Showing posts from January, 2012

The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, Part 4 of 6: The Chariots

The fourth installment of the six-part series by the University of Oxford has been released, this one covering the technology behind the boats used in the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. Here, the brains behind the Oxford flotilla discuss the ways that modern technology has affected racing, and the particular issues that rowers face on the Thames (as well as hint at how they seek to resolve those issues, employing some know-how from experience with Formula 1 ). Nearly all of the work that riggers do is behind the scenes, but every rower who has ever raced can attest to the importance of rigging, and appreciate the feeling of a finely tuned boat. Follow these links to view Parts 1 , 2 , and 3 , which introduce the Boat Race, cover student life as an OUBC oarsman, and outline the role of the coxswain on the complicated Tideway course. The 158th Boat Race will take place on 7 April, 2012. For more information, please visit the official website of the Boat Race . -RR

Video of the Week: Murray v. Drysdale in the M1x on Karapiro

There he is again! Eric Murray is having an epic offseason following an even better season (and before what could be his best season yet), jumping into the men's single and edging reigning world champion Mahé Drysdale by roughly three feet to take bragging rights for winter training on Lake Karapiro. The footage comes from the North Island Club Championships, courtesy of johnrothery's YouTube Channel . While we're sure Murray enjoyed this, we're pretty certain that he'll be sticking to the pair–a crew that has been so dominant that we are seeing a reshuffling of the GB Rowing squad's priorities in the build-up to 2012 (as is discussed in today's Rowing News eNewsletter ). And don't forget to check out an interview with Eric Murray regarding his recent 60-minute performance in the current issue of Rowing News magazine! Want to suggest the next 'Video of the Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your sugge

From the Press Room at RR: The 2011 Northwest Region Rowing Awards

Source: Press Release Submitted by Bill Zack, Acting Secretary, Northwest Rowing Council The Northwest Rowing Council is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2011 Northwest Region Rowing Awards. The awards are presented by Pocock Racing Shells with special thanks to the Lake Washington Rowing Club. The Northwest Rowing Awards Reception will take place on Saturday, February 4, 2012 at the Lake Washington Rowing Club starting at 6:30 PM. 2011 Northwest Region Coach of the Year - Michael Callahan Michael Callahan is the head coach of the University of Washington men’s rowing team. Under Coach Callahan’s guidance, the Huskies had an outstanding 2011 season. At the Pac-10 championships the University of Washington won the team points trophy as well as winning the varsity eight, second varsity eight, and varsity four titles while the freshman / novice eight won the silver medals. Coach Callahan was named the 2011 Pac-10 coach of the year. At the IRA championships, UW won t

Olympic Games Six Months Away Today

Millenium Bridge to St. Paul's, London (Photo: © B. Kitch) As has been widely observed in rowing circles, particularly in the UK, this date marks exactly six months until the Olympic Games begin in London. Here in the U.S., things remain clear–the first mission of the U.S. men's team will be to qualify the eight for London, and given the talent level in the sweep group right now, we are backing them to do just that. Men's eight coach Mike Teti has mastered the double-taper before, having coached extremely successful U23 boats (most notably last year's world's best time-setting eight), made up of athletes who raced at the IRA regatta at roughly the same time as the qualification regatta will take place this spring. We're expecting him to produce more of the same as he guides his crew through the summer en route to London. And speaking of London, the BBC's Matthew Pinsent has been on an Olympic tour of late, providing photos not only of London venues tha

Sneak Peek: The February 2012 Issue of Rowing News Goes to Press!

The first issue of Volume 19 of Rowing News is on its way, and we're getting 2012 started right with a ton of content, including interviews with Mike Teti (discussing the progress at the men's eight camp at CRC), Meghan O'Leary (UVa multisport varsity athlete, who began rowing in 2010 and is now training at the Olympic selection camp), Tom Paradiso  (Beijing Olympian and four-time world medalist) on coaching the start sequence, Canadian Olympian Jason Dorland on his new book, Chariots and Horses , and Eric Murray of Rowing New Zealand (see video above) along with Peter Dreissigacker and Meredith Haff of Concept2 regarding Eric's recent 60-minute world record on the new C2 Dynamic erg(o) . Combine all this with a new 'Crossing the Line' column with Josh Crosby , and features about the history of rowing technology, and a fantastic piece with Malta Boat Club's  Fred Duling by writer Jen Whiting, and you've got a great start to an Olympic year. T

Video of the Week: Lake Union and the History of Rowing in the United States

This week's video covers the history of Seattle's Lake Union, the waters of which served as the stage for the first ever meeting between George Pocock and legendary University of Washington coach Hiram Conibear  (after whom the new UW boathouse is named). Not only was this a fortuitous and fruitful meeting for both parties, but also it served as a seminal moment in the development of intercollegiate racing on the West Coast, and beyond. Thanks to RR reader Frederick Levy for sending the video along! Want to suggest the next 'Video of the Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestion via Twitter ( ), or get in touch via our Facebook page . -RR

Coaches' Corner: Setting Goals, Part 2

Evening light, Castrelo de Miño, Galicia, Spain (Photo: © B. Kitch)  It is hard to get around the reality that world records are broken incrementally–people seem to rise to specific numbers based on a previous 'best' performance. Rarely are world records shattered in this day and age. The main reason for this seems to be that we are pushing right up against the physical limits of the human body at this point in the evolution of  homo sapiens ; however, part of it is undoubtedly psychological. How often does an elite athlete train hard enough to break an existing record without knowing what that record is? It is very rare that an elite talent can train and race in a vacuum, without knowing what the competition is, and without knowing what it means to be 'good' relative to his/her peers. What if Usain Bolt grew up sprinting without ever competing against others, with a coach who told him that the world record for 100 meters was 9.40 seconds, and that he would have to

Coaches' Corner: Setting Goals, Part 1

The course in Ghent, Belgium (Photo: © B. Kitch)  As we begin the new year, many of us begin to set specific performance goals or focus more intently on the goals we have already set for ourselves. In pursuing your individual goals it is helpful to think about the best way to maximize those goals, while placing them in perspective , and thinking about them within the optimal framework . In setting goals, many people approach them with the wrong framework. They set their goals based on the performances and/or level of their peers, rather than basing the goals purely upon themselves and their own capabilities. In coaching, I always try to get the athletes to focus on themselves. The goal as an athlete, then, is to make yourself 1% better everyday . I find that by first by focusing on themselves and second by focusing on step-by-step, systematic improvement one day at a time, athletes are better able to move toward their potential without too many outside limitations. If you focus

Video of the Week: Pocock, Parker, Nash, and Perry on Rowing

This week's video features four legends in our sport, sharing their thoughts and reflections on the nature of rowing, the team dynamic, coaching, and the competitive experience. Though brief, the film gives us a glimpse into the minds of George Pocock , Harry Parker , Ted Nash , and Hart Perry , with an impressive amount of on-the-water footage of crews, including the Crimson training and racing on the Charles. I'd go on, but this video speaks for itself. 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

A Bold Start to 2012: RR Predictions and Crews to Watch This Year

It’s getting to be that time of year again, and here at RR we’ve got itchy trigger fingers regarding picks and predictions for the 2012 season. Last year, in our first go around, we managed to do all right for ourselves. We told you in February of 2011 that the Virginia men’s team was poised to dethrone perennial ACRA power Michigan. We told you in March that the Princeton women would win the varsity eight at the 2011 NCAA Rowing Championships. While it stirred up a great deal of controversy at the time, we took a risk and questioned the nature of USRowing selection on the men’s side in the build up to the World Championships in Bled. There are further examples that we could cite, but we know that what you’d really like to read about is the here and now–so here, now, are a few ‘broad strokes’ ideas for the 2012 season. Enjoy. The UVA Women The Virginia women were characteristically deep last year, but seemed to lack the top end speed to get it done in the varsity eight, falling

The Oxford Boat Race Experience – Part 3 of 6

The third short film in a six-part series from the University of Oxford has now been posted, this one detailing the duties and importance of the coxswain in the Boat Race. As former Oxford Blue (and two-time Boat Race winner)  Matthew Pinsent points out, this race is perhaps the most demanding rowing race for coxswains in the world–there is so little room for error, and so much to consider. The level of video coverage is unparalleled, and every move can be scrutinized by an international audience. Add to this the changeable nature of the Thames, the winding course, the need to be aggressive about placement and positioning while avoiding a costly clash or a violation, and you begin to understand just how significant a role the coxswain plays on the Tideway. Follow the links for Part 1 and Part 2  of the series. The 158th Boat Race will take place on 7 April, 2012. For more information, please visit the official website of the Boat Race . -RR

Video of the Week: Heavy Lifting at the Princeton Boathouse Triathlon

This VOTW provides an Ivy League take on cross-training, and shows the traditionally intense 'boathouse triathlon,' including the 'clydesdale' competition for athletes who decide they want to run stadiums carrying extra weight (a new record this year from Jason Kopelman , who carried 97 lbs throughout the run–also not to be overlooked is senior Iain Silveira , who carried 85 lbs throughout; the old record was 60 lbs). On a related note, Silveira has been training with Olympic Champ (and newly appointed Temple women's head coach)  Jason Read in the pair, and the two may be gearing up for an appearance on the NSR circuit later this spring. Clearly, the Tiger men and women are putting in the work for a successful spring season–a familiar trajectory, as Lori Dauphiny's squad posted an undefeated season and NCAA title in the varsity eight last year. Want to suggest the next 'Video of the Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, or

Film for the Weekend – Great Race in Paradise: Aussies v. Kiwis

This is an absolute cracker of a race, between two very talented crews from Australia and New Zealand, contending for the Trans Tasman Cup. The Kiwi eight is stroked by now triple world champion Hamish Bond , and features Nathan Twaddle and Mahé Drysdale in the engine room, while the Australian crew contains 2008 Olympic Champ Duncan Free and Beijing Silver medalist in the M4-, Francis Hegerty at stroke. The event showcases the Gold Coast, and takes place over a winding course, with lead changes and an extremely close finish. Given the quality of the athletes in these two crews, I suppose it's no surprise. And speaking of great athletes, Cédric Berrest of France (who took bronze at the 2011 world championships in Bled along with doubles partner Julien Bahain ) has recently set a new national standard for 2000m on a stationary erg– full story and video link posted to . -RR

Maelstroms and Hailstorms: CULRC and OULRC Trial VIIIs on the Henley Reach

While the day began in fine fashion, the weather was extremely unpredictable and the racing close on the Henley Reach, as the men's lightweight crews from Cambridge ( CULRC ) and Oxford ( OULRC ) came together for the intra-squad Trial VIIIs event on December 18th. There was a weigh-in prior to racing so that race-day conditions would be simulated to the fullest extent. Matthew Pinsent was on hand to serve as umpire, and he had much to do, as the start of the racing was delayed due to barge traffic on the course. At long last, 'King' and 'Ace' of Cambridge were allowed to race, and it began in very dramatic fashion, with a clash of blades near the start, forcing Pinsent to restart the match with a greater distance between crews. Following the restart, the racing between King and Ace was very close, though Ace (racing a Hudson, in what appears to be a University-wide shift away from Empacher) was able to edge out to a small lead near the halfway point, though King

Video of the Week: Training Camp(s) with The Dutch Women's Team

First, Happy New Year to all our readers! We here at RR hope that everyone enjoyed the holidays as much as we did! Now, however, it's time to get back to business. So, to kick off 2012, we've got a double-feature VOTW, which comes to us from The Netherlands women's national team. Here, the Dutch women have put some footage of very high quality rowing together with tunes and shots from around the camp environs (the above video comes from a training camp in Mantova–or Mantua, Italy–and the below video from Mulhouse in France). From the look of it, they seem to have well in mind the idea that relaxing while off the water can be as important as focusing on the water, in terms of building speed across a season of training. The rowing technique shown here is long and relaxed, in keeping with tradition. The weather is featured in these training videos is also something to keep you going through the cold winter months–and perhaps further inspiration to hold a training camp in