Showing posts from 2014

2014 in Review: Your 10 Favorite RR Posts This Year

Best of RR, 2014 Edition We're mere minutes away from the beginning of a new year, and we can't wait to find out what the 2015 rowing season holds. However, there's never a better time to look back on the previous 12 months than New Year's Eve, and that's just what we're up to this evening. And so, without further ado, here are our top 10 posts (according to you) from 2014. 1. Stop Seat Racing: The Future of Crew Selection Virginia Men's Rowing head coach Frank Biller's take on how best to select your crew, given the increasing level of data available to coaches and athletes. 2. Head of the Charles Banter: Can We Talk about how Badass This Year's 'Great Eights' Are? Apparently, we weren't the only ones excited about the increased number (and level of badassedness) of the men's and women's Great Eights at the Head of the Charles in 2014. 3. So, are Naked Rowing Calendars a Thing Now? If the level of success that this p

Video(s) Of The Week: Mike Spracklen Coaching the Russian National Team

This week's featured video playlist comes to us from our friends at RowHub , and is an eight-part series shot from the launch, with Mike Spracklen coaching the Russian national rowing team through a translator. Each video offers a slightly different look at training and technique, in a variety of boat classes (from singles to eights) and at a variety of cadences (from steady state to race pace). All in all, it's a brief but interesting, inside look at Spracklen's new group, and if you watch carefully, there's much that can be learned from each clip. Have a submission for 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestions via Twitter , or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages. And for more rowing video content, check out RowHub's expanding video archive, as well as the RR ' Video ' page. -RR

The Way We Were: Training (and Winning) with the Australian National Team in 1974

The 1974 Aussie LM4- training in Switzerland As we approach the end of another year, it's important to reflect on how far we've come. And, one way to do that is to turn back the clock. 40 years ago, the Australian national team was preparing for the 1974 world championships in Lucerne, Switzerland. The below film, shot by Harvey Nicholson and edited by the same and his son, Mike, offers what is at once a nostalgic and informative view of elite rowing training at the time. The lightweight crew—the first-ever Aussie crew to win international gold—was made up of Campbell Johnston , Andrew Michelmore , Geoff Rees , and Colin Smith (from stern to bow), and recently had a reunion ( and weigh in! ) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their victory. Here's some background on the film from Mike Nicholson: [This film follows] the 1974 Australian Men's Lightweight Coxless Four that were the first Australian crew ever to win a gold medal at either the Olympics or World Rowi

Twitter Rowing Banter: #RowingIn5Words

Twitter challenge: #rowingin5words Last week, given all of the five-word challenges—i.e., sum up a concept or experience in five words—floating around Twitter (most notably, #2014in5words—a hashtag encouraging people to reflect on meaningful moments over the past year), we thought it only right to challenge the rowing community to the same test of brevity (the soul of wit, as you well remember). And, the results were suitably impressive. We were delighted to see people from all over the world taking part, from national team athletes and Olympians to juniors and even well-known rowing brands, reflecting the international nature of the sport. Here's a look at some of our favorites from #rowingin5words so far. #rowingin5words Thanks to everyone who has participated—it has been very entertaining to watch! While we might not quite have gotten rowing to 'trend' worldwide on Twitter, we're going to say it was pretty close there for a minute. -RR

Video Of The Week: Elite Men's Quad Training in Chula Vista

This week's video comes to us via the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, and features an inside look at the recent quad camp there, which included Craftsbury Green Racing Project's John Graves , Potomac's Willy Cowles , and California Rowing Club scullers Derek Johnson and Hans Struzyna . The camp was put together by CRC head coach Bernhard Stomporowski , and, in the words of John Graves, served as a way to encourage greater collaboration between clubs and training centers looking to develop elite athletes and crews. Here's an excerpt from a post Graves' wrote for his blog, Jaunting , about the camp: "The majority of our rowing was low intensity, but we did a couple of 3k pieces with some of the other boats at the TC; most notably the women's 2x and light women's 2x who have showed medalist speed over the past couple of years." This allowed them to compare some percentages, and get a sense for how the lineup performed by t

RR Interview: Jack Carlson and Outtakes from 'Rowing Blazers'

Kingston Rowing Club (Photo courtesy of Jack Carlson) Recently, we caught up with Jack Carlson about his favorite holiday gifts for rowers this year, and here, we go behind the scenes with Jack during the making of Rowing Blazers . And, included below are several never-before-published outtakes from the book, including U.S. national team vet and Trinity alum John Graves (read his RR interview here ), as well as that most famous of rowing duos, the Winklevoss Twins . Here's what Jack had to say.

The RowingRelated 2015 Calendar is Here!

Newell Boathouse, from the 2015 RR Calendar (Illustration: B. Kitch) There's a new RowingRelated Calendar hot off the presses for 2015 , featuring artwork by RR editor Bryan Kitch. There are a few key rowing dates thrown in, as well as U.S., U.K., Canadian, French, and German holidays to suit the worldwide rowing community. It's not going to break the bank (or even the student budget) at $15, and it can be shipped internationally. So, here's your chance to support the RowingRelated cause, and get some (practical) artwork in return! Take a look at the preview below (for mobile users, click here to view the item on ), and keep an eye on our social media outlets for more peeks into the calendar over the coming days. In our extremely biased opinion, it's the ideal gift for rowers of all ages. You can buy it now here . Thanks! -RR

Video Of The Week: The Blue Star Takes on Italy

This week's featured video comes to us from Newcastle University Boat Club , and gives an inside look at their recent trip to Italy to race some Italian international crews, with loads on on-the-water shots thanks to no shortage of GoPro cameras (not to mention the kind of 'mileage that makes champions,' as the NUBC squad took the opportunity to defrost and fully embrace the idea of 'suns out, guns out'). The soundtrack could fit nicely into our Winter 2015 Erg(o) Mixtape , and the trip was a successful one for the Newcastle first eight, not least because of the scenery around Lake Sabaudia.

Video Of The Week: Oxford Blues Taking Boat Race Banter to New Heights

This week's featured video comes to us via Oxford University Boat Club, and offers an inside look at their training and preparation for...actually, it's a series of precisely executed, boy-band dance moves, as well as some impressively edited reverse lip-syncing (from 1:16)—a clear indication that the banter level has achieved new heights in the build up to this year's Boat Race. When you think about it, what better way to strike fear into the hearts of your opponents than with a parody R&B viral video? And, far from letting the men's squad have all the fun, the Oxford women have upped their Christmas sweater game. The team showcased an impressive range of Christmas jumpers today! #WhichBlueRU #darkblue — OUWBC Squad (@OUWBCsquad) December 8, 2014 The gauntlet has been thrown down—suffice it to say, we're looking forward to seeing how Cambridge responds. (Will the Light Blues go full Daniel Radcliffe ?) Have a submission

#TBT: 1979 U.S. National Team Preliminary Men's Eight, with Harry Parker

This week, we're taking a look back to 1979 and the wisdom of Harry Parker , through this training film. The first 45 minutes of the above are shot in Hanover, New Hampshire. Interviewer Bill Stowe —an Olympic champion himself, having rowed on the 1964 Vesper crew that won in Tokyo, and 2011 USRowing Jack Kelly Award winner —spends an afternoon with Parker, during the preliminary phase of training for the U.S. men's eight that summer. Stowe asks thoughtful questions, and Parker gives typically thoughtful answers, as the two discuss workouts and rowing technique, as compared to previous U.S. crews as well as other rowing federations. It also includes raw audio from the launch. The crew shown, from bow to stern, is Bill Purdy, John Biglow, Charlie Altekruse, Mike Hess, Tom Woodman, Otto Stekle, Chip Lubsen, and Bruce Ibbetson, with coxswain Bob Jaugstetter. The last nine minutes of the video come from Parker's 1983 sculling camp on the Charles, with athletes Bruce Beall,

Get Amped x2: We Made You a Winter Training Erg(o) Mixtape

Remember when cassette tapes weren't just iPhone cases? After how much you said you liked year's fall rowing erg(o) mixtape , well, we felt like maybe we should make it a tradition—not that we're getting too serious or anything. It's on the electronic side, but it's also got a little dose of hip hop, and a mix of rhythm and bass that ought to get you through a long session of intervals, a 30-minute test, or just your everyday 10k (the playlist clocks in at approximately 45 mins). And, like we said last year, while we can discuss the problems and benefits of having music during training (having trained with coaches on both sides of that fence), we hope you enjoy it, and use it (or not) as you see fit. -RR

Henley Winner and World U23 Medalist Paul Giblin of Ireland Needs Your Help

Earlier today we received an email alerting us to this video and this cause— Paul Giblin of Galway, a two-time Henley Royal Regatta winner, member of the 2005 Irish U23 national team (and bronze medalist at the 2003 World U23 Regatta), and and officer in the Army, is battling cancer, and is in need of a bone marrow transplant. Because of this, Paul and his friends are looking to raise awareness for bone marrow donors, and are urging people to join the bone marrow registry at . We haven't yet been able to confirm this, but according to a YouTube comment posted below Paul's video , there will be testing in Ireland, set to take place in " Cork , Dublin , Athlone , and other places most days this week until late in the evening. More details of upcoming clinics available here ." You can also help spread the word by using the hashtag #marrowmatch on social media platforms, and by sharing the above video: . More informati

A Rower's Holiday Gift Guide, with Jack Carlson of 'Rowing Blazers'

Carlson at ease (Photo courtesy of Jack Carlson) The holidays are right around the corner, and rather than take our word for it, we thought it would be best to ask rowing's most stylish author and coxswain about gifts for the rowers we love. From on-the-water kit, to how to look like a million bucks in the boathouse, here are a few of Jack Carlson's favorites this holiday season. From Jack: Oakley Razor Blades. For on-the-water retro chic. New Wave port and starboard socks. For fashion (and confused coxswains). The official Rowing Blazers tie Rowing Blazers tie. (Shameless.) Rock the Boat tuxedo shirt. For when the blazer comes off. Pieces of Eight cover detail Pieces of Eight by Chris

Video Of The Week: 'You Only YOLO Once,' with the Australian LM4x

Training on the Nepean River, 2013 (Photo courtesy King's Quad 2013/Facebook) This week's video comes to us from Down Under, and features the 2013 Aussie LM4x training on the Nepean River in New South Wales. The crew, coached by none other than Tim McLaren , as well as Rick Van Hooydonk (of Sydney University Boat Club), was made up of Perry Ward , Ed De Carvalho , Adam Kachyckyj , and James Wilson , and performed well on the international stage, placing fifth overall in Chungju—Perry Ward returned to senior worlds in Amsterdam this year, placing fifth in the LM1x. There's a little bit of history on their training and preparation via a blog that they kept during the campaign that you can read here , as well as via their Facebook page . And, it's a nicely edited video with a soundtrack that is well suited to the long hours of winter training (we're here to offer you in-depth as well as multipurpose, you see). Have a submission for 'Video Of The Week?'

Video: Pete Reed's 'Ready to Die' British Rowing Training Camp Teaser

There's certainly no doubt that the British Rowing squad, currently in the midst of an altitude training camp in the Sierra Nevada (Spain), is ready to go the extra mile. But, if we're to take Pete Reed's latest (banter-laden) film trailer (too) seriously, perhaps they're ready to go even further than that. Things to note: Reedlapse Films intro; Reed still on the 2014 push-up (or press-up) challenge , even in the snow; some, er, interesting barbell technique; further banter in the credits. If this is the teaser, we're certainly looking forward to the real thing, and if it's anything like Reed's other work, it will provide an excellent window into the team's training and overall experience of camp as the GB squad prepares for the 2015 campaign.

Interview: Olympian Conlin McCabe and Rowing Canada Cycle through Southern California

Look fast, feel fast, go fast (Photo courtesy Conlin McCabe) If you're up on the recent travel plans of the Canadian rowing squad (and who isn't?), then you'll know that they just wrapped up a cycling training camp in Southern California, where they put themselves through the paces, climbing their way through the Santa Monica Mountains. Among the group that traveled south for the winter was 2012 Olympic silver medalist Conlin McCabe , who got his first taste of Southern California cycling, along with fellow Washington alums Will Crothers and Rob Gibson . Here, McCabe shares a little about the training, the cuisine, and the bragging rights from the trip.

Fall 2014 Review: Who's Ahead in the Collegiate Ranks as Winter Training Begins?

Early morning at Conibear Shellhouse (Photo: B. Kitch) The 2014-2015 season is already shaping up to be every bit as interesting as last year, and we can't help but be excited about all that's to come. So, just because we all need something to read over the Thanksgiving holiday, we're kicking off the rowing 'hot stove' league with a look back at the fall, and the teams that made an impression heading into winter. Disclaimer: This contains opinions, and this is in large part based on fall results, which can be tricky to interpret, or downright misleading, depending on how coaches and programs approach the longer distance racing, and which teams show up at what races. Let's take a look, shall we? Heavyweight Women The Virginia Cavaliers are coming off their fourth straight Head Of The Charles victory as fastest collegiate eight, and have another talented roster, including Sam Casto (who just pulled a big erg at East Coast Fall Speed Order, and finished in

Video Of The Week: Winter Training with the New Zealand U23 Men's Eight

This week's featured video comes to us via 2014 U23 and senior world gold medalist Caleb Shepherd , coxswain of the New Zealand under-23 men's eight and the Kiwi Pair plus this season. The video features a mixture of water and land training from the winter season in the Southern Hemisphere—a few months back for the Kiwi coaches and crews now, but perfectly timed for those of us training in North America and Europe. Of particular note here is the consistency of technique and power application both on the water and on the erg—something which translated very well at the world level, where the Kiwi U23 eight scored its second gold medal in as many years. For more New Zealand rowing content here on RR, use our New Zealand search label .  Have a submission for 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gmail [dot] com, send us your suggestions via Twitter , or get in touch via our Facebook or Google+ pages. -RR

Interview: 2012 Olympian Gevvie Stone on racing (and winning) at Silver Skiff

The Silver Skiff course in Turin, Italy (Photo courtesy of Gevvie Stone) Gevvie Stone is no stranger to success in the single, nor over the long course. However, her recent trip to Italy put her in unfamiliar territory in more ways than one: Stone had never visited the country before, nor had she experienced the Silver Skiff International Endurance Race —a 40-plus-minute slog on a tricky course. Still, Stone's pedigree showed. When all was said and done, she had finished 48th overall in a field of more than 500, and had won the women's elite event ahead of 2013 winner (and four-time Olympian) Julia Levina of Russia. Here, we catch up with her about the travel, preparation, racing, and (most importantly) the gelato. For more on Stone's rowing career, check out her earlier RR interview from 2012 here . Thanks again to Gevvie for taking the time! -RR

Video Of The Week: Why We Love (Row) New York

This week's video comes to us thanks to Row New York , and is a reminder of the very best that the rowing community has to offer. It follows one member of the Row New York crew, Rehan, who gradually lost most of his vision roughly a decade ago. While he coped with the changes stoically, he also discovered something in rowing that has given him a new outlet to experience the outdoors, as well as access to a community of equally extraordinary people, who ply the waters alongside him. It's a beautiful story, at once heart-warming and humbling. Thanks to Row New York for all that you do, and for sharing this with us. You can learn more about Row New York via their website (linked above), where you can donate , or following along via their Twitter , Facebook , and Instagram accounts. And for more insight on just how much visually impaired athletes can excel in rowing, check out our interview from last year with Paralympian Andrew Johnson . Also, read more about Row New York&#

So, are Naked Rowing Calendars a Thing Now?

Warwick rowers are all in again this year (Photo courtesy of Warwick Boat Club)  The phenomenon started four years ago with the Warwick Rowing men's squad. Then, the following year, the Warwick women's team joined the fray. Now, Newcastle University's men and women are back on the naked calendar train. So, the question is, have rowing and naked calendars become a thing? The above video features the 2014-2015 Warwick women's squad—the third edition of the calendar , and, from the looks of it, the raciest. However, perhaps not so racy as that of the 2014-2015 Warwick men (see below). But raciness aside, all four of these teams have chosen worthy charities and have gone "the full monty" to make sure that those causes have received considerable contributions. The Warwick women contribute to Macmillan Cancer Support —a cause for which Warwick reports it has donated some £5,000. The Warwick men? Sport Allies —a charity that combats homophobia in spor

Video Of The Week: 'Succession' with the Swiss Men's Quad

This week's video comes to us from the Swiss national team, and features their heavyweight men's quad that defended their U23 world title last summer , and (with two switches— Nico Stahlberg and David Arreger in for U23 athletes Damien Tollardo and Barnabe Delarze ) went on to place sixth overall at the 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam. Not only are these guys slick on the water, but check out this balance training that Delarze is doing at 3:49—who says you can't work on boat stability on land? The video is nicely shot and features a number of (subtitled) interviews for those unfamiliar with Swiss French, as well as a great deal of off the water banter. Also, it offers access to their race planning session, and the calls that will be made as they move down the course—always of interest to athletes and coaches. Thanks very much to Hugues for submitting the video! Have a submission for 'Video Of The Week?' Shoot us an email at rowingrelated [at] gm

Oxford's Mike DiSanto Checks in after the Head of the River Fours

Oxford University racing the Head of the River Fours (Photo courtesy of Mike DiSanto) Harvard alum Mike DiSanto , who recently returned from a trip to New Zealand for the Gallagher Great Race , is back and training once again with Oxford University Boat Club —and, evidently, it's going well. DiSanto and his teammates turned a lot of heads on the Thames a week ago with their performance in the men's elite four with coxswain—an event that they won, while placing ninth among all crews (yes, in a field that included quads and straight fours). The following is the first dispatch from Mike for RR about his training and racing with OUBC, with more to come as winter looms.

Video: 2014-2015 Marin Rowing Association Varsity Men Doin' Work

The view from the MRA boathouse (Photo: B. Kitch) While the fall rowing season in the U.S. may be largely at an end, the Marin junior men's program are continuing to log the miles that make champions. Having narrowly lost the Men's Youth Eight event at the 2014 Head Of The Charles to Bay Area rival Oakland Strokes (the East Bay crew finishing just over one second ahead of Marin, who came in as defending champions), the MRA varsity men bounced back at the Head of the American (held at Lake Natoma, just outside Sacramento, California) the following weekend, winning the men's junior eight event over Southern California's Newport Aquatic Center by roughly nine seconds (though NAC placed three crews in the top 10, taking second, third, and eighth place—and, given the return of head coach Nick D'Antoni to Newport, they'll be a team to watch going forward this year). Have you been grinding out the low-rate, long distance miles as we gear up for winter? Sen

Interview: Canadian Olympic silver medalist Scott Frandsen on his training for IRONMAN Kona

Frandsen racing at Kona (Photo courtesy of Scott Frandsen) Triple Olympian Scott Frandsen, who earned a silver medal in the men's pair with Dave Calder in Beijing (just behind the famous duo of Drew Ginn and Duncan Free ), is no stranger to logging mile after mile of training on the water. So, following his second Olympics in 2008, Frandsen found the transition to Ironman Triathlon a natural one, giving him a release from rowing while still developing his endurance fitness and providing him with an intensely competitive outlet. Having raced in his first Ironman in 2009 (Subrau Ironman Canada), Frandsen has competed at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, twice, qualifying for the 2014 event by winning the amateur category (and placing ninth overall) at the Coeur d'Alene Ironman in a time of 9:16.36. Here, Frandsen shares what motivates him to train at the elite level, whether it be rowing or triathlon, as well as the importance of patience, nutrition, and

Video(s) Of The Week: The First 120 Crews at the Head of the River Fours

This week's pair of featured videos comes to us from Hammersmith Bridge, London, where Dickie Bannenberg was kind enough to camp out for the Head of the River Fours over the weekend. The videos show the first 120 crews between them—a field that included a number of Olympians, national team members (from various countries), and sterling results on the Tideway. The talk of the town following the race was the performance of the Oxford and Cambridge crews competing—the Light Blue and Dark Blue men and women all turned in strong races over the Boat Race course (albeit in reverse), setting the stage for the biggest and best Boat Race of them all this spring, with the women's programs competing over the same distance and historic stretch of the Thames as the men for the first time.

Weekend Filled to the Brim with Racing, in the U.S. and Beyond

This weekend features a ton (tonne) of racing over long courses from the U.S. to Europe, with the Head of the River Fours taking over the Tideway earlier today, the Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, Portland's Fall Classic , the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival in Southern California, the Head of the Lake in Seattle , and many more. We'll have reaction and analysis for all of the above coming up over the next few days, but for now, here are some useful links and updates for Saturday and Sunday. Good luck everyone! A photo posted by University of London Boat Club (@ulbc)  on Nov 11, 2014 at 12:44am PDT

Video Of The Week: A Look Back at the Aussie Boat Race, Plus a Roundup of U.S. Racing, Coast to Coast

This week's video comes to us from Down Under, and features highlights from the 2012 Australian Boat Race—an event that eerily resembled the proceedings in 2014, with Sydney taking top honors on the men's side, while the MUWBC women prevailed for the fifth time in five tries. The race featured a number of Australian national team athletes, and while the Melbourne men managed to wrench the trophy from their Sydney counterparts in 2013, this year Fergus Pragnell and company reclaimed the cup on home water. You can read a summary of the racing , which saw SUBC top MUBC by 12 seconds, and MUWBC defeat SUWBC by a very convincing 33 seconds, on the official site of the Australian Boat Race.

Video(s) Of The Week: 6 Australian Junior Rowing Videos That Are Seriously Badass

This week's featured video playlist pulls together six different Aussie college (high school) rowing films, each of which is strikingly well made—and all of which get you ready for racing. From on-the-water training shots, to land workouts, to race footage, this playlist offers insight into all aspects of the sport, as well as (hopefully) inspiration to all those rowing filmmakers in the U.S. gearing up for a long winter and spring season of training and competition. The schools included in this playlist are Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore), from North Sydney, New South Wales; Scotch College (Perth, Western Australia); Brisbane Boys' College (Toowong, Queensland); Melbourne Grammar School (Victoria); The King's School , from North Parramatta (suburbs of Sydney), New South Wales, Australia; and St. Joseph's Nudgee College (Boondall, suburb of Brisbane, Queensland). And speaking of Australia, this coming weekend marks the renewal of a traditional r

The Head Of The Charles Regatta at 50: Still Looking Very Good—Maybe Better Than Ever?

Fall rowing at its best (Photo by Alfredo Montenegro/courtesy Long Beach Junior Crew) Arguably the world's greatest head race lived up to its billing in Boston, as elite athletes, top-tier college programs, and junior and masters teams from across the U.S. and beyond gathered along the banks of the Charles last weekend. Not only did we see a first-ever multi-Great Eight field in the Men's Championship Eight, but also more falling records, and hometown athletes making good on their promise before family, friends, and fans. And, our picks and predictions got put to the ultimate test—here's how it all turned out.

2014 Head Of The Charles: Picks and Predictions, and What's Hott in Boston This Weekend

Eliot Bridge, Charles River (Photo: B. Kitch) The 50th Head Of The Charles is, well, a big deal. That much is obvious from looking at the entries in the Championship events—rowing stars and Olympic medalists abound, not to mention a host of the top collegiate programs from across the country, and across the pond. So, naturally, we feel obligated to shoot our mouths off about what's going to happen over the weekend—here's hoping we're better at predicting the outcome in rowing than ESPN is at picking winners in baseball . Here we go.

First Looks at the Men's and Women's Scullers Great Eights in Boston

This very short clip (thanks to Sean Wolf), and the tweets below, are among the emerging evidence that the scullers Great Eights are on the scene in Boston, and already prepping for the main event on Sunday. The difference for these crews is that, of course, they'll be racing in various lineups on Saturday as well. Advantage sweepers? Maybe—picks and predictions for the weekend coming up shortly here on RR. In the meantime, here's a refresher on all the Great Eight lineups .

RR x 4: The First Four Years at RowingRelated

The original sketch for the RR logo design (Photo: B. Kitch) Amidst the flurry of activity leading up to the 50th Head Of The Charles Regatta , RowingRelated turned four over the weekend. I wanted to take a second to acknowledge that, and say thanks. When I first began this site on October 11, 2010, I had no idea the places it would take me, or how much it would grow—not only has it kept me connected to the sport I love, but, more importantly, it has kept me connected to the people who love rowing. Here are a few things that stood out to us, going back through four years of rowing journalism, banter, and just generally good times: Our first 'picks and predictions' post —from the 2010 Head Of The Charles, no less.  The first interview we ever produced—thanks again to Silas Stafford . Our first-ever series, in six parts: "What Makes the Great Ones Great?" A look back at the first two years at RowingRelated: The time that the Boat Race stopped .   I

Video: Men's Sweep Great Eight's Monday 'Battle Paddle' with Harvard Crew

Just in case you're not already wearing your race uniform for the upcoming weekend in Boston, this video offers further reason to get excited. A few of the world's best athletes have already started to gather along the Charles River (that is, a few of the world's best that aren't already competing for Boston-based collegiate rowing programs), and among their number is the elite sweep crew—the Great Eight of international sweep rowing athletes—that is getting set to take on a very tough field in the Men's Championship Eight at the 50th Head Of The Charles Regatta. For more info on this crew, see our posts with the first published images of the crew in training , and our overview of all the Great Eights that will be in action this year. Also, while most eyes will be glued to the crew in the foreground, the Harvard eight is moving along very nicely as well—another crew to watch this weekend, having edged France last year, just two seconds back of the race winners

From the Press Room at RR: World Rowing Announces Finalists for 2014 World Rowing Awards

Last week, World Rowing announced the finalists for the 2014 World Rowing Awards, with the following press release : Lausanne, Switzerland, 09 October 2014 The finalists for the World Rowing Awards highlight the best of the year in rowing including the best men's and women's crews, the best Para-rowing crews, the best coaches and a special award for service to rowing. The list of nominees was narrowed down by the FISA Council following an initial public nomination process. Finalists for 2014 World Rowing Female Crew of the Year Eveline Peleman (BEL, Lightweight Women's Single Sculls, LW1x) At her first-ever senior championships, Eveline Peleman won a gold medal. Annekatrin Thiele, Carina Baer, Julia Lier, Lisa Schmidla (GER, Women's Quadruple Sculls, W4x) Germany's women's quad successfully defended their World Championship title and also set a new World Best Time in 2014. Sophie Mackenzie, Julia Edward (NZ

Video Of The Week: Training and Racing on the Charles with the French National Team

Intérieur Sport - En 8 Majeur This week's video comes to us from the Continent, and features the two eights of French national squad athletes who made the trip over to Boston for the 49th Head Of The Charles Regatta last year. Even if you don't speak a word of French, this is 22 minutes of time well spent—from excellent shots of technical rowing, to the trip over to the U.S., to race footage from the regatta, there's much to be taken from this short film (and there's always value in seeing something familiar from a different perspective). Last year, these two crews placed a very close fourth and fifth, with the top entry (featuring several Olympians including Julien Bahain and Cedric Berrest ) just two seconds off the winning Dutch eight in a very tightly packed field. This year, France is sending another crew that includes some familiar faces from last year's effort. The lineup (c: Benjamin Manceau , 8: Benjamin Lang , 7: Julien Despres , 6: Jean-Baptiste Mac

First Photos of the Sweepers Great Eight on the Charles, Thanks to Sean Wolf

The men's sweep Great Eight training on the Charles (Photo: Sean Wolf) With the 50th Head Of The Charles Regatta looming ever larger on the horizon, the athletes and coaches have already begun to show up and start preparing for the main event. Earlier today, resident Charles' expert Sean Wolf of Rowing Illustrated captured several photos of the men's sweepers Great Eight—a crew that we highlighted in our Champ Eight piece recently, and which consists of Joshua Dunkley-Smith (AUS), Olivier Siegelaar (NED), Hamish Bond (NZL), Richard Schmidt (GER), Conlin McCabe (CAN), Henrik Rummel (USA), Francesco Fossi (ITA), and Jacob Barsoe (DEN), with Jack Carlson (USA) at coxswain. Looking at the photo, it appears that the above lineup has stuck, for now at least. Let the pre-race banter continue!

#TBT: Audio Interview with Harvard's Harry Parker at the Outset of His 50th Season

Newell Boathouse (Photo: B. Kitch) The 50th Head Of The Charles Regatta is just a few days away. I find I can't think of that without thinking of Harry Parker , who coached for more than half a century on that very river, and whose name became virtually synonymous with Harvard Crew. Going through some archives recently, I ran across this short audio interview that I did with Parker, when still a very green reporter, just after the 2011 Head Of The Charles—the beginning of his 50th year at the helm. It followed a morning training session on the launch with him, and I was keen to learn more about his experience of change in the sport over his long and decorated career. Listening to it again, I found that it continues to be revelatory and inspiring. I hope you feel the same way, too.

Video Of The Week: Fast and Furious in Berlin

This week's video ought to get you ready for racing—the newly launched Rowing Champions League takes the sport to the heart of Berlin on the River Spree, where crews battle it out over a short 350m course in tournament fashion. The event featured an impressive list of international entries, with teams from 10 European nations participating (and Olympians in the midst of the action—check out London 2012 gold medalist Kristof Wilke sitting in the four seat of the Crefelder Rowing Club eight at 1:36 ). While it may be the polar opposite of the long (and often winding) head racing season, what it lacks in slow-twitch muscle fibers it makes up for in raw intensity. And, you can learn more about the physics of the event thanks to this post from Rowing in Motion —a rowing telemetry system that was on board with the winning crew. And there was much jubilation. To the winner go the spoils (Photo courtesy of Rowing Champions League) Have a submission for 'Video Of The Week?&

Rio 2014? British, Canadian Rowing Squads Get Acquainted Early with Ipanema [Photos]

Cristo Redentor, Rio (Illustration: B. Kitch) While there may still be just under two years until the Games begin in Rio, the Canadian and British rowing teams have made the trip already to explore the venue (and, most importantly, take some pretty kick-ass photos of one of the world's most beautiful cities). While they've not been out on the water, even the land training has come with some amazing views. And, what better way to visualize yourself on the start line than to actually go see it, before the main event?

#TBT: 2010 IRA Champs Throw out First Pitch at San Francisco Giants Game

Vlahos and Cal throw out the first pitch (Photo: B. Kitch) As I was going through Instagram earlier today, I ran across a very familiar photo posted by U.S. national team coxswain, and 2012 Olympian, Zach Vlahos. The photo comes from my first-ever assignment for then Rowing News (now ROWING Magazine ), which was to cover the Cal men's varsity eight's trip to AT&T Park for the old version of the magazine's website. The article is no longer online, but I've included the copy below. A big thanks to Chip Davis once again for the opportunity—for a Bay Area native and a lifelong Giants fan, it was a evening to remember.

Head Of The Charles Banter: Can We Talk about how Badass this Year's 'Great Eights' are?

The Charles is just around the corner (Photo: © B. Kitch) The 50th Head Of The Charles Regatta is now just a few short days away, and while they're perfectly capable of running their own hype machine, we can't help but get amped when we look at the lineups for the men's and women's 'Great Eights' this year. The Women's Championship Eight will again see a crew of top-flight scullers take on a crew of elite sweep rowers from the national training center, and the men's event features not just one, but two Great Eights (one of sweep rowers, one of scullers), as well as national team crews from the U.S. and France. In a word: Stacked. Let's take a closer look.