, and Bond bronze in 6:59.01. The other half of the Kiwi Pair, Eric Murray, finished sixth in the A Final.

Another notable result was Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast's victory in the women's premier pair, with the 2014 U23 and senior world gold medalists (the latter in the W4- in Amsterdam) edging senior team rivals Rebecca Scown (2012 Olympic bronze medalist) and Genevieve Behrent by roughly four seconds, with Kayla Pratt and Holly Greensdale taking bronze in the event. You can view complete results fro the North Island Club Championships here.

More on Rowing NZ to come here on RR, as we chat with Beijing bronze medalist George Bridgewater, who finished 7th overall in the men's premier single, about his Olympic success and the road back to the national team after pursuing a career through the last Olympic cycle.

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.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

#TBT: The 2004 Olympic Final of the Men's Four—Best Race of the Regatta?

This week, we're throwing it back to the Olympic Games in Athens, and the final of the men's coxless four. In a regatta that was filled to the brim with excellent racing, this might have been the best of the lot. It features a shocking number of the most successful rowing athletes in international racing history, including Matthew Pinsent, James Cracknell, and Jake Wetzel, and the finish has to be seen to be believed—in the end, the victory for Team GB earned Pinsent his fourth Olympic gold medal, securing his place in the pantheon of world rowing.

While the above video includes commentary from each of the rowers in the British four, and helps set the stage for a dramatic final, the below offers look at the race in its entirety. Take a closer look at that New Zealand men's four—does anyone look familiar? Mahé Drysdale is sitting in the two seat, and the boat is stroked by Eric Murray. Mind = blown, right?

Have an ideal candidate for #TBT for #FBF next 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.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Video Of The Week: Banyoles Training Camp with Cambridge University Boat Club

CUBC training in Banyoles (screen capture)
This week's video comes to us from the Estany de Banyoles in Girona, Spain, and allows a peek inside Cambridge University Boat Club's winter training camp. The Light Blues made the most of their trip, going head to head in everything from pairs to eights, and even exhibiting some surprising skill on the basketball court. The footage includes a combination of on-the-water and drone's-eye-view camera angles. What it shows is some nicely executed technical rowing, especially by eights, that could up the Boat Race banter level entering the Tideway Fixtures (recently announced by the official website of the Boat Races). From the look of it, head coach Steve Trapmore has his CUBC squad in a good place at this point in the season, but whether he'll be able to steal Sean Bowden's mojo come April is another question entirely.

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.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

RowingRelated Winter Training Photo Contest: We Have a Winner!

The winning photo, thanks to @radcliffecrew
On Monday, we announced the 21 finalists in our Instagram #RowingRelated Winter Training Photo Contest, and today, we've picked a winner. Congratulations to Harvard-Radcliffe Crew for taking first place for this gorgeous shot of the Harvard heavyweight men walking up the dock during their Florida training camp! As promised, the winning photo will be the RowingRelated Facebook page cover photo for the month of February—and, frankly, it looks awesome

A photo posted by Harvard-Radcliffe Rowing (@radcliffecrew) on

Thanks to everyone who participated in the #RowingRelated photo contest this winter—we were blown away by the quality of the entries, and choosing a winner was a very difficult process, to be sure! It has been great getting to follow and learn more about all of your winter training trips (and associated mustache competitions), and we look forward to continuing to more as the ice melts and it comes time for a little racing. Tag us throughout spring racing season for a chance to be featured, both on our Instagram profile as well as right here on the blog. 

Thanks again,

The RR Social Media Team