Showing posts from November, 2011

VOTW: 2012 Olympic Hopefuls Training at California Rowing Club

This week's VOTW comes to us from CRC head coach Bernhard Stomporowski , and features 16 athletes in contention for eight seats in London, at the outset of training camp (the number of athletes will likely grow next month). In addition to shots of the rowing (controlled rate pieces, roughly 26 s/m), there is also footage of the facilities and the available stretch of water, which we featured on when Stomporowski first arrived in Oakland. While the group is not yet fully assembled, there is already a great deal of talent on hand (including David Banks, Josh Inman, Ty Otto, Mike Gennaro, Nareg Guregian, Steve Kasprzyk, Tom Peszek, Joe Spencer, and the Winklevoss twins, among others)–Mike Teti will have plenty of horsepower from which to mould an eight, and we are very excited to see what he can do in 2012. 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 ( twitter.

The 2012 Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race: The Challenge Has Been Accepted

According to the official Twitter feed of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, the Challenge has been accepted as of 2pm PST today, and the 2012 edition of the regatta has been scheduled for 7 April at 14:45. The above video takes a look inside the Autumn training 'programme' at Oxford, with some insights into the nature of the competition from Oxford Blue and GB international Andrew Triggs-Hodge, OUBC head coach Sean Bowden, as well as 2012 OUBC President Karl Hudspith. This piece is the first in a series of six that will be produced by Oxford University. For more on the Xchanging Boat Race , please visit the official website of the event. And stay tuned for more updates from the Tideway as we draw closer to the main event! -RR

Movember Updates: British and Canadians Going Stache for Stache

Megan Kalmoe's rating system is back in action, with the top 'tash talent' from the GB squad under scrutiny on her blog as the final days of Movember approach (see here for Kalmoe's latest post )–see the 'Rowing Chat' Twitter widget on the right side of the page for more updates. Not to be outdone, the Canadian men's team is also testing the limits of social awareness with some outstanding mustaches of its own, as evidenced by Kevin Light's classic photo of Rob Gibson and Will Crothers . While it's all in good fun, there is still time to support the cause that has given rise to the competition, and there are a number of athletes with fundraising pages in the fight against cancer–for a list of those mustachioed GB rowers seeking donations for cancer research, please see the official website of British Rowing . So far, we're giving the edge on 'Movember Photo of the Year' to Crothers and Gibson–if you think you've got what it takes, t

Video of the Week: The Men's Eight Final in Barcelona

This week's VOTW comes from the 1992 Olympic Games, which are on our minds as we draw ever closer to London 2012, as it was in Barcelona that Great Britain's Greg Searle won his first Olympic medal–a gold in one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the sport (for our VOTW feature on that race, click here ). The men's eight in '92 was extremely aggressive, with stroke ratings sticking to 38 and above from the leading crews, and markedly different technique from what we see from the majority of international crews today. The race also features one of the smallest margins between gold and bronze of any Olympic final–as the saying goes, it's a 'game of inches.' 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 ( ). -RR

RR Interview: Beijing Gold Medalist and Reigning World Champion Mark Hunter of Team GB

Hunter (left) and Purchase after the A final in Bled (Photo: B. Kitch) Mark Hunter is a racer, through and through. From his earliest days in the sport, he exhibited the right combination of talent and determination that it takes to succeed, and in September of this year he and fellow GB lightweight Zac Purchase successfully defended their world championship title (for a video interview with Hunter and Purchase from Bled following the race, click here ). Next year in Eton, Mark and Zac will look to defend their Olympic crown on home water–something that means a great deal both of them as they embark on the path to London 2012. Here, Mark shares a little about his past, present, and hopes for the future with RR. RR: You've been involved in the sport of rowing for quite some time now, and are currently among those GB oarsmen favo(u)red to win a second gold medal in 2012, in your home town (well, I guess technically closer to Slough, but near your hometown, anyway). How did your

Coaches' Corner: Avoiding Burnout

Tideway from Putney Bridge (Photo: © B. Kitch) Frankly, I think avoiding burnout in rowing is pretty simple–don't expect to get burnt-out and you might find that you'll do just fine. Like lots of things in life, the more people talk about a concept or phenomenon, the more likely it is that it will come to fruition. I think 'burnout' is a prime example of the power of suggestion at work. Look at some of the all-time greats in rowing, like Steve Redgrave , Elisabeta Lipa and Drew Ginn . Ginn, for example, has gone through about as much as anyone can go through in terms of adversity, battling serious, career-threatening injuries again and again, and yet he continues to not only row at a high level but also produce podium results (as has his Beijing pair partner, Duncan Free ). We can also look to other sports, such as running, which is much more intense in terms of the toll it takes on the body over the long-term (given the impact to the lower limbs). One of the worl

VOTW: 2011 Head of the River Fours, Courtesy of Upper Thames Rowing Club

This week's VOTW comes to us from the Tideway in London, where the 57th Head of the River Fours was held just over a week ago. The video takes us past the Harrods Furniture Depository on the way up to the start, into the starting queue upriver of Chiswick Bridge, and down the course through Barnes and Hammersmith, all from inside the boat–nice bit of editing as well. For complete results from the Fuller's Head of the River Fours, see the official website of the regatta at , as well as Bryan's coverage of the event on , and check out stelph82's YouTube Channel for more 'first-person' videos from the Thames, including the HOR4s race in full (in two parts), and the Henley Head. 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 ( ). -RR

2011 Fall Speed Orders, and Issues with 2012 Selection

The 2011 Fall Speed Orders are underway, with rumors of 6k times flying around on the Rowing Illustrated boards already (according to these rumors, Warren Anderson and Glenn Ochal posted the top two times, both of them in the 18:30s). (For some footage, courtesy of CRC Head Coach Bernhard Stomprowski, see above.) There are a number of issues to discuss regarding speed orders, but perhaps nothing so grave as the flaws inherent in the selection procedures approved for the men's eight and men's four camps in 2012. While it is obviously an attempt to make the best of a complex situation, it fails in terms of generating clear guidelines for the country's best athletes, for reasons to be discussed below. The interesting items at the speed order in Chula Vista include Glenn Ochal and Jamie Koven making the switch from sculling (which they have been doing throughout this quadrennium) to sweep, choosing to race in pair combinations (Ochal is paired with Josh Inman, and Koven wit

Coaches' Corner: Is it best to be even-keeled?

Sunrise at California Rowing Club (Photo: B. Kitch) It's 'common wisdom' among top coaches in major professional and collegiate sports (often echoed by athletes) that it is best to avoid letting the highs get too high and the lows get too low in reference to the emotions that accompany successes and failures. While there can certainly be value in not always succumbing to one's emotions, and reacting impulsively and irrationally in the wake of what appears to be an especially good or poor performance, I disagree with the oft stated cliché and feel that coaches and athletes need to both celebrate the successes and take time wallow in the sorrow and disappointment of the failures. Rowing, as with all sports, is a competitive endeavor. The very word 'athlete' comes from the Greek verb athlein  (to compete for a prize), derived from athlos  (contest) and athlon  (prize). Athletes, then, are those who compete for a trophy. It takes a lot of effort, talent, and

VOTW: NARF Interview with Brian de Regt, John Graves as 'Movember' Begins

This week's VOTW comes from the 2011 Newport Autumn Rowing Festival, which featured what was perhaps the largest field in the regatta's history, racing through stormy conditions (but, let's face it, how bad can it really be in Newport Beach?) on Sunday. Among the racers were several members of the Graves family, who teamed up to form an extremely competitive 'Little Knights' crew that took second overall in the men's open eight. John Graves (who represented the U.S. in the LM1x in Munich and Hamburg at the World Cups earlier this year) and Brian de Regt (who stroked the U.S. LM2x in Bled) joined Pete and Tom Graves (U.S. M2x at Worlds this year) in the lineup, and the crew was able to take second place behind California, ahead of Stanford's entries in the event. Not only this, but the Graves/de Regt duo are sporting some of the most 'Movember-appropriate' facial hair around, adding momentum to the movement that is taking off at home and overseas

Updates to RR: Coaching Page Added, Coverage to Come from Newport

This Fall has been quite a busy one at RR, with a great deal of new content on the way (currently in the editorial stages), more traveling to do (this weekend we are headed down to Newport, CA to cover the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival for Rowing News ), and a new page added to the RR masthead–the Coaches' Corner page . Your requests have been answered and we've made it easier to find some of the more useful articles for coaching and training on RR by giving them a standalone page, to which we'll add any subsequent articles of a similar nature. While the Fours Head on the Tideway will feature of host of GB international talent, NARF looks to be a 'mini hub' of international rowing in itself, with much of USRowing's men's squad now located in Southern California, and several 2011 U.S. national team members in the mix this weekend, including Peter and Tom Graves (who represented the U.S. in Bled in the M2x, and who just won their third straight title in the

Coaches' Corner: Setting the Standard, and Building Mental Toughness

Mentally tough, to be precise (Photo: © Kate Mead) Mental toughness is a necessary trait of all great athletes. It is a trait that, unlike many other important characteristics, is not based on genetics or natural ability. Anyone can be tough, be disciplined, and possess great work ethic if he/she makes the decision to do so. Mental toughness, resilience, tenacity–all are important in terms of pushing one's body through physical pain in training and racing. It is also of the greatest importance to have the resilience and fortitude to be disciplined with respect to the technical aspects of the sport, in order to focus on all the details, with the goal of refining one's boat moving ability. As a coach, the key to ensuring that the athletes develop this mental state of focus and attention to detail is having high expectations–do not accept anything less than the necessary standard. Obviously, it is important to make sure the standard is achievable and realistic–novice rower

Tuesday Edition VOTW: California v. Nereus, Henley 2011, and Movember Begins

This week's (slightly delayed) VOTW comes to us from the 2011 Henley Royal Regatta, and features the undefeated Cal frosh eight taking on Nereus in the Temple Challenge Cup final on Sunday, 3rd July. The video is shot from the official's launch, and gives the viewer both a sense of just how good the Bears were last season, as well as a virtual tour of the HRR course, form start to finish. For more content about Henley 2011, check out the 'On The Water' series –personal take on the regatta and the racing–that we put together with Matt Miller of Virginia men's rowing (The UVa men raced to Saturday in the Temple, when they were defeated by Nereus). Also, today marks the first day of Movember, giving men everywhere an excuse to grow facial hair in order to raise awareness for prostate cancer research. See below for some inspiration: CHALLENGE TO ROWERS: SUBMIT YOUR OWN Movember video to RR! Here at RR, we are awaiting attempts from rowers to come up with qualit