Showing posts from April, 2012

Video of the Week: The Content Cup – Princeton v. Brown

This week's video comes to us, once again, from Princeton , and features the Tiger heavyweight men taking on the Brown Bears. The race begins as a closely fought match between two perennial contenders in the Sprints/IRA field, but Brown shows new speed in the second half of the race, pulling away steadily in the headwind to take the Content Cup. The video is also a contrast in styles–two very different technical approaches at work, made more obvious by their juxtaposition. The result raises a few questions about the Sprints field as we approach championship season, as Princeton raced Harvard to a similar margin in the varsity eight in Boston, while Yale defeated Brown in an early season match-up in very rough conditions in Derby. In other weekend racing, No. 3  Michigan swept Harvard and Clemson in the NCAA events, winning the 1V, 2V and V4 events ahead of the Crimson and the Tigers, respectively. Texas managed to take the Big 12 Championship again this year, holding off Ok

Updates from Selection Camp: The U.S. Men's Eight

The above video comes to us courtesy of California Rowing Club head coach Bernhard Stomporowski , and shows the athletes at the eight camp in the final stages of selection–a process that is due to end with the announcement of the eight for Lucerne on Monday, April 30th. Among the many faces present at the camp are a number of Beijing Olympians, including David Banks , Giuseppe Lanzone , Brett Newlin ,  Steve Coppola , Dan Walsh , and Josh Inman (Banks, Lanzone and Newlin rowed on the M4- in 2008, while Coppola, Walsh and Inman won a bronze medal in the eight). There are also a number of athletes with national team experience, if not Olympic experience, challenging the more established résumés and looking to make a name for themselves. The camp has reached the point where there is a great deal of parity among the athletes, and the final selections will no doubt be extremely difficult for the coaching staff–however, Mike Teti has been in this position before, and we're confident

SIRAs Review, WIRAs Preview

The Coast frosh head to the line at Redwood Shores (Photo: B. Kitch) There is a great deal to talk about in the rowing world these days, with rogue swimmers, Olympic selection, and World Cups around the corner, all of which makes it hard to keep pace with the results as all the regattas and championships begin to crowd one another into the month of May. SIRAs, which took place last weekend, featured a great deal of very close racing between teams in that hard-to-define place between the top-tier varsity programs and top-tier clubs, while WIRAs will feature still more such teams this weekend in Sacramento. [Disclaimer/Warning: The following content contains opinions.] SIRAs Review:  The 2012 SIRAs showcased the increasing depth of the club field as a very strong Virginia program continues to improve under head coach Frank Biller . Biller's boys fought a varsity program in George Washington all the way to the line in the varsity eight, with the Colonials eventually edging t

Video Interviews: Washington's Michael Callahan and Dave O'Neill of Cal

Following the racing at Redwood Shores last weekend, we spoke with Washington men's head coach Michael Callahan (above), and Cal Women's Crew head coach Dave O'Neill (below) about the morning's events as well as the team outlook for the rest of the spring. The Washington men, as predicted, remained atop the collegiate rankings this week, while the Cal women moved from No. 4 going into the dual with Washington to taking over the No. 1 spot from Virginia in the most recent coaches' poll . Thanks very much to Coach Callahan and Coach O'Neill for taking the time! Coming this week: WIRAs 2012 Picks and Predictions–What to make of the new format and crews to watch this weekend.  -RR

Video of the Week: The 101st Cal-Washington Dual at Redwood Shores

This week's video covers the men's and women's frosh, second varsity, and varsity eights races from Redwood Shores last Saturday, when the Washington Husky men and California Golden Bear women both posted sweeps of their arch rivals in ideal conditions. The Husky men entered the weekend as the No. 1 team in the country, and given that every Husky men's eight posted a time faster than 5:40 en route to defending the Schoch Cup (including a blistering 5:30.5 in the varsity eight), they will likely retain the top spot in the national rankings. The Cal women entered the fray as the No. 4 team in the country, with Washington holding onto the No. 2 spot following a solid performance at the San Diego Crew Classic. The Cal women, who had to reshuffle their lineups prior to Crew Classic due to two injuries in their varsity eight, came back with a vengeance at the Lake Natoma Invitational just over a week ago, and kept their momentum in a big way, recording a seven-second victor

Weekend Filled to Brim with Intercollegiate Racing

Bears on the way to the line (Photo: B. Kitch) This weekend is likely to be one for the ages, with the California v. Washington dual at Redwood Shores, CA, SIRAs taking place in Oak Ridge, TN, the Yale heavyweights taking on Cornell in Ithaca for the Carnegie Cup, the No. 1 Virginia women attempting to defend their  ACC Championship title (having won 44 of the previous 48 races held at the last 12 ACC Championship regattas), and the Harvard men taking on Penn and a very strong squad from Navy , among many other intercollegiate match-ups. The Cal v. Washington dual pits two of the top four teams in the nation against one another on both the men's and women's sides, while SIRAs will see some of the top programs in the ACRA field go head-to-head in the men's and women's varsity eights. The Yale men are currently unbeaten in 2012, with sweeps over Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, and Penn–this weekend will prove perhaps the toughest test yet, though Cornell did n

Rowing News Magazine Sneak Peek: May 2012 Issue on its Way!

Coming Soon! (Image © Rowing News ) The May issue of Rowing News is hot off the press, and loaded with informed, opinionated content to help you take on championship season in stride. In addition to a roundup of the 2012 Crew Classic (the 39th edition and largest to date), see our take on the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race , an interview with GB Rowing world gold and silver medalist (as both a lightweight and a heavyweight) James Clarke , columnist Topher Bordeau's take on online forums, and a fantastic, intimate look at how the Games may change London (as well as an insider's perspective on Olympic selection in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Germany) from River & Rowing Museum historian Christopher Dodd , author of the new book, Pieces of Eight . Add to this mix an in-depth look at 'everything you wanted to know–but were afraid to ask the boat rep–about buying your very own single,' including interviews with Beijing Olympians Tom Paradiso  and  Eric Mur

Video Interviews from Redwood Shores: Cal's Wyatt Allen and Paul Prioleau of OCC

The Cal squad had a great weekend at the Stanford Invitational/Pac-12 Challenge, but the frosh squad was perhaps the most dominant force on the water. Last year, the Cal frosh posted an undefeated season that they capped off with a victory at Henley Royal Regatta, and, given the level of talent this year, they may be poised to do just the same. Coach Wyatt Allen, however, remains cautious but optimistic, as is evident in the video above. Orange Coast College had a tough go at Crew Classic, posting the third fastest time in the heats of the Cal Cup, but narrowly missing the final behind event winner Grand Valley State and the Oklahoma City University Stars. After winning Newport Regatta the weekend prior, OCC had solid results over the weekend (as head coach Paul Prioleau explains above) and will look to have a strong second half to the season. -RR

Video of the Week: Cal Takes on Wisconsin at 2012 Stanford Invitational

The No. 3 Cal Bears were in action at home over the weekend, welcoming the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers to Redwood Shores for a traditional early season match-up. The Bears are tuning up for the rivalry race with the Washington Huskies next weekend (21 April), also at Redwood Shores, while the Badgers came out to California looking to test their early season speed, with considerable success. The video, shot from the bridge which is (roughly) at the 1000m mark, includes clips from the men's varsity eight race (as well as MV8 match-ups between Stanford and UCSD , and Orange Coast College and USD ), the 2V8, and the frosh eight events. The Badgers battled very well in the varsity eight, but fell by roughly a length to Cal, though Wisconsin was able to reverse this result in the 2V8, taking the event by approximately three seconds over a crew that defeated Harvard at the San Diego Crew Classic just two weeks ago.  Coming up tomorrow on RR: Video interviews with Cal's Wyatt All

Live Race Coverage from Boston, Princeton This Weekend

Tigers in action on Lake Carnegie this weekend in Princeton (Photo: B. Kitch) There is a ton of intercollegiate racing on the schedule for this weekend, with some of the nation's top teams going toe-to-toe on both coasts. The Stanford Invitational and Lake Natoma Invitational out west, pitting the No. 3 Cal men against No. 4 (tied with Princeton) Wisconsin in the varsity eight on Saturday morning, while on the women's side, Pac-12 powers No. 8 Cal and No. 9 Stanford will welcome non-conference rivals Brown, Wisconsin and Texas, among others. Meanwhile, in the Northeast, the No. 2 Harvard heavyweight men are set to take on No. 4 Princeton and MIT, while the Crimson lightweight squad will race MIT and Dartmouth in Boston. For a link to live, streaming coverage of the action in Boston, follow the link below beginning at 7am Eastern Daylight Time: On Lake Carnegie, the No. 5 Princeton women will be going head-to-hea

USRowing NSR II and Non-Qualified Olympic Small Boats Trials Finals Set

There has already been a great deal of close racing on the way to the finals, which will determine who earns the right to attempt to qualify their boat for the upcoming Olympic Games via the World Cup circuit. The closest race of the day, as you might expect, came on the lightweight side, while the heavyweight semis were a little more spread out en route to tomorrow's match-ups. Let's take a look at the crews to watch for tomorrow. LW2x Julie Nichols and Kristin Hedstrom became the first U.S. crew to win a World Cup last season, and narrowly missed a medal at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled last September. While they seem to have taken it pretty easy in the Time Trial that preceded the head-to-head racing, Nichols and Hedstrom appear poised and ready for tomorrow's final. However, they'll have a new challenge on their hands, with the combination of Hillary Saeger (bronze medal in the LW4x in Bled ) and lightweight 2k world record holder Ursula Grobler

Video of the Week: Princeton Wins 2012 Childs Cup

While there was a great deal of controversy swirling about the murky waters of the Thames over the weekend, the U.S. intercollegiate racing season continued on Lake Carnegie, where the Princeton Tigers took on Columbia and Penn for the 2012 edition of the Childs Cup. Conditions were less than ideal, but the Tiger heavies manage to row a clean race through considerable chop and wind in the above video, while Penn and Columbia battle it out for bragging rights. The Princeton men nearly posted a clean sweep of the events on Saturday, but the Penn 2F were able to out-duel the Tigers in a very long race (roughly seven minutes) by just over a length. The Stein Cup between Harvard and Brown featured an extremely close race in the varsity eight , with the Crimson taking the victory in a blistering 5:25.4 to Brown's 5:26.0 in Providence, while the Northeastern men swept local rival Boston University to take the Arlett Cup. Meanwhile, over in sunny Southern California, Orange Coa

Op-Ed: Thoughts on The 2012 Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race

Oxford launching (Photo: © B. Kitch) Like many people in the rowing community watching all over the world today, I found the events of the Boat Race difficult to stomach, for a number of reasons. While I, along with many others, had expected something of a one-sided affair with Oxford being the favorite, the race was developing into what might have been an all-time great, with the crews level pegging through the halfway point, and Oxford just beginning to take advantage of their station as they drew near to the Bandstand. And then it stopped. Everyone already knows what happened as a result of the 'boat race swimmer.' The boats were forced to restart, and there was a clash that resulted in the loss of Hanno Wienhausen's blade, effectively ending the race as they passed the Chiswick Eyot. Congratulations to Cambridge, who should be lauded for mettle given the circumstances, and who fought well when there was a fight to be had. The first thing that crosses your mind ha

RR Friday Interview: U.S. Lightweight Sculler, Nick Trojan, Part II

Since we posted the first half of our interview with young standout Nick Trojan, the lineups for the second National Selection Regatta and the Non-Qualified Olympic Small Boats Trials have been announced, and it has been confirmed that Trojan will be taking on a very tough field along with new double partner Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg . Here follows the second half of our interview with Trojan, post NSR I, with details about his preparation and working with coach Carlos Dinares . RR: There were a number of lightweights that showed up at NSR I, many of them training in the LA area. Do you run into these guys all the time? Have you been training with them?  NT: It’s funny. Before NSR I , I’d been down in Newport rowing the single. I would just do one, solid row in the morning, just as I would have done at Carlos’s house–I was pretty much doing Carlos’s training, but I couldn’t do as much as I was doing up there because of traffic, working, etc. But I did run into Pete, Tom and John [G

Boat Race Banter: RR Pick and Prediction for the 2012 Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race

The Boat Race is just around the corner, and, as usual, we have some thoughts on just what to look for this weekend. We've seen the evidence from fixtures and early season training, gone over the lineups, and, in the end, we've come to the same conclusion as the bookies– Oxford will win the 2012 Boat Race. Not only that, but we will say that Oxford will win by three lengths. Why? Oxford head coach Sean Bowden has proven again and again that he knows exactly what it takes to produce a Boat Race winning crew, and this alone is enough to convince us that the weight differential is not a major concern (though typically the heavier crew–that would be Cambridge this year–has an advantage in the often rough conditions on the Tideway). Having been tested against some similar competition, Oxford have shown that they are capable of battling back from adversity , enduring clashes and racing at close quarters. Also, it's worrying that Cambridge struggled against the University of

The Brown Cup, 2012: UBC and UVic Renew Their Rivalry on the Gorge Waterway

The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is fast approaching, and the buzz around the Tideway is growing to fever pitch in anticipation of Saturday's contest. The 2012 Brown Cup, however, is already in the books. The above video shows the 21st contest between the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia men's squads (the women raced this year for the 19th time), over a 3k course  on the Gorge Waterway that ends at the Johnson Street Bridge in downtown Victoria, BC. The 2012 race was a hard fought and closely contested event, with the UBC crew just edging UVic by less than one second at the line, marking the fourth win in 21 tries for the UBC Thunderbirds, who won the Cal Cup at the 2011 San Diego Crew Classic, and who bested Temple to win the Petite Final of the Men's Copley Cup in San Diego last weekend. The race has seen a great deal of elite level athletes take part over the years, including Olympic silver medalist Barney Williams , Beijing gold medali

San Diego Crew Classic, 2012: Recap and Review

GVSU holds off Notre Dame to win the Men's Cal Cup (Photo: B. Kitch) The 2012 San Diego Crew Classic showcased some of the nation's top talent, and the athletes did not disappoint on Mission Bay last weekend. The racing was fierce, and when all was said and done, we felt pretty good about our picks, with a few notable exceptions. Let's take a look. Men's Events The Men's Varsity Eight Copley Cup: As we anticipated, the Crimson were able to handle a very strong challenge from the Cal Bears, who led through the early stages of the race. Navy proved to be stronger than Stanford, who made use of an extremely unconventional rig (which made the Cardinal men's varsity eight one of the talking points of the regatta). Cornell and Michigan rounded out the final, in keeping with our predictions. The Men's Varsity Eight Cal Cup: Again in keeping with our predictions, Grand Valley State University took first place in a tight field (an entry that featured nov

Video of the Week: NCAA Early Season - Michigan v. Brown v. Princeton

The Michigan Wolverines got the season started with a bang, defeating NCAA grand finalists Princeton and Brown in this spring match up and making their intentions clear for the 2012 season. The Tigers had an undefeated season in the varsity eight last year, but lost some horsepower and experience, including Canadian U23 world champion Lauren Wilkinson. Brown–having snuck up on the competition once again to win yet another NCAA team title last year–often seems to find its speed late, so while the Bears were out of the mix in this contest, you can never count them out when championship racing season arrives. The San Diego Crew Classic took place over the weekend, so it's time for us to take a look at the top performers and see how we did with our picks–keep an eye out for updates to come this week, as well as Part II of our interview with Nick Trojan, to be posted this Friday. Thanks to Princeton Crew for posting the high quality video to their YouTube Channel ! -RR