Showing posts from September, 2011

Coaching Changes for 2011-2012: Who Made the Best Moves?

With every summer comes a new game of musical chairs as coaches and programs sort out new relationships for the coming season. This year, there were very few moves on the men's side, with only a couple of assistant coaches shifting programs, such as William Boyce moving to Harvard to take over the Freshmen squad, as Bill Manning was elevated to the position of Associate Head Coach in order to help Harry Parker with the varsity squad while Harry battles illness. Ed Golding was another notable move leaving the Columbia Lightweight Freshman position to work for Greg Myhr at Penn, filling the vacancy created by Tom Paradiso, who has come out of retirement to train for next year's Olympics. On the women's side, however, there was plenty of movement, and it's time to take a look at some of the biggest coaching moves of the off-season: Top three moves in NCAA coaching this year -  The West Coast Conference: Stronger Than Ever With NCAA automatic qualification set to come

100,000 and Counting: Thank You from Everyone at RowingRelated

Yesterday, RowingRelated reached another milestone: our pageview counter ticked over 100,000. When I first started this web site just under a year ago (RR's first anniversary is coming up on October 11) with a ' Statement of Purpose ,' I hoped that it would be a forum for exploration and discussion, with a healthy dose of opinionated content thrown into the mix. Since then, it has grown into just that, and all of us here at RR can't thank you, the reader, enough, for helping it grow. Even if it is as simple as reading an article or two here and there, it has made a huge difference for us in our efforts to bring a new kind of analysis to the sport of rowing, and a milestone like this one seems a good place to express our gratitude. We've got a host of new ideas and topics for discussion coming up this Fall, and look forward to sharing our opinions on a variety of subjects in the coming weeks and months. Now, as always, the goal is to generate discussion that will l

Double-Feature VOTW: Men's and Women's Lightweight Doubles in Bled and Plovdiv

Okay, we know we've been on a tear recently with the Worlds videos, but it's time to give the lightweights some love. The GB 'dynamic duo' of Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase had an absolute cracker of a race against Peter Taylor and Storm Uru of New Zealand, making a move a just the right time to earn their margin, and holding onto it well through a blazing sprint from the Kiwis (as usual). "It was a fist fight at the end, and we came out on top," said Hunter (click here to view the Rowing News video interview). The Greek LW2x of Alexandra Tsiavou (winner of the RoRy for Best Female Athlete in 2011 at the Elite level) and Christina Giazitzidou dominated in Bled, and it was no different at the European Championships two weeks later in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The added benefit of the above video is that the lanes were redrawn, placing the Greeks nearest the camera and allowing the viewer to get a sense for both the power and precision that has placed them

2011 RoRys, Part Three - The Best of the Best in World Rowing

Today marks the final day of the 2011 RoRys, with our awards for the most impressive performances in international rowing be handed out to some outstanding athletes, coaches and programs. There is certainly no shortage of deserving candidates, and congratulations to all those who competed at the World level this year. And now, the 'Elite' RoRys go to... RoRy for 'Programme' of the Year Great Britain, Jurgen Gröbler, David Tanner Phenomenal performance from the entire squad, across men's and women's open and lightweight events, 14 total medals, on pace for an unparalleled level of success in London next year. The women's eight has made significant improvements, moving past the Romanians and the Dutch to take the bronze medal this year (as we predicted ), the women's pair continues to battle it out with New Zealand for the top spot on the podium, and the women's double of Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins is looking nearly unbeatable going into

2011 RoRys, Part Two - The Top Programs, Coaches and Athletes at the College Level

It's day two of the 2011 RoRys, and we're very pleased and excited to be handing out our awards for the most outstanding performances at the college level during the 2010-2011 season. And so, without further ado, the RoRys go to... RoRys for Programs of the Year Washington Men Michael Callahan and Luke McGee are running the deepest program in the US at the moment, and they've proven that emphatically over the past few years. From top to bottom, they do it with the best American and international talent. They medaled in every event at the 2011 IRA Regatta, and won everything except for the Frosh 8+, in which they finished second behind an undefeated Cal crew. The Huskies won the Ten Eyck trophy in dominant fashion for the fifth consecutive time, and won the MV8 for the second time in Callahan's four years as head coach (the Huskies having won the silver medal in the other two years). Stanford Women The 2010-2011 Stanford Cardinal probably had the most raw talent

2011 RoRys, Part One – Outstanding Programs, Coaches and Athletes at the Junior Level

RR is coming up on its first birthday, but before we get to all that, it's time for the first annual RoRys – our picks for the most outstanding performances and influential people in our sport for the 2010-2011 season. Since we cover three tiers of racing on RR, the RoRys will be a three-day event. We are going to give out RoRys for the Junior, Collegiate, and Elite levels, and today's RoRys go to the top Junior programs, coaches, and athletes, with two special categories for 'Race of the Year,' and 'Breakout Performance of the Year.' And so, the RoRys go to... RoRys for Programs of the Year Marin Men Accomplished goal of winning M8+ and LM8+ in the same year, first time since Newport AC did it in 2009, only the second time it has been done. Undefeated the throughout the entire season, from the Fall through the Spring and sent a couple guys to the Junior National Team. Deep, talented and very well-coached program. Also, we believe that this is the first

VOTW: Mirka Knapkova Golden in 2011

Women's single sculler Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic had quite a summer in 2011, winning Henley, and building on a solid third place finish in Lucerne to find herself atop the medal stand in Bled, and once again in Plovdiv, where she took the title in the W1x by roughly six seconds at the European Rowing Championships over the weekend ( full results from World Rowing ). Knapkova began the 2011 campaign with a fifth place finish in Munich. She then opted to compete at Henley Royal Regatta rather than at the second World Cup, and won the event, setting a tone for the rest of the year. Now, like the men's field, there appears to be a group at the top of women's sculling, all of whom could win on any given day, given their level of talent and experience. The W1x A Final in Bled will likely be very similar to that in London next year, and right now there appear to be five athletes (Xiuyun Zhang of China, Emma Twigg of NZ, Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus, Frida Svensson of

Greek Rowing Continues to Impress Entering 2011 European Rowing Championships

Granted, the Greeks have been at it for a long time (harkening back to the Battle of Salamis and beyond), but the squad from Hellas is looking deeper than ever on both the men's and women's sides this year, with the European Championships rolling and London looming on the horizon. The men's team has built momentum since the Athens Olympics, where an outstanding performance (and fantastic sprint) from Nikolaos Skiathitis and Vasileios Polymeros resulted in a bronze medal in the LM2x. Next came the Gkountoulas brothers -- identical twins from Servia (northern Greece), who began their international rowing careers as lightweights, winning the LM2- at the 2008 non Olympic World Championships, and followed that up with a bronze medal in the heavyweight men's pair the next year in Poznan, and a silver as part of the M4- last year in Karapiro. This year in Bled, the Gkountoulas brothers placed fourth, just outside the medals in the M2-, as Italy's Niccolo Mornati an

Notes from Across the Pond: E.ON Hanse Canal Cup, and Sir Steve Celebrates

The Thames has been the 'centre' of attention of late, but more for what's been going on in the water than on it. David Walliams completed an amazing 140 swim down the Thames, and raising roughly £1 million for charity in the process. Sir Steve Redgrave was in attendance for the celebration along the banks of the river, and, unlucky for him, the boys from Imperial College Boat Club caught up with him during the festivities (see above). More on David Walliams' feat from The Guardian . In other news, the 2011 E.ON Hanse Canal Cup took place over the weekend, and saw four international crews taking part in the 12.7k race in Rendsburg, Germany. Crews from the Dutch , Australian , German and USA rowing federations raced over the lengthy course on the Kiel Canal, with many of the same athletes from the recent World Rowing Championships taking part in the competition. The USA men's eight featured seven of the eight that placed eighth in Bled, with the one switch be

Men's and Women's Eights Race in Bled

Two of the tightest fields battled it out in the A Finals at the 2011 World Rowing Championships. On the men's side, the German 'Achter' is looking very solid -- though the last three-peat prior to the Olympics didn't guarantee gold at the subsequent Games, as Team USA fans will no doubt remember (also the case with Canada in 2002, 2003 and the Athens Games). It will be very interesting to see if the rest of the world catches up to the Germans next year, but so far they have been dominant. It was a fairly tight race, yes, but the winner was never really in doubt in Bled. The field in the women's eight continues to draw closer together, and despite increasing challenges from an excellent Canadian crew, the USA entry (perhaps unrivaled in terms of experience and prior success) just keeps finding ways to get it done. Bled marked the second regatta of the summer where Canada asked the question, and once again the US crew had the answer coming into the final 500m. For

Op-Ed from the RR Editorial Staff: Reflecting on the 2011 World Rowing Championships

All right, so there is good news, and there is bad news. We all know the bad news, which is that the US men's squad has just competed at its second straight World Championship regatta without bringing home a single medal, leaving the tally for the three years since Beijing at 1 (the coxed pair in 2009). That's a pretty startling statistic, but it's not a true reflection of the talent that is latent within the system, which leads me to the discussion of the good news, and the true focus of this article. Disclaimer/Warning: There are many rowers/readers out there who took issue with the piece that we published here on RR prior to Worlds, which indicated that selection procedures might not be geared correctly to produce satisfactory results on the US men's team. Some of the many comments on the discussion board on Rowing Illustrated cited the fact that I did not interview athletes or coaches and include their thoughts in the article. This is because an opinion piece/edi

Worlds 2011 Blog: The Road Home

Downtown Ljubljana, public transportation On the way back from Ljubljana via Paris CDG, and will be hard at work on some new articles on Worlds 2011 to be posted later this week. Slovenia continues to impress, as both the natural environment and the urban centers offer an interesting combination of experiences -- something between the wonders of the Swiss Alps and a semi-Mediterranean culture, complete with bars and clubs open until all hours lining either side of the Ljubljana River. So positive has the trip been that it's impossible not to contemplate a return. Just as the elite-level rowing year is taking a few weeks off, the intercollegiate world is just now gearing up for the 2011-2012 season. There are a number of things to look at in the realm of intercollegiate rowing, and we'll be including some early season analysis even as the Fall erg workouts are beginning and crews take to the water for the first time. More to come from the journey ahead! -RR

VOTWs: Around the Course in Bled, The GB M8+ Faffing About in Munich

This week's VOTW is a collection of shots from around the course in Bled, with footage of some of the crews, as well as some extra insight on the Canadian racing mentality from Will Crothers. It's put together in no particular order, though it does begin with some scenes from the opening ceremonies, which featured hundred of candles floating in egg shells around the finish line. The goal is to give everyone a look at what the venue here is like, as well as the atmosphere around the course, during racing, training and down time. I've also included a quick video that has gone viral in the UK (and has been featured on the well-known blogs HTBS and Rowing For Pleasure), showing the GB men's eight getting some extra training in at the airport on the way to Ljubljana. Thanks to Phelan Hill for sending it along (see below). The regatta was run very efficiently, and the town of Bled has been extremely supportive of the rowing community. For me, it's been an incredi

Worlds 2011 Blog: Magic About This Place

Lake Bled from Bled Castle (Photo: B. Kitch) It's Day Six at Worlds, and I just can't stop taking pictures. Yesterday evening, I made a circuit of the lake, moving around the south side on foot for the first time. I have to include a few photos here, with a disclaimer being that none of them feature any rowing. The view from the Press Box in the Grandstand (Photo: B. Kitch) In some ways, this regatta is like Henley Royal, in that it's a relatively small piece of geography that we're talking about, with a huge concentration of athletes (roughly 1200 of them), and all of them walking down the same paths and storing their boats in the same places. It's been thrilling in the same way that my first trip to Henley was, meeting all these people whom I've watched on broadcasts and webcasts and DVDs from previous World Championships and Olympics, and I'm thankful for every minute of the experience. It's also been quite fun reconnecting with people I