Showing posts from June, 2011

On the Water with Matt Miller, Part VII: Round Two

UVa men's eight launches - alongside a notable pair (Photo: Allen Miller) Update from Henley-on-Thames: Round two is now done, and the UVa men have delivered another strong performance, though the four has been knocked out by a strong Durham crew. The eight had a solid race against a tough Oxford Brookes entry – conditions are always variable at Henley, and Brookes handled the changing winds and wakes very well, hanging on throughout the race. Here's Matt's view on the racing from within the UVa eight: UVa engine room (Photo: Allen Miller) The competition certainly improves after the first round. Frank warned the eight today that the 2006 champions, Oxford Brookes University, would go out hard. We had a good start, but they were right with us through the end of the island. By the barrier, our flow and rhythm at base-rate had gained us half a boat. A big move put us a length ahead, and we would hold that margin to the line. It was not a particularly good row for us

OTW with Matt Miller, Part VI: Henley, Round One

The UVa 4+ takes off in Henley (Photo: Allen Miller) Update from Henley-on-Thames: The UVa men's eight and men's four have both won their first round match-ups in the Temple and Prince Albert, respectively, and will be looking to build on their new racing experience on the course tomorrow. The timetable has just been released for tomorrow's racing, and can be found here . Below, Matt shares his thoughts on UVa's performance: Races at Henley are everything I was promised and more. The crowds were already noticeable for our 7 AM warm up row, both in the number of visitors and unusual fashion. After one lap of the course in the morning, we went home for a quick breakfast, and back to the course to watch the varsity four’s race. Because the Steward’s Enclosure has a strict dress code, the varsity eight watched from the downstream enclosure. Our four took control early with a ¾ length lead, and sustained that margin for the remainder of the race. University of London m

Henley Royal Regatta, 2011: RR Picks and Predictions

'There is nothing quite so comforting as a panel of experts.' (Photo: K. Kitch) As promised, below are our picks and predictions for this year's HRR, with special thanks to an 'unnamed source.' And so, without further ado... Elite events: The elite events will feature several battles between very strong crews from Australia and Great Britain . The GB crews will be very keen to make a statement after sitting out World Cup II (due to E. coli fears in Hamburg), and the Aussies will look to set the tone for Lucern and Worlds later this summer in Slovenia. Keep an eye on Chula Vista Training Center (US National Team) in the Stewards' Challenge Cup. In the Double Sculls, we can't see anything other than a showdown between the top seeds – the 2008 Olympic Champions Crawshay and Brennan of Australia, and the 'Red Express' duo of Wells and Bateman. In the Queen Mother, the Croatians are obviously clear favorites, while Princeton Training Center (US N

OTW with Matt Miller, Part V: The Draw

UVa at Henley abode (Photo: Allen Miller) The latest installment in our OTW series – Matt catches us up on The Draw and the weekend in Henley, as UVa prepares to race tomorrow: The Draw is out, and it feels like a complete reversal of luck from a Spring season with unfortunate circumstances and races we believe did not show our full potential. The stewards were obviously impressed by our ACRA results; beating the Dad Vail champions at our last regatta earned us a spot in the top eight seeded crews. The team watched intently from a crowded, hot town hall in the heart of Henley as stewards drew names from a cup. Somehow the other seeded American crews (Harvard, Yale and California) all appeared on the other side of the bracket, leaving us on the bottom against some undoubtedly fast unknown European talent. Even FIT, a team I expected to be seeded, is in the top-half of the bracket. The eight faces East Anglia at 11:35 AM on Wednesday. The four will face the University of London i

Video of the Week: Golden Blades of St. Petersburg

This week's video comes to us thanks to FISA's coverage of the first ever Golden Blades Regatta in St. Petersburg, Russia. The races were held in the heart of the city, and were 250m in length -- a very short sprint, which made the most of the event's prime location and viewing potential. The event was loaded with international talent, including a German men's eight (possibly their U23s?) and a women's eight from Canada, along with some big names in the men's 1x ( Mahe Drysdale , Luka Spik ) and women's 1x ( Frida Svensson , Mirka Knapkova ). The video includes interviews with several of the athletes as well as nice shots of the venue and the racing. This year marked the first running of the event, which FISA would like to become an annual regatta in St. Petersburg. For more, visit the official website of World Rowing . Note for FeedBurner subscribers: Click the title of the article to view the video on our website. This is Henley week, so upcoming is

OTW with Matt Miller, Part IV: Qualifying the Four – Update from Henley

The boat tents at Henley, from the bridge (Photo: Matt Miller) Good news for Virginia from Henley, as the four has successfully qualified for the Prince Albert Challenge Cup, following their time trial earlier today. While the four had other concerns, Matt and the eight were training both on land and on the water. Here's Matt's update from the shores of the Thames: There are new faces around the boat tents and on the course every day as we approach dual races starting Wednesday. Friday was a taste of official racing for the qualifying time trials. The eight practiced twice as part of the training program, while the four went out for a course walk-through in preparation for their 5:07 PM time trial. The UVa men's four after qualifying (Photo: Matt Miller) A very kind Virginia Tech grad with a house overlooking the finishing area and docks introduced himself earlier in the week. So far from home, traditional sports rivalries are forgotten and fellow Virginians are c

OTW with Matt Miller, Part III: First Impressions, Henley and London

Causing a stir in South Kensington (Photo: Matt Miller) Matt and the UVa boys have arrived in England, and are now training at the course as the boat tents begin to fill up and crews from all over the world come pouring into the little town of Henley-on-Thames. Miller describes a little bit of the work they have been doing on the water, and gives a sense of the atmosphere around the regatta venue in the days immediately prior to the event. In addition to training, the UVa squad has enjoyed a trip to London, which they finished off with dinner at the London Rowing Club (my former home away from home) on the Putney Embankment. Here's what Matt has to say: Apart from long lines at Dulles Airport, travel to our new home in Henley was uneventful. The red-eye put us into Heathrow around 8:00 AM Monday, and immediately there were a number of adjustments to be made to our new surroundings. We anticipated the exchange rate from dollars to pounds, but were surprised by prices, particul

From the RR Newsroom: Cal Bestows Hall of Fame Service Award on Jill Costello

It was announced today that former Cal coxswain and Pac-10 Champion Jill Costello is the most recent recipient of the Hall of Fame Service Award for her efforts to raise awareness and funding for research for lung cancer. Her legacy is stronger than ever, as the work that she started with the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation continues in her honor, having already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through the 'Jog for Jill' series. The next events in the 5K 'Jog for Jill' series will be held at Tulsa University (9/18/2011) and Cornell University (9/25/2011), with an event in October as well, hosted by the University of Washington. For more information, read the full press release from and , and visit .

US Women's Lightweight Double Wins Event at Samsung World Rowing Cup II

The first international gold medal for the US in 2011 comes from the duo of Kristin Hedstrom and Julie Nichols, who fought off a strong push from the Germans to take the race in Hamburg over the weekend. The commentary from the race video was, well, amusing, but ultimately complimentary of the US crew that finished third in Munich behind two crews from Great Britain. In the men's single, Ken Jurkowski battled his way onto the podium in Hamburg, throwing down a furious sprint and taking the bronze medal despite crossing into the final 500m in fifth place. The race video was largely an extended cut of Mahe Drysdale rowing by himself in first place, though the commentators did notice Jurkowski as he crossed the line in third, and acknowledged his performance (which has sealed up his place on the US National Team for the 2011 Senior World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia). Want to suggest the next 'Video of the Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot]

OTW with Matt Miller, Part II: Blazer up!

Thursday night send-off at the Boathouse Grille (Photo: Clem Bezold) Since this post, Matt has packed his bags and taken off for London along with the rest of the Cavaliers, pictured above (they will be racing an eight and a four, in the Temple Challenge Cup and the Prince Albert Challenge Cup , respectively). Once in England they will look to get settled in and resume their training as quickly as possible prior to beginning the taper for Henley Royal, which starts on June 29th, and runs through July 3rd. While this is certainly an exciting prospect, the last few days of practice have been bittersweet for Miller, who graduated this year and whose last strokes as a Virginia oarsman will come at Henley. Here's the second installment from Matt: Preparations are making the Henley trip feel more real by the day. The first adjustment to history and tradition was in converting weights to stones for roster submission. It had been a while since the last weigh-in (last erg testing week

New Series: 'On the Water' with Matt Miller – UVa To Compete at Henley Royal Regatta

Matt Miller and the UVa Seniors 'support' Frank Biller (Photo: Allen Miller) Introducing a new series called On the Water , which will take a behind-the-scenes look from an athlete's (or coach's) perspective into training and racing, and what it takes to be the best. In our first installment, we go OTW with Matt Miller from the University of Virginia as ACRA Coach of the Year Frank Biller prepares his crew for the international stage at Henley Royal Regatta. Matt will keep us posted on how the training is progressing, what the experience of going to Henley is like for US collegiate athletes, and how they're racing is going as we move into the regatta. Here's the first update from the man himself: As would be expected, spirits were high after returning to Charlottesville from ACRAs. The team took a few days off to rest and recover before Henley selections. This was a big change from daily schedules dictated by rowing. Much of the team went home to visit

USRowing Youth Nationals: Marin Men Cap off Undefeated Season with Double Championship

The USRowing Youth National Championships took place over the weekend in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the Marin men, whom we picked to win it all in this article from November, 2010, did just that, by open water over the field. In talking with Marin men's head coach Graham Willoughby after the racing was done, he mentioned that this was the first time that a team who had won the Head of the Charles has gone on to win the title in the men's eight at Youth Nationals. The only crew that might have made things intersting, St. Andrew's , was relegated to the petites after their boat came in under weight following the semis (though given the times in the semifinals, Marin was still on pace to take first by a solid margin). St. Andrew's will look to bounce back from this frustration at Henley Royal Regatta, which begins at the end of this month. Marin's achievement also marked the first time that a single club has won the women's eight, men's eight, and men's

VOTW: Men's Lightweight Eight Grand Final at the 2011 IRA Regatta

This week's video comes to us from Camden, New Jersey, and features one of the closest races in the history of the IRA Regatta. Harvard entered the race ranked No. 1 overall, and had just capped off an undefeated regular season with wins at the Harvard-Yale-Princeton regatta (HYPs) and Eastern Sprints. Yale was clearly increasing its speed as the season progressed, though perhaps no one but Andy Card could have seen this result coming. The Bulldogs made the most of their gains in the IRA grand final, edging the Crimson into second place by roughly one foot (0.02 seconds). Thanks again to Princeton for their excellent coverage of the championship circuit this Spring, picking up where Captured Speed left off in years past. Note for FeedBurner subscribers: Click the title of the article to view the video on our website. Want to suggest the next 'Video of the Week?' Send us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com.

RR Interview: Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints and ACRA Champion Matt Miller of Virginia

UVa V8 Trains on Rivanna Reservoir (Photo © Jenny Moloney) Matt Miller is not your average collegiate club rower. He first got our attention in January, when he dominated the Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints, taking first place in 5:54.7 – a time that would have earned him a medal at the 2011 Crash-B World Indoor Rowing Championships. Since that time, Matt and UVa have continued to develop and improve, under the guidance of head coach Frank Biller, who is, by all accounts, a master organizer. This Spring, after a fourth place finish in the varsity eight at Dad Vails, the Virginia men capped off their season with a first-ever victory over Michigan at the 2011 ACRA National Championship in Gainesville, Georgia. Now, Matt and the Cavaliers are looking to build on that success internationally at Henley Royal Regatta later this month. Here, Matt catches up with us about his time training and studying at UVa, his team's success, and his plans for Summer 2011. RR: What is your background in

2011 IRA Regatta: Huskies Dominate, but Harvard Favorite in 2012

Fantastic racing across the board at the IRA this past weekend despite less than ideal conditions, especially in the heats and semifinals. As was the case last year, there was some drama regarding the shuffling of line assignments. This caused quite a stir, and had many coaches wishing there were a better way. Despite some controversy through the rounds, we think it all sorted itself out in the end, and, as Cal Head Coach Mike Teti put it, "the best team won." In the varsity eight, we saw some phenomenal racing and an impressive showcase of talent from athletes and coaches alike. After letting Harvard row through them in the Semifinal, the Washington varsity eight asserted themselves in the final, refusing to let anyone beat them when it matter most. A length behind Washington was a very tight battle between Harvard, Cal and Wisconsin for the final two medal spots. Harvard proved to be the best of the rest on the day, winning the silver medal .1 seconds ahead

VOTW: Men's Varsity Eight Grand Final, ACRAs 2011

This week's VOTW comes to us thanks to the efforts of Michigan men's head coach Gregg Hartsuff and the ACRA regatta committee, and features a great race between the top club varsity eights in the country. Michigan and Virginia fight it out all the way down the course, while the rest of the field is left to battle for third place. 2011 Collegiate Lightweight Crash-B Champ Greg Flood , one of the captains of the Notre Dame varsity squad, helps the Irish gain a place on the podium, rounding out the medals with a best-ever finish for ND at the event. This Friday, RR interviews Matt Miller of UVa's varsity eight, about the season, this race, and the team's plans for Henley coming up in just a few short weeks. Also, be sure to check out the coverage of the 109th IRA Regatta posted by Bryan on , featuring photos and links to interviews with Mike Teti , Michael Callahan , Luke McGee , Crash-B Champion and Husky oarsman Conlin McCabe , as well as Hans Str

IRA Semis and Finals Coverage via Rowing News, Heats Recap

Check out the Rowing News Twitter feed ( @RowingNews ) this weekend for live updates and coverage of the IRA Championships, as Bryan once again teams up with to bring you coverage from the course. Also, don't miss the live, streaming broadcast of the event produced Princeton Crew, hosted on their website . The heats are done, with the usual suspects emerging on top in most cases. In the men's varsity eight, Cal, Washington, and Harvard all won their heats. Cal and Wisconsin faced off in the same heat, with Cal posting the fastest time of the day at 5:28, and Wisconsin crossing in 5:30 (the second fastest time of the day). It will be very interesting to see what happens in Semi 2, with Washington, Harvard, and Wisconsin together in the middle of the course (lanes 4, 3, and 2 respectively). Cal will face a tough challenge in Brown , who pushed Washington in today's heat. In the 2V, Harvard, Washington, and a very surprising Cal emerged on top. The Bad

IRA National Championship Regatta, 2011: RR Picks and Predictions

Tomorrow the running of the 109th IRA Regatta will commence, with the heats/lane assignments now posted and the top varsity programs in the US assembled in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The racing will undoubtedly be extremely close once again, with international caliber talent on display, and two undefeated seasons on the line – Washington and Harvard have dominated the West and the East this season, with close competitors Cal in the West, Princeton and Wisconsin in the East. It wouldn't be RR if we didn't make some predictions, so let's get on with it. Men's Varsity Eight: Grand Final and Order of Finish Washington California Wisconsin Harvard Princeton Brown The Washington men will be looking to avenge last year's loss to Cal , Callahan has made switches since Pac-10s (two new rowers in their V8, both of whom have very good pedigrees - Ty Otto is now in the five seat, and was in last year's Husky V8 and US U23 8; Tom Lehmann is back in the boat at