Showing posts from May, 2012

2012 IRA National Championship Regatta Picks and Predictions

The 2012 edition of the IRA Regatta begins tomorrow morning, and the look of the field has changed since the beginning of the year, though the front runners in our minds, Harvard , Washington , and Brown , had fantastic outings at the Head Of The Charles (finishing first, third, and fifth, respectively, with only a USRowing national team crew and a Deutscher Ruderverband eight forming the interstices). Our pick following last year's IRA, as well as in January, was Harvard, but the overwhelming feeling in the rowing community (and, more specifically, our readership) shows that Washington is the favorite, and the Huskies will enter as the No. 1 team in all three eights. The incredible race for the Sprints title in the varsity eight between Harvard and Brown saw Harvard's bid for an undefeated season come to an end, and, while the Crimson were unbeaten prior to that race, they have not pushed out the margins in any of their races this season–Washington, by contrast, has won ever

NCAAs and ACRAs: Hoos Who in Rowing

The 2012 NCAA Championships were, as expected, characterized by closely fought heats, semis, and finals, with the depth of the entire field improving from year to year and the top-end continually reaching new heights. Our pick to win the Division I title since January, Virginia , delivered in both the varsity eight and team points, with a solid performances from the varsity four (second) and second varsity eight (fifth) to set up the first eight for success in the grands. The Hoos left no doubt in the 1V, pushing out the margin in the second 1000m enough to hold off a very strong Michigan crew–with a second-place finish in the varsity eight and first place in the 2V, the Wolverines locked up second place in the team points standings, ahead of No. 1 California. As for our pick of Western Washington, well, the Jacks of Humboldt State showed that a new era may have begun in DII women's rowing. The Jacks were the class of the field in the varsity four, finishing roughly nine secon

Video of the Week: Mike Teti from the Final Olympic Qualifier in Lucerne

This week's video comes to us courtesy of the World Rowing FISA YouTube Channel , and features U.S. men's eight head coach Mike Teti, standing on the dock in Lucerne following the qualification of his crew for the 2012 Olympic Games. Basically, this is classic Mike–engaging, down to earth, and funny. Having been brought in following the eight's failure to qualify for the Olympics last year in Bled, Teti was charged with the task of assembling a crew that would ensure the U.S. would claw its way back to the Games–and he did just that. Now, it's time to refocus and get ready for London. Given Teti's experience coaching the eight (let's just say we might have seen this coming ), not to mention the job he has already done, we're confident that good things are on the horizon in Eton. Still to come this week: NCAAs and ACRAs recap and review–time to take a look at how our picks and predictions turned out over the weekend! -RR

2012 NCAA and ACRA Championships Picks and Predictions

The NCAA Rowing Championships and ACRA National Championships are now just hours away, and it wouldn't be right if we didn't throw some picks and predictions out there. We released some season-long predictions in January , and we are sticking to our guns, though things have certainly heated up in both fields (not to mention the IRA field that will take to the water in just under a week). Now, let's get started. NCAA Rowing Championships: We picked Virginia to win the Division I team title last Winter, and Kevin Sauer's Cavaliers are looking on pace to do just that, despite their No. 2 ranking behind Pac-12 power California . The RR readers' poll agrees with that assessment at this point, with 29% of the vote currently going to Virginia, versus 24% to Cal. The Golden Bears will enter NCAAs this year on a tremendous high, having swept the Pac-12 Championships for the first time a little less than two weeks ago–Cal is certainly not to be taken lightly, nor would

RR Interview: Iain Weir of Rowing Photography UK and Rowing Journal

Weir (center) and father (right), LRC chief coach Paul Reedy (left), Image: © Iain Weir Following a successful career as an oarsman that included a Henley Royal Regatta victory in the Thames Cup, photographer and entrepreneur Iain Weir has found a number of ways to stay involved with the sport that he knows and loves so well. Having begun as a photographer while competing for the London Rowing Club on the Putney Embankment, Weir has since established himself as one of the premier rowing photographers in the U.K., as well as taken on other ventures, including his most recent creation, . Here, Weir shares a little about his background, how he got started, and how you can get involved with Rowing Journal, as it continues to grow worldwide. RR: How did you get started in the sport of rowing? What was it about the sport that captivated you, and what has sustained that interest in the sport? Iain Weir: I couldn't tell you exactly at what moment I decided that I&

First Day of Finals Golden for Team USA at Final Olympic Qualification Regatta

Not only did the U.S. national team go three-for-three on Tuesday with respect to qualifying for the Games in London, the squad did so in style, winning the W2x, LM4- and M8+ in convincing fashion. Women's double combination Sarah Trowbridge (Michigan) and Margot Shumway (The Ohio State University) led from wire to wire, edging out to what became a 1.5 second advantage as they crossed the line in a time of 7:03.96. Not do be outdone, the new-look U.S. lightweight men's four, made up of Robin Prendes (Princeton), Will Newell (Harvard), Nick LaCava (Columbia), and Anthony Fahden (Dartmouth)–'The Ivy Four,' as Susan Francia dubbed the crew via Twitter –made the most of the second 1000m and won the final following an outstanding sprint, coming from third to win by just over one tenth of a second ahead of The Netherlands (6:01.85 to 6:01.99 for the Dutch). While these athletes are experienced, with LaCava and Newell having raced in the LM8+, and Prendes and Fahden in t

Video of the Week: Australian World Champions Train in Tasmania

This week's video comes to us from Mike Nicholson , who visited training sessions on April 23 and 24, 2012 with the 2011 world champion men's quad and lightweight men's four of Australia. In addition to a bit of banter from stroke seat of the M4x, Dan Noonan , the video features a great deal very high quality rowing and sculling (as you might expect). The Final Olympic Qualification Regatta is ongoing on the Rotsee, but the second World Cup is just around the corner, and set to begin Friday in Lucerne. These two crews will be in action, though Noonan is out of the lineup in the M4x with an injury (the part of 'Noonan' will be played by Jared Bidwell for World Cup II). The match-up between the Germans, Croatians, and the new Australian combination in the M4x will be an interesting one to watch. Germany took a hard luck silver last year behind Australia last year (crabbing in the final five strokes and allowing AUS to slip by), and again took silver behind Croati

Race Video: Harvard and Brown Battle to the Line in Worcester

We're heavy on videos this week, but this one is too good to miss–the men's varsity heavyweight eight final at Sprints this year was an absolute barn burner, with Harvard and Brown pushing each other all the way across the finish in a race that was determined by less than a canvas. The crew from Brown knew as soon as they crossed the line that they had ended Harvard's bid for an undefeated season. The margin? 0.3 seconds. The result? Things just got very interesting in the men's varsity eight field for the upcoming IRA National Championship. So far, our RR readers' polls show Virginia as the favorite to win the NCAA team title this year in West Windsor, while the Washington men are heavy favorites to take the men's varsity eight title at IRAs on the Cooper River. Get involved and cast your vote! Thanks to Princeton Crew for uploading another great race video to their YouTube Channel ! -RR

World Cup II Entries Announced, Eric Murray's Waikato Times Interview

The above (very nicely produced) video interview comes to us from the Waikato Times, and covers how Eric Murray got into the pair with Hamish Bond , his hopes for the New Zealand men's pair in the final stages of preparation for London, as well as the sometimes 'mind-numbing' nature of the long hours of training required to go fast at the elite level. The entries for the second World Cup, this one in Lucerne, have been announced , and the field will include the three-time defending world champion Kiwi pair. The duo will take on last year's and bronze medalists, Italy's Noccolo Mornati and Lorenzo Carboncini , and fourth place finishers in 2011, the Gkountoulas brothers of Greece. Beijing silver medalists Dave Calder and Scott Frandsen of Canada will be back in action on the international stage, following a fifth place finish last year, and defending Olympic champion Duncan Free (having recently come back from another injury, this time to the ribs) will t

Video of the Week: Men's and Women's Varsity Eights at the Pac-12 Championships

On a huge weekend in intercollegiate racing, the Cal women proved that they are, once again, the team to beat out West, though there were new challengers emerging from the Pac-12 field. The Bears swept the racing to claim their fifth straight conference title, with Washington taking second in the team points, followed by UCLA just one point back overall. The Bruins had an excellent regatta and continue to step up their game this year–after a solid Crew Classic, UCLA made three trips to the podium in four races at Lake Natoma on Sunday, taking silver in the frosh eight, bronze in the varsity four, and bronze in the second varsity eight, finishing roughly one length from first in the closely packed varsity eight final for fourth place in that event. The men's racing at Lake Natoma featured what was nothing short of a dominant Washington Husky program going to work against rivals California . The Bears showed that they have made some improvements since the Cal-UW dual, but

Weekend Race Coverage and RR Interview: Frank Biller of UVa on the 2012 Windermere Cup

The UVa varsity eight training in Seattle (Photo: © F. Biller) The UVa men’s team has, once again, made a statement in the early season, and looks to be one of the favorites this weekend in Philadelphia at the 2012 Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta , as well as at the ACRA Championship Regatta later this month in Gainesville, GA. Having won the title in the men’s varsity eight at ACRAs last year, defeating perennial front runner Michigan along the way, UVa has shown thus far that it has not lost speed, despite having graduated some of the top talent from last year’s varsity crew. This was in evidence at SIRAs, where the Cavaliers battled a strong George Washington crew all the way to the line, eventually taking second place, less than a second behind the Colonials, with roughly a six second margin on the rest of the field. Last weekend, UVa was invited to participate in the 2012 Windermere Cup, and had another strong showing, defeating Oregon State by roughly a length, and finishing ju

Southwest Junior District Championships Showcase Top Talent on West Coast–Nationals Next

The USRowing Southwest Junior District Championships (say that four times, fast) took place on Lake Natoma (just outside Sacramento, CA) over the weekend, and there were several crews who made quite an impression on us as they punched their tickets to the USRowing Youth National Championships next month. Among those crews were some familiar names, as Marin Rowing Association continues to field a high volume of very fast crews on both the men's and women's sides, but there were also some relative newcomers to the stage. Also, early season favorites Oakland Strokes saw their undefeated season end in the women's varsity eight by the narrowest of margins, with last year's national champion Marin taking the top spot on the podium, and setting up a great rivalry race in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Graham Willoughby's Marin men's varsity eight was, once again, dominant, taking the event by open water over the field, and continuing their unbeaten streak that began at the

Video(s) of the Week: Greek Lightweights Impress at World Cup I in Belgrade

While the story of the regatta was the performance of the British national team, which dominated the points and earned a total of twelve medals (four of them gold), the Greek national team also looked outstanding as we build toward the Games in London. The lightweight women's double of Alexandra Tisavou and Christina Giazitzidou performed as we've come to expect, despite heading to the reps following a great heat with China (another crew to watch). In the final, Tsiavou and Giazitzidou established a lead in the second 500m and held it through the line, fending off strong challenges from the new-look GB LW2x of Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland (who took second place), and China's Dongxiang Xu and Wenyi Huang . In the lightweight men's double, Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase looked excellent, as expected, despite a slower than usual start (which characterized many of the GB entries, as pointed out by the commentary, and is likely to do with their training c

FISA Video Interviews: Alex Partridge and Alexandra Tsiavou

World Rowing has published two new video interviews as the first World Cup of the 2012 season heads towards the finals, one with Alex Partridge of the GB men's eight, and the other with defending world champion Alexandra Tsiavou of the Greek LW2x, on their approach, selection and racing, as well as what it means to represent their respective countries at the Olympics. Also, look for updates from World Cup I on our new Regatta Updates/Results page , with filtered Twitter feeds from World Rowing and regattas both within the U.S. and abroad. And to keep and eye on what the athletes are saying, check out the 'Rowing Chat' Twitter widget on the right side of the page. -RR

2012 WIRA Championships Recap and Review

The 2012 WIRA Championships are in the books, and it's time to take a look at how our picks and predictions turned out following the racing on Lake Natoma last weekend. The story of the regatta was the team from Gonzaga on both the men's and women's sides, as the Bulldogs medaled in no less than seven events, winning gold in five. Orange Coast College also performed very well, taking first place in three events with a very small squad. Let's take a look, shall we? Paul Prioleau's OCC Pirates got the better of the field in the men's varsity club eight, as we predicted, in a time of 6:02.6, roughly 1.5 seconds ahead of UCSB (another crew we picked to make a podium appearance). UCLA, our pick for second, faded to fourth behind UCI. In the men's varsity eight, our pick for first place, UCSD, did not show the same speed as earlier in the season at Crew Classic (when they got the better of Gonzaga), and found themselves in third place in a five-boat final, behi

The U.S. Men's Eight Announced Today by USRowing

Lucerne (Photo: © B. Kitch) The eight has been named and it's already time to start gearing up for Lucerne, which will determine whether this group gets a shot on the grand stage in London this July. The lineup is a mix of some familiar faces alongside some relative newcomers, and given Mike Teti's track record for success in selection we're very much looking forward to seeing this eight in action. Here's a little background on the oarsmen: The nine men named to the U.S. men's eight are, from stern to bow, coxswain Zach Vlahos (2010 IRA national champion with Cal Berkeley in the varsity eight, Junior national team 2005-2006, U23 team 2010, throws a mean fastball ), Grant James (2008 IRA national champion with Wisconsin in the varsity eight, 2008 U23 world champion in the eight, 2009 and 2011 senior national team member), David Banks (Stanford, Beijing Olympian in the M4-, 2009 and 2010 senior national team member), Steve Kasprzyk (Drexel University

The 2012 Big Row: Cal v. Stanford in Honor of Jill Costello

The above video covers the intercollegiate events from the 2012 Big Row, pitting the No. 1 Cal women against No. 12 Stanford, and the No. 9 Cardinal men against No. 4 Cal on a beautiful Saturday at Redwood Shores. In honor of Jill Costello (see the  Sports Illustrated  story on her  here ), the athletes donned special uniforms (the Stanford men and women with a pink block 'S' on their jerseys, and the Cal men with a pink block 'C' with 'Jill' written below in script, while the Cal women wore jerseys in Jill's favorite color, with 'Team Jill' emblazoned on the front). The order of events follows the schedule on Saturday, with the men's junior varsity event first, followed by the frosh eights, the women's varsity fours, the women's second varsity eights, and finally the women's and men's varsity eights. Following the racing, the Cal and Stanford coaches came together in support of the event as a means to carry forward Jill's l