Showing posts from August, 2011

Worlds 2011 Blog: A Learning Experience

Inside the FISA Press Centre Worlds are rolling, and it has been a great learning experience so far, not only from the standpoint of the rowing itself (certainly educational to see all the best athletes in our sport gathered in one place, all with the Olympics on the line), but also from the standpoint of writing and journalism. I've had the chance to meet and speak with a number of the top athletes in world rowing at this point, and I've been generally impressed by their open and friendly attitude -- I suppose it's something that ought to link everyone in the rowing community, as rowing is outside the mainstream, and not subjected to the same scrutiny that professional sports are. Still, conducting interviews isn't always the easiest thing, especially early in the week, as athletes are very concerned about qualification, and unwilling to be as candid as they might otherwise be, in most cases, because of it. And that, of course, is perfectly understandable. Ultima

VOTW: Referral to Rowing News' Online Coverage of the 2011 World Championships

Morning light over Lake Bled (Photo: B. Kitch) The 2011 World Rowing Championships are in full swing, and Bryan is on the scene covering the regatta for Rowing News. The coverage will be updated each day, and Day One  and Day Two have already been posted, including links to 14 video interviews (and counting) that will serve as this week's continuously updated batch of VOTWs. So far, Bryan has spoken with... Andrew Triggs-Hodge , Olympic Champion and stroke of the GB M2- Olivier Siegelaar , Beijing Olympian and seven seat of The Netherlands' M8 Phelan Hill , 2010 World silver medalist and coxswain of the GB M8 Drew Ginn , Sam Loch , Joshua Dunkley-Smith , and Nicholas Purnell of the Australian M4- Andrew Campbell , 2011 U23 World bronze medalist and US LM1x Will Daly , Beijing Olympian and three seat of the US LM4- Marcus Bateman and Matt Wells ('Red Express'), 2010 World silver medalists and GB M2x Duncan Grant , three-time World Champion and New Zeala

World Rowing Championships 2011: RR Picks and Predictions

Afternoon on Lake Bled (Photo: B. Kitch) The World Rowing Championships are about to begin, and we're on site for the first time, very much looking forward to the racing. Disclaimer: There are a huge number of events, so in making our picks, we've had to be selective based on our knowledge/ability to do sufficient research. Fair warning: this article will contain opinions. So, without further ado, here we go: Women's eight - 1. USA 2. Canada 3. Great Britain 4. The Netherlands 5. Romania 6. Germany Yes, this is very similar to the Lucerne final. The USA , however, is brining the best lineup in the world to the event this time, with several Beijing Olympic Champions back in the boat (split into pairs for Lucerne). We are expecting an open water victory for the US, with Canada in a strong second place. Also, because Team GB is very well coached, and no doubt very intent on setting a standard for London, we see them breaking into the medals in Bled, thou

World Rowing Championships 2011 Blog: Arrival and First Impressions

The course in Bled is given to a particular kind of Alpine beauty, which lifted me up following a very long journey featuring plane/terminal changes at Paris CDG (one of the largest airports in Europe). Just as I was starting to get worried that I'd taken the wrong train to the wrong bus to catch the next plane, the Irish National Team appeared, and between the lot of us we figured out the right transportation. The regatta officials met everyone at the airport, and organized travel to the course in a very efficient manor. Paris CDG on the way to Ljubljana (Photo: B. Kitch) Once at the course, I had to gawk for a moment. It really is stunning. The striking verticality produced by glacial valleys is breathtaking (not to mention reminiscent of California's own Yosemite Valley -- though you'll not find any 10th century monasteries or castles there). The lake is already filled with athletes with kit from all over the world (note the rower talking about the kit's or

Bled Bound

The lone bag for the trip, with some essentials, of course RR and Rowing News are teaming up once again, and I'm on my way over to Bled for the 2011 World Championships. The athletes are arriving now, and I should be on the scene as of tomorrow evening. Look for daily updates from the course to , with news, photos and video interviews from the course. Keep in touch via the RR and Rowing News Twitter Feeds ( @rowingrelated and @RowingNews ), and get involved on the Rowing News Magazine Facebook page . Upcoming: RR Picks and Predictions for the 2011 World Rowing Championships -RR

VOTW: Canadian Men's Pair Builds for Bled

This week's video comes to us thanks to the the newest member of the Canadian LM4-, Rares Crisan , who has been featured on RR before (Will Crothers and Crisan teamed up to produce ' Luzern Cribs ' not long ago), and who has the makings of a filmmaker. Dave Calder and Scott Frandsen are returning to Worlds this year in an effort to build toward London, again knowing that there are some well-established front runners to catch. Their first appearance of the summer a few weeks ago in Lucerne was certainly impressive, as they were right in the mix with the top two pairs from 2009 and 2010, but ultimately unable to pull off an early upset. The GB duo of Triggs-Hodge and Reed have their hands full with the Kiwis, but if they don't pay enough attention to their North American rivals, they may find that the silver medal comes dearer than expected. Also, check out Crisan's preview of an upcoming travelogue video that features some very nice editing and candid shots of

Checking in with the Graves Brothers, Post-Trials, Pre-Worlds 2011

Back-to-back Head of the Charles champions, and 2009 US National Team members Pete and Tom Graves have once again qualified for the squad, winning Trials following a year of more consistent training together. Despite some early season setbacks, the brothers have put everything together at just the right time, and now are gearing up for Bled, just a week from Sunday. RR: Following your second straight win in the men's champ double at the Charles, you two have finally had the chance to train together for an extended period of time, building toward your performance at Trials. How did you benefit from your more focused training, and how were you able to modify your race plan from NSR 2 to give you the success that you earned at Trials? PG: Leading up to NSR2 we were very fit and were rowing decently together. Unfortunately we weren't mentally ready for a fight. Since that is one of the most important aspects in racing, we had an unfortunate final result. We changed our training

Op-Ed from the RR Editorial Staff: Team USA 2010 to 2011 -- Compare and Contrast

The 2011 World Championships are drawing ever closer, and it's time to take a look at what USRowing is bringing to the table as the international community gathers in Bled. First, let's look at the men's squad: Thinking back to last season -- Tim   McLaren's sophomore year -- Team USA featured a few potentially solid sweep entries in what appeared to be their first circuit in the build up toward London. The M4- ( RR Interviewee Silas Stafford , Sam Stitt , Henrik Rummel , and Giuseppe Lanzone ) and the M8+ were both solidly in contention, and the four fought well in a difficult lane in the final to finish fifth in one of the most talented fields at the regatta. The eight was disappointed with a sixth place finish in the final, which did not reflect their potential, but was at least a step in the right direction with a solid group, including two-time Olympian Jason Read , and 2008 Olympian David Banks . The M2- of Ryan Monaghan and Deaglan MacEachern raced well des

VOTW: US Men's Eight Wins 2011 U23 World Rowing Championships

This week's video comes to us from Amsterdam, and features the US Under 23 men's eight in what is a thrilling race in rough (but fast) conditions on the Bosbaan. The announcers join the race some distance into the first 1000m, but the heart of the competition comes, as usual, in the final 500m, with the US hanging on despite hard charges and tough challenges from reigning U23 World Champions Germany, Great Britain, and (most notably) the Czech Republic. The video continues through the post-race celebration and medal ceremony. As we've discussed on RR before , this marks yet another instance of an eight coached by Mike Teti winning a World Championship gold medal and setting a new world best time in the process. Speaking of international rowing, the 2011 World Rowing Championships are just around the corner, and as the racing draws nearer, so it comes time to put on our thinking caps and make some picks and predictions for what promises to be an exciting regatta. In the

Reader Video: Fast Forward Novice Year from Roeien Njord, The Netherlands

Wouter of Njord Rowing Club ( Roeien Njord ) in The Netherlands sent along the above video, as a recruiting piece for the club, as well as a quick summary of a novice year in the sport. Njord rowing club is one of the three founding members (along with Laga and Triton ) of the ' Varsity ' -- the oldest student rowing regatta in The Netherlands. The Royal Netherlands Student Rowing Federation (in Dutch it is known by the acronym KNSRB ), was founded in 1883, though the 'Varsity' -- the Dutch equivalent to the Boat Race in the UK (though there are more than two competitors), was first held in 1878, when Njord (the oldest student rowing club in Holland), challenged Laga to a 3200m race in Leiden. There is a fairly good summary of its history (forgiving a few grammatical errors) on Wikipedia , detailing the first competitors and the current standings. At present, ASR Nereus ( this year's winner ) is the current leader with 37 victories, Laga is second with 30, and

Expanded Canadian Henley Coverage on IRN Website

W1x Dash at Canadian Henley (Photo: B. Kitch) The coverage of the 2011 Royal Canadian Henley Regatta continues, with more video interviews and photo galleries added to The Independent Rowing News' website  and Facebook page as of today. In addition of footage of the Men's Champ Eight race from start to finish on Sunday afternoon, there are video interviews with Justin Jones (2010 US World Rowing Junior Champion at bow of the men's eight), RR written interviewee Jason Read in his first video interview of the summer, and Natalie Mastracci of the Canadian women's eight as she prepares to head over to Bled for Worlds beginning August 28. Video from the Men's and Women's Senior Lightweight Eights upcoming. Canadian Henley, which began in 1880, is one of the longest running traditions in our sport, and I can now say that attending the regatta as both an athlete and a spectator is an unique experience. The regatta course, which was used for the 1999 W

Evening Edition VOTW: World Rowing Junior Championships in Eton

This week's VOTW comes to us from National and International Rowing TV's YouTube Channel , and features a host of events from the 2011 World Rowing Junior Championships, including the gold medal performance from the US W4- of Chandler Lally (Radnor Girls Crew Club), Jessica Eiffert (Pittsford Crew),   Mia Croonquist (Vashon Island Juniors), and Lucy Grinalds (Connecticut Boat Club), coached by CBC Head Coach and IRN/RR interviewee Liz Trond . Also of interest at the regatta was the course itself, which is currently being tested for the upcoming Olympic Games in London next summer. 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?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, or send us your suggestion via Twitter ( ). Upcoming articles: Catching up with the Graves Brothers post-Trials Also, check out Bryan's coverage of

RR and IRN International Coverage: Updates from Eton and St. Catharines

Big Sky over Henley Island, St. Catharines (Photo: B. Kitch) The RR team is spread across two continents at the moment, from Eton for the Junior World Championships, to St. Catharines for the Independent Rowing News' website and upcoming print issue coverage of the 129th Royal Canadian Henley. The weather looks to be clearing up at Eton Dorney, while the humidity and headwind have combined to make for slow conditions in Canada. First, let's take a look at what's going on in Eton: The US JM8+ has advanced to the final after taking second in their heat, and the JW8+ is to compete in a three-boat field in the final, having come last in the race for lanes. The men's pair had a strong performance earlier, winning its rep (top three to semis), and the JW2- just made the semis as well, taking the fourth and final qualifying position in the rep on the women's side. So far, the top US crew looks to be the JW4-, which features standout 14-year-old Mia Croonquist of Vasho

World Rowing Junior Championships Feature: Marin Rowing Association Involved at All Levels

The World Rowing Junior Championships are in full swing in Eton, and let me say that we here at RowingRelated are excited to see what Team USA can accomplish. The Southwest region is very well represented, with a large number of athletes from Marin Rowing Association in the sweep boats (half the women's eight, which is being coached by MRA Head Coach Sandy Armstrong , and the JM4-). Another top story is Vashon Island freshman Mia Croonquist , who has made one of the top priority boats on the women's side, the W4-, coached by Liz Trond of Connecticut Boat Club. Croonquist, according to this article , is the youngest person ever to make the US Junior National Team. Olympian and former US National Teamer, and current Williams Head Coach Kate Maloney is also part of the coaching staff, working with the women's pair. We are looking for very strong performances from the men's and women's eights, as the men's eight will enter as the defending champions, and the wo

VOTW: How Greg Searle's Comeback Began

This week's video comes to us from the BBC, and details Greg Searle's early comeback to the GB squad following a nine year hiatus from the National Team (though not from rowing altogether). Searle has since carved out a spot for himself in the GB men's eight, which took silver in Karapiro, and, most recently, bronze in Lucerne (from a very unfavorable lane). Going into this year's World Rowing Championships in Slovenia, Searle and the GB M8+ will be looking to chase down the Germans for the top spot, with less than a year to go before the start of the London Olympic Games. Listening to this interview again now, it seems that he's ahead of schedule. 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?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, or send us your suggestion via Twitter ( ).