Showing posts from February, 2011

Video of the Week: 2008 Cal-Stanford Dual

This week's video is from Captured Speed Productions, and features a fantastic dual from Redwood Shores, with several current US National Team members going head to head on the narrow course. The race is quite close, and the rowing is of a very high quality. Both crews battle with the intensity one expects from such a rivalry as Cal v. Stanford, and the result is an excellent example of varsity-level collegiate racing. In the Stanford boat are Mark Murphy (7 seat), who rowed in the US Men's VIII in Karapiro, Silas Stafford (6 seat), stroke of the US Men's 4- in Karapiro and RR interviewee , and Alex Osborne (4 seat), who raced in the Men's VIII at Worlds in 2009. In the Cal boat, Nareg Guregian (5 seat) most recently raced in the Men's 2+ in Karapiro, and was in the 2009 U23 Men's VIII, in addition to being named the 2010 Pac-10 Rowing Athlete of the Year. Guregian also stroked the Cal Men's VIII to an IRA Championship last June, coming from behind to de

University of Virginia Men's Rowing Poised to Make Waves this Spring

UVA Men at the Head of the Charles (Photo credit: With all the indoor championships going on over the past few weeks, it might have been easy to miss the Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints. However, here at RR we like to have our ear to the ground. While Greg Flood of Notre Dame was turning heads in Boston with a spectacular performance in the Men's Lightweight category, the UVA men's squad was busy taking names in Alexandria. Coach Frank Biller  must be doing something right. Or maybe there's something in the water out there? Clearly, the UVA men are on a mission: to battle down the proud (aka Michigan) at ACRAs this Spring. Their erg scores from the event show that the physiology is in place for what could be a serious upset. In addition to Matt Miller going 5:54.7 in the Open category (a result that would have earned him 3rd place overall at Crash-Bs), UVA has no less than four more varsity rowers under 6:20, and eleven rowers under 6:30 (two of who

Friday Announcements: Update from RR

I'm still ironing out the kinks in our upcoming RR interview with Jason Read, but it will be published as soon as we nail down the final copy. In addition to our interview with JR, I'm currently at work on another with Greg Flood of Notre Dame, 2010 and 2011 Crash-B Champion in the Collegiate Lightweight division. RowingRelated has been growing, and that is all thanks to you, the reader. In keeping with that idea, we'd like to know more about what you, the reader, would like to see. If you have any comments or suggestions, or there's a particular kind of content you'd like to see more of, send us an email at rowingrelated[at] In the meantime, we hope you've been enjoying the articles and interviews to date, and we're looking forward to all that Spring racing season has to offer. Thanks very much, Bryan and the RR Editorial Staff

Crash-Bs 2011: Some Familiar Surprises

This past Sunday marked the 30th annual Crash-B Indoor Rowing World Championships, and there were some very familiar faces mixed in with a host of new ones in Boston. The University of Washington men dominated the Open event, with two elite level finishes from Conlin McCabe (overall winner in 5:48.0) and Hans Struzyna (second place overall in 5:52.6 -- he managed this while standing only 6'2" tall and weighing in at 185 lbs, according to the UW website). Is it just me, or is this maybe a statement about UW's intentions after last year's narrow defeat at the IRA? New York Athletic Club member and World Champion Jamie Koven showed that he still has much rowing ahead of him, crushing the Men's Masters (30-39) event in a time of 5:57 flat. This would be quite an achievement at any age, and is especially outstanding given the constraints his career places on his schedule. Outside of Koven, there was a noticeable lack of current men's US National Team members at

Video of the Week: The University of Cape Town Men's VIII

This week's video comes to us from Cape Town, South Africa, and features some epic music along with some very nice technical rowing from the University men's team, both on the water as well as on the erg(o). The style is very British, with a nice, upright posture through the finish and release. While there are some interesting rigs through the film (note the switching back and fort between a standard and a bucketed 5-4 lineup), the crew seem to handle things quite well, and make most of what is apparently a fairly demanding training regimen. The video features some feedback from the coaches and the athletes, as well as a number of extended shots of the rowing -- certainly a quality production and one that showcases the program at UCT very well. Want to suggest the next Video of the Week? Send us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com.

RR Interview: 10 Questions with Peter Graves

Pete (bow) and Tom (stroke) in the 2x, Newport, CA (Photo credit: Val Stepanchuk) Peter Graves, 2008, 2009, and 2010 winner of the Championship 2x at the Charles along with his brother Tom, talks with RR about his rowing family, winning Henley with Trinity College, racing the Head of the Charles, US Trials, Worlds, and more. RR: Your family has a tradition of great rowing -- at what age did you start in the sport, and when did it first take hold as a passion of yours? PG: My earliest rowing memory was when I was very young. I remember walking up and down a course searching for my Dad. It seemed like I was by myself all day asking people if they had seen him. Then finally someone said that they knew where he was and pointed to the river. Sure enough there he was... racing by. So I walked to our car and just waited. So that's a pretty boring memory that I just dug up right there. Since that point I have grown to like rowing more and more. When I was 10 years old, my family

Op-Ed: Rowing Small Boats Does Not Make You Fast

An Op-Ed from the RR Editorial Staff: One of rowing's universally-held, deeply-seated beliefs is the idea that rowing small boats makes you a more technical oarsman. Often, coaches spend the whole of their Fall training (after doing some head racing in the 8 or the 4+) in small boats, because of this known truth. On account of the stability of the 8 and the 4+, small boats are seen as the best way to acquire boat feel and develop the skills necessary for top-notch speed in the larger boat categories when it's time to line up for the Spring season. While it may not be far from the truth, this strongly held belief is wrong. Here is the truth: rowing small boats well makes you a more skilled technical rower. Rowing small boats poorly causes your skills to deteriorate. If you spend all your time rowing poorly in a pair, you'll be ingraining physical adjustments to bad rowing, which will become bad habits, and can actually hurt your ability to move the eight. There are two

Video of the Week: Drew Ginn -- Back on the Water

Drew Ginn, whose last major feat on the water was winning gold in Beijing, has spent a great deal of time away from the sport over the past two years, focusing on cycling, and having a great deal of success (as I've discussed ). Lately, however, it seems that Ginn is deciding that his rowing career may not, in fact, be over. This week's video comes from Ginn's blog ( ), and features the multiple-time Olympic champion rowing in a 4-, with the usual style and grace. The technique here is very much worth watching -- the upper-bodies are wonderfully quiet as the legs pick up the catch (this is due to the quick, but very relaxed extension of the arms from the release, ensuring that the motion at the front end will be an uncomplicated one). Ginn raced on Saturday, and has updated his blog regarding the result. He's also posted a picture of his hand (ouch) -- all part of the reintroduction to rowing, even if you've won the Olympics. Thanks to Nick

RR Interview: Warren Anderson of the US Men's 2x

Warren Anderson, who began his rowing career in Southern California, is ready to make waves in London. Since his outstanding performance at Crash-B's in 2006 (where he won the men's collegiate event with a time of 5:54.3), Anderson has dedicated much of his time to sculling, and has produced some of the US National Team's best results in the 1x since Jamie Koven in the late 90s. In 2008, he was named as an alternate to the US Olympic Team. Most recently, Anderson and new partner Glenn Ochal  (from CRC and PTC respectively) put their names on the map in the 2x, taking 7th in Karapiro after narrowly missing a shot at the medal round in their first World Championships together. Here, Warren tells us what is was like to come from a small program on the West Coast and find yourself a member of the 2008 Olympic squad, as well as what may be in the cards for the coming year. RR: You began rowing for the Loyola Marymount University Lions, a small program in Marina Del Rey, Calif

Great Ones, Part 6: Opportunity Knocks

Grobler at the 2010 Crash-B World Indoor Rowing Championships (Photo credit: Every great athlete was lucky enough to find the sport for which they were best suited. This takes a little bit of luck, the proper attitude, and decisive nature. Although pure chance or happenstance is often a large part of the discovery of one's natural talent or prowess for a certain sport, there are other elements that play a role determining opportunity. You must be smart enough to first look for and be open to opportunity, if you are going to discover the sport at which you'll become most successful. This requires not only an open mind, but also awareness and perspective, so that opportunities are noticed and interpreted as such. Secondly, the athlete must have the wherewithal to take advantage of the opportunity when it is presented . This often requires risk and the unknown, including the risk of failure and dealing with not being great immediately (increasingly

Video of the Week: CUBC and OUBC Winter Training

This video marks the first reader-submitted RR Video of the Week, and is another fantastic, insider look at the training and preparation that goes on during the build up to the Boat Race (now just six weeks away). Here, we get a look at the Winter Training and overseas camps for both squads (Cambridge in Spain, and Oxford in Southwest France). Xchanging has done very well with this series -- production values are great, as is the level of content. In addition to a number of high-quality shots of rowing, there are interviews with both chief coaches, as well as athletes of both squads, including American Derek Rasmussen (formerly of the University of Wisconsin, and a member of the US U23 VIII that won gold in 2008, along with RR interviewee Silas Stafford). Thanks very much to Mark for submitting the video! If you'd like to submit a video for the site, send us an email at Note: For FeedBurner subscribers, click the title of the article to view the video

RR Interview: Ryan Monaghan of the US Men's 2-

Monaghan (left) and McEachern (right), racing NSR III last Spring (Photo Credit: Oklahoma City National High Performance Center) Ryan Monaghan has built himself an impressive résumé in rowing over the past few years. After graduating from Cornell with a degree in Physics (yeah, he's pretty quick in the classroom too), he moved on to Cambridge, where he was in the stern pair of the Blue Boat in both 2008 and 2009 (the 2009 CUBC VIII had a stern pair made up of two current US National Team members, in Monaghan and Stafford -- coincidentally the first two RR interviewees). Since coming back to the US, Ryan made the move to Oklahoma City, and has taken full advantage of the new facilities developing there. This year, he and another American veteran of Cambridge, Deaglan McEachern, combined to form the US Men's 2-, which battled through a great deal of adversity to place a very respectable 9th in one of the fastest fields in Karapiro this year (remember, this category had the fa

Great Ones, Part 5: Consistency

Spracklen (Illustration: B. Kitch) Many athletes and coaches want to know what workouts an elite level rower has completed before a major breakthrough in training, or a major success in competition. They want to how the athlete got to where they are by finding a special workout or a special formula for success in terms of the best training plan. The problem with this is that they are often looking in the wrong places. No successful endurance athlete became successful by doing one or two "special workouts" repeatedly, yet people are often trying to find such magic training sessions in an attempt to take their own performance to the next level. There is no magical workout or training plan that makes Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase the fastest lightweight double in the world. Consistency is the key. They have trained well over a long period of time and allowed their bodies to adapt to the training. Gradually, they have become stronger and fitter, handling more training each an

The Erg and Injury: A Response

Smooth sculling on the Schuylkill (Photo: B. Kitch) As I've discussed quite recently, the RR article, 'Why do Rowers Fear the Erg?' has attracted some attention, and was posted to the Rowperfect UK site. This resulted in a number of comments, one of which came from a former international lightweight and world champion from the Netherlands (and inventor of the Rowperfect)  Frans Göbel , MD, who contributed to the discussion by posting a study from the Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St James’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. With this, he included his own comment, "Injuries are related with the amount of work (training) and with ergometer training." I am by no means a former world champion, nor have I rowed as a member of my country's national team, nor am I a doctor. Frans Göbel can boast far more credentials than I, and I have nothing but respect for his accomplishments and opinions. However, I must disagree with this assessment of the data. It means