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Three rowers honoured by the Queen

2015-06-18 08:52
Source Channel:  British Rowing Source Link:

Bi-annually the Queen recognises people within Britain who have contributed greatly to the nation and have been committed to serving for a greater good. We are very fortunate within the rowing community to have many great assets within our sport and we, at British Rowing, are thrilled to be able to congratulate three of our community on their recent honour as Members of the British Empire (MBE).

Dick Knight MBE, Molesey Boat Club

Having rowed in the 1960 Olympics despite only having one lung, Dick has remained a life long supporter of the rowing community in many different forms.  For more than 60 years he has been a member of Molesey Boat Club where he has served tirelessly in a number of roles from coach to president, to name but a few.  

Sarah Winckless MBE, Marlow Rowing Club

Former Olympian and World Champion rower, Sarah was awarded the MBE for services to sport and young people.  Having retired from competitive rowing in 2009 she remains an ambassador for the sport who also works tirelessly in support of a number of charitable enterprises, and the Olympic movement. She is Chef de Mission for the Youth Olympic Games, served as the inaugural Chairman of the BOA’s Athletes Commission and was the first woman to be appointed as a Boat Race umpire.

Barbara Millns MBE, Tyne United Rowing Club

Barbara’s award has been recognised for her services on being a member of the Council of British Rowing (and previously Amateur Rowing Association) for 10 years (elected in 2005).  She is currently a representative for the Northern Regional Rowing Council and has also served as Chairman of Tyne United Rowing Club, a club set up to give young people in Gateshead the opportunity to learn to row. 

Masters Champs Goes from Strength to Strength

2015-06-17 07:02
Source Channel:  British Rowing Source Link:

A RECORD 795 boats entered the new-look British Rowing Masters Championships in Nottingham as nearly 1,400 competitors aged from 27 to 82 raced for the first time over two days.

Wallingford RC took the Victor Ludorum with 258 points, with their women having a hand in five of their six championship golds (MWC 8, MWD 4x, MWD-E 4-, MWA 2x and M Mxd D 8) and two of their four novice wins.

Ardingly were second on 209 points, with Durham ARC third 12 points back. 

New BRMC chairman Chris Anton said: "We just had to move from one day to two to accommodate the number that wanted to race. 

"There's no way we could have managed it all in one day with the huge entry, so two days is here to stay. The event just goes from strength to strength.

"We had championship sculling on Saturday, sweeping on Sunday, so racers can do both, with novice racing on day one and IM3 on day two. It also takes the pressure off the regatta team in terms of getting races off.  

“The first couple of races both days were close decisions and it was really competitive right through. The standard gets better and better.”

The rise of women's masters rowing continued, with female rowers accounting for 43% of the 124 club entry, while IM3 and novice entries saw a big rise from just over 20% last year to more than 30%..

Persistent drizzle on day one at least allowed for perfect flat water conditions, while day two’s tailwind saw some fast times, with London’s gold medal MD 8 setting the benchmark of 3mins 5.16secs. 

Monmouth RC's Mark Stewart-Woods was one of only two competitors to do the maximum six events, winning two golds and four silvers, as well as being involved in the two closest finals, squeezed out by Maidstone Invicta's Lewis Hynes by 0.21secs in MB singles, and just 0.23secs to Bewl Bridge in MC 4x. 

More than 60 clubs landed championship golds, as organisers hosted 388  races in total. 

New British Rowing chief executive officer Andy Parkinson said: "It's a great event ¬- super competitive on the water and a fantastic atmosphere off it. Masters rowing is very healthy - it's very important to British Rowing.”

Umpire Ian Donald, of Star Club, added: "It's been really good. It's less pressured, with more time to enjoy the racing, and more opportunity to do more events. 

“We're ahead of time, it's running well, and today we'll be finishing at 4.30pm instead of gone 7pm like last year.”

Maidstone Invicta’s James Knight said: “It’s been a great weekend of fun, hard racing, and a huge thank you to all the volunteers getting cold and wet whilst we enjoyed ourselves.

“Our Masters B/C squad of four rowers came away with three golds and a silver. The two-day format means you can do more events, but means shorter gaps between finals, which adds to the challenge.” 

After winning MWD 8s in her composite crew, Nottingham RC’s Helen Bloor said: “We won silver in MWD 4+, so were determined to nail it in 8s. We got up early on, and then enjoyed the ride. Our cox Josh Kay was at his first masters, so we're showing him the ropes and winning him gold."

Quintin had a share in seven championship golds (ME 8, MF 8, MF 4-, MG-H8, MG2x, MG1x and MMxd E-F 4x), while Upper Thames scored a high five.   

Rome 1960 Olympic champion Klaus Riekemann, 75, took gold in MG-H 8s, MG4+ and MG-H 2-, the latter two with Minerva Bath Olympian club mate Arnold Cooke, who also added the MH-J singles title, while Nottingham RC’s ‘father of the regatta’ Bill Payne, 82, took golds in MH 4x and 2x.   

Romanian international Valentin Piticariu took MA championship singles and MA 2x with Paul Keane, in Team Keane colours, while 1979/80 world lightweight champion Colin Barratt helped his Ardingly MF 4x land gold. 

Full results are now available:

Reading Regatta's roaring success

2015-06-16 04:29
Source Channel:  British Rowing Source Link:

Reading Amateur Regatta hosted 2 full days of racing following entries having closed ahead of the published deadline. With clubs making their final preparations for Henley Women’s and Royal Regattas, the event attracted a high standard of crews from clubs, universities and schools around the country.

Racing on Saturday was held over 1500m making it perfect practice for Henley Women’s Regatta crews.

In the Senior Women’s eights, the final was contested between University of London and the University of Tulsa from the USA. Both crews will race in the Senior eights at Henley Women’s Regatta. UL lead the race from the start and showed their strength to take a 2.5 length victory. After the race, bow of the UL crew Suzi Perry said:

“We went into the Regatta on the back of a tough training camp in Wales with the intention of testing the crews speed in the run up to Henley Women's. Although the final against Tulsa was a solid display of what we're capable of, our first race against Nottingham University went anything but 'to plan'. UL came away with wins in 3 of 5 events entered and we're all excited to show the strength and depth of the 2015 Women's Squad at Henley.”

In the elite sculling events, Reading University benefited from the advantage of being on their home water and beat Bath University comfortably in the double scull. However, later in the afternoon Bath got revenge when their quad won by half a length. Crew member Alex Wilding commented “Reading is always a good Regatta to come to for some match racing before Henley. It was great to come away with the win in a new combination against some tough opposition”

The 1st VIIIs from Eton and Abingdon raced each other twice in the afternoon. In the Intermediate eights, Eton suffered an equipment failure with Abingdon taking the honours. The “re-match” in the School eights at the end of the day resulted in a 2 length win for Eton.

Speaking after the race, Eton Coach Alex Henshilwood said: "We had three crews in 6 different combinations to race with the aims of getting used to side by side, frenetic, river racing action all day long and we weren't disappointed. Reading Amateur is a crucial regatta for preparing our Henley crews this year and we all benefited from a smoothly run regatta with friendly and efficient volunteers helping to get things done."

The course on Sunday was over 1100m and there was also a Mini-regatta held over 500m held in the middle of the day for J12 – J14 crews. One of the most exciting races of the day was the penultimate race which was the final of W.IM2.8+. The race was an all-American affair between the University of Tulsa and Kent School and resulted in a 1 foot win for Kent School.

Speaking after the event, Entries Secretary Adrian Champion said: "We have enjoyed another year of a fully packed racing programme with over 19 hours racing, along with some fantastic close races. We had entries from across the country and 4 clubs from the US. We'd like to thank everyone who competed and to all our volunteers. We're looking forward to next year, 11th and 12th June!"

Full results from the Regatta are now available at: 

#HoosGoingToHenley, Part One: Forrest Brown of Virginia on Henley Training at Home in Charlottesville

2015-06-16 03:54
Source Channel:  Rowing Related Source Link:

RR series: #HoosGoingToHeley, Part One

As longtime readers of RowingRelated will remember, we have twice connected with athletes and crews heading over to Henley Royal Regatta in the past. This year, we're doing it again.

The first 'On The Water' series was with current U.S. national teamer...

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Tags: collegiate rowingFrank BillerHenley Royal RegattaHoosGoingToHenleyOTW seriestravel blogUVAVirginia

Video Of The Week: Norcal Men's Lightweight Eight Wins Youth Nationals

2015-06-16 00:56
Source Channel:  Rowing Related Source Link:

Coxswain's view of the Norcal men's lightweight eight (Screen capture)

This year's running of USRowing Youth Nationals is in the books, and while the college rowing championships saw repeat champions in most cases (and the return of the Stanford Lightweight dynasty in others), the racing in...

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Tags: coxswainsJuniorLightweightSouthwest RegionUSRowingvideoVOTWyouth nationals

Improving Performance Naturally

2015-06-15 13:01
Source Channel:  British Rowing Source Link:

In January 2015, the Sports Science and Medicine Conference for Rowing was generously hosted by SAS UK & Ireland at the company headquarters in Marlow. There were a range of presentations from the conference about different areas of injury prevention and about areas where performance can be enhanced.

We are now able to share key presentations, including those aforementioned, from this conference with our wider rowing audience in the form of a YouTube playlist here (For the full schedule of videos, see below). The conference proceedings, which will include the conference abstracts, will also be published online by the BMC Sport Science, Medicine & Rehabilitation, please check their website for updates. 

This includes a presentation from Professor Greg Whyte, who was voted as one of the leading UK science communicators, sharing his key findings on ‘Altitude: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’, and Professor Stephen Seiler presenting on ‘What We Know Makes the Boat Go Faster from 150 Years of Research’.

An Insider’s View

Annamarie Phelps, Chairman, British Rowing shares her thoughts and provides an overview of the conference that was a first for our sport, which was an opportunity to bring together the world’s leading sports scientists and medical practitioners in rowing, as well as key decision-makers in the sport, to share knowledge and ideas, and to learn from one another. The conference was organised and led by British Rowing with the support of UK Sport and FISA, rowing’s international federation.  Gathering an extraordinary amount of intellectual rigour and experience, the event represented a core value of our sport – teamwork. The value of the multi-disciplinary team in protecting and promoting the athlete sits very comfortably within the sport of rowing.

Across the two days against the stunning backdrop of Wittington House and Estate, rowing’s sports science and medicine community divulged best practice, answering to a vital theme of the sport and putting the athlete at the centre of development – Improving Performance Naturally.

High-level expertise was in ready supply from the speakers, and crucially all had a connection to our sport. Reflecting as a rower, who had once competed at the highest level, I learnt a huge amount and on only a few occasions did I think wistfully, ‘if we had known this in my day.’

It was quickly countered by the energising effect of seeing long-time rowing coaches who had once graduated in sports science, now fired by the information shared and wanting to revisit their studies and refresh their knowledge. The fact that delegates and speakers alike carried on discussions and debates throughout each break and after every session was an indication of the readiness of the sport for such a gathering, the topical nature of the lectures and the quality of the speakers’ presentations.

Highlights for me were provided by our opening speaker, Professor Alison McGregor, who presented on ‘Injury Prevention and Performance – Are they Mutually Exclusive?’ and Professor Stephen Seiler on ‘What We Know Makes the Boat Goes Faster from 150 Years of Research.’

Professor McGregor, has devoted 20 years of study into back pain at Imperial College; every rower’s fear; a major concern and a real hindrance to performance. The Professor revealed the advances in understanding back pain and how the application of rapidly evolving technology was now providing invaluable preventative insight through improved recording, storing and analysis of data. She said that these advances had helped dispel the traditional view that it was the scientists’ job to make an athlete go faster, the coaches’ to push them to breaking point and the doctors’ to mend them. Improvements in understanding could help change the emphasis from repair to maintenance and with more analysis and further research hopefully to avoidance altogether. Whilst athletes are more interested in performance-edge than injury-prevention, working as a team, athlete, coach, scientist and medics can ensure that elite performance is compatible with a sustainable, healthy and long active life. Reassuring to those of us looking at the next generation, and as Dr Richard Budgett, Olympic Gold medallist and Chief Medical Officer at the IOC, said, crucial for the future of sport.

Professor Seiler’s presentation was engaging and fascinating. More so because he didn’t focus solely on understanding the physiology of the athlete but provided plenty of analysis of equipment changes over 150 years suggesting a revisit to some early experiments might provide the next giant leap in making the boat go faster. I was amazed at how little the advances in physiology and training of the athlete appear to have contributed to increased boat speed over the last century and a half.

Truly revealing was that, across the forum, data mining and analysis in the field of sports science and medicine was ever-broadening, and is now leading developments in all aspects of rowing performance from learnings on technique, to cardio vascular health, to understanding natural increase in muscle mass: although the finer details of protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism were lost on me; leaving me wishing I had focussed more on my ‘O’ level chemistry!

As a sport which places the highest value on integrity, a conference on Improving Performance Naturally, provided a platform to learn and inquire on that vital question to which the rowing community takes to the gym and to the water – how to make the boat go faster. It was an unqualified success, joining both the leading medical and scientific minds to the coaches and rowers, like me, with no scientific background, in arming us all with new and exciting knowledge.

Day 1:

• SSM Conference 2015 1.0: Welcome (Jean-Christophe Rolland) – intro by Rosie Mayglothling 
• SSM Conference 2015 1.1: Injury Prevention and Performance – Are They Mutually Exclusive? What Science Tells Us (Prof. Alison McGregor) – intro by Prof. Jo Hannafin 
• SSM Conference 2015 1.2: Protecting the Clean Athlete, Protecting Health (Dr Richard Budgett OBE) – intro by Prof. Greg Whyte 
• SSM Conference 2015 1.3: Current Issues within FISA and the Medicine and Science World (Dr Alain Lacoste) – intro by Dr Tomislav Smoljanovic 
• SSM Conference 2015 1.6: Altitude: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Prof. Greg Whyte) – intro by Gianni Postiglione 
• SSM Conference 2015 1.7: Endurance Sport and Cardio Vascular Health (Prof. Sanjay Sharma) – intro by Prof. Jürgen Steinacker 

Day 2:

• SSM Conference 2015 2.1: Training in Extreme Hot and Cold (Prof. Mike Tipton) – intro by Dr Ann Redgrave 
• SSM Conference 2015 2.2: Rib Stress Fractures (Dr Anders Vinther) – intro by Dr Fiona Wilson 
• SSM Conference 2015 2.3: What We Know Makes the Boat Go Faster from 150 Years of Research (Prof. Stephen Seiler) – intro by Prof. Henning Bay Nielsen 
• SSM Conference 2015 2.4: Cardiac Case Study (Prof. Henning Bay Nielsen) – intro by Dr Ann Redgrave 
• SSM Conference 2015 2.5: Analytics – What’s It All About? (Dr Laurie Miles) 


Bend that blade…

2015-06-15 05:58
Source Channel:  Girl on the River Source Link:

Fresh from the British Masters Champs, fondly known as Nat Vets, there’s a little bit of wound-licking going on this morning. Although delighted by the sculling golds picked up by our ladies on the Saturday, there’s no denying that Sunday was bit of a disappointment and I came away empty-handed after a long day’s coxing (a bad back having put paid to my rowing plans).

And yet… the long drive and the rain and the losses were all worth it for this one photo, which captures my final race as we crossed the line. Nobody, I think you’ll agree, could deny that I don’t push my crew to blade-bending lengths. Captions on a postcard, please.

Tags: CoxingRacingRowing life

Video of the Week: Recounting the Coxed 4+ at the 1984 Olympics

2015-06-15 00:05
Source Channel:  Ready All, Row... Source Link:

Can you imagine racing in all that fog? Don’t get me wrong, I love rowing in the fog but damn … racing in it at the Olympics would not be ideal. This is a cool look back though with Steven Redgrave and a few other guys from that four. This was also Redgrave’s first of his five consecutive Olympic golds…

Filed under: Racing, Video of the Week Tagged: lake casitas, olympics, racing, Steve Redgrave

Tags: RacingVideo of the Weeklake casitasOlympicsRacingSteve Redgrave

Sonya Baumstein abandons Pacific rowing challenge due to bad weather

2015-06-14 19:46
Source Channel:  Guardian - Rowing Source Link:

American who hoped to be first woman to row solo across the Pacific is rescued after sending distress signal a week after embarking from coast of Japan

A US woman attempting to cross the Pacific by rowing boat has ended her solo attempt because of expected bad weather. Sonya Baumstein was rescued off the Japanese coast on Saturday after sending out a distress signal, Kyodo News agency reported yesterday.

Baumstein, 30, from Orlando, Florida, departed Chōshi in Japan a week ago, hoping to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific. She was heading for San Francisco but sent out the signal on Saturday at about 2.20pm, 155 miles (250km) off the coast of Japan.

Continue reading...

Tags: World newsJapanAsia PacificRowingWomen

Meet the U.S. Men's Eight, Headed to World Rowing Cup II in Varese

2015-06-13 19:18
Source Channel:  Rowing Related Source Link:

Matt Miller (right) training with the U.S. men's eight (Screen capture)

World Rowing Cup II is just around the corner, and the U.S. men's eight is gearing up to head over to Europe for their first international competition of this pre-Olympic year. And, thanks to the work of Mike Gennaro and Matt...

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Tags: banterInstagraminternationalMatt MillerPhotographyUSRowingvideoWorld Cup

2015 USRowing Youth Nationals in Full Swing at Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota

2015-06-12 19:27
Source Channel:  Rowing Related Source Link:

Newport Aquatic Center blades at Nathan Benderson Park (Photo: A. Mihaylo)

Nathan Benderson Park may be getting more than its fair share of rain lately (can you send some out to California, please?), but that's not going to slow down the fastest juniors in the U.S. this weekend at the 2015...

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Tags: banterPickspredictionsUSRowingyouth nationals

Flashback Friday: June 7th – 13th

2015-06-12 14:16
Source Channel:  Ready All, Row... Source Link:

QOTD: Hi! I’m currently a coxswain on a collegiate team. Do you have any tips on finding opportunities to practice my coxing this summer? I have no idea how to find clubs or rowers or what the best way is to go about searching. Thanks in advance!

QOTD: Hi there!! So I am a junior school (Under 14′s) cox and we have moved into using bow loader quads, instead of the usual stern loaders we used to use. We have been racing in an oct for awhile so I am a bit out of practice with the quads. Anyways, in the bow loader, I obviously have a very restricted field of vision, so I was wondering if you had any tips on “reading” or “feeling” the boat, to pick up on faults e.t.c ? Also I sometimes feel like I stay quiet for too long, during steady state if there are no obvious technical calls, rate calls, or rhythm calls. Is there anything that I can say to make it a bit less silent and awkward for the rowers?

QOTD: Hi there! I’m a rising senior in high school, and I’m considering rowing in college but I’m not entirely certain that I want to do it. Should I talk to the coaches of a couple schools anyways or should I just wait until I get to college?

VOTW: Jerry Seinfeld on “the silver medal”… (This is pretty funny.)

QOTD: Hi! I’m finishing my junior year in high school, and I know it’s quite late for me, but after my past spring season I’ve decided that I want to cox in college. I’m uncertain about a couple things in the process though. First off, I emailed the head coach for my top choice college, and he emailed back that he would share the email with his recruitment coordinator, his assistant coach, to answer all my questions. So when I email coaches from now on, should I just always email the assistant coach? For another college, they don’t have an assistant coach listed, but they have a novice coach. Should I email them over the head coach? And lastly, what are some good things for a coxswain to include in those emails?

QOTD: I am about average height for a rower but I have really small feet (like a size 6) and almost all of the shoes in the boats we have are size 12. Some I am able to tighten so it’s not too bad but in some of our older eights and fours its almost impossible. There have been several times when my feet have come out because they are not secure. Do you have any ideas of how to fix this?

What to Wear, pt. 9 – Official Visits, pt. 2 Just in case you’ve reached the age of 17-18 without figuring out how to dress yourself yet…

Words. This quote paired nicely with this picture from back in the fall.

“In” vs. “On” vs. “Over” Yes, they’re all different. Yes, you need to know the difference. Yes, you need to make sure your crew knows the difference.

QOTD: Hi. I was recently contacted by the Junior National team because they want me as a cox for this year. I am so honoured however I am scared that I am too heavy. I don’t know what I would be coxing and at the moment I am around 128 pounds. I feel as though because I focus so much of my life on a sport that does not require me to be active, I have slowly lost my fitness. I am going on a big trip this summer as well and am scared that I will gain weight while traveling. Do you have a good solid work out routine that can be done in a short period of time?

QOTD: Rowing scholarships. Where should I start looking? When? Who should I talk to? Is there a site that shows different ones? Or do I have to go to each college/uni site separately? And how good do I have to be at rowing and on the erg? Thanks :-)

VOTW: The 148th Harvard-Yale Regatta

QOTD: Hello! I’m heading into my junior year interested in rowing Division 3 and I was wondering if you know any differences from D1 in terms of recruiting. I know all of the numerical stuff, like they can’t give me money, but do you think that coaches would help a tall, ~7:35 girl who is committed to row all 4 years get in? I have good grades, but I’m not a straight A student and I’m going to need the help getting in. Do you think I’ll be able to get support from coaches? Thank you so much.

QOTD: How do I attack my first ever 2k erg test? When should I focus on pulling harder, the beginning or end? And when should I do power strokes? I know its really a personal thing and preference, but is there some sort of basic outline?

QOTD: My parents are guilting me about the cost of my summer rowing program, despite it being far cheaper than any camp my brother has ever done (sorry personal rant point right there haha). I feel bad about doing it but mad at my parents for giving me crap about it as well. We’re going to club nats and Canadian Henley and I was SO excited for it but not so much anymore, even though this is really important to me. How do I get my parents to see that this is worth it?

Books on Rowing, pt. 1: A short list on some of the rowing books that are out there, in case you need some ideas for your summer reading.


QOTD: Hi there. I’m a novice (as in I’ve been rowing for 3 months) but I’ve picked it up quickly, am rowing with much more experienced women than me (master’s women who have been rowing for decades in some cases) and holding my own. I’ve done a few 2k tests and I’m averaging 8:30 or so which I was told wasn’t terrible for a beginner. I’ve done these without any strategy/coaching/coxing. Obviously I need more experience and will continue to improve technique/skill, but I would love to work towards getting into some kind of master’s women’s team. I realize this requires racing experience, which I have zero of. Do you know of any races in the Boston area that novices can enter? I was invited to take part in an informal racing event at the end of the month, but can’t due to scheduling conflicts. Any advice? I’m new to the whole sport, so I’m figuring it out as I go along! Thanks!

QOTD: Out of curiosity–why do lightweights stress and stress about getting so far under the minimum? It makes sense that they would want to have a bit of a cushion to ensure they don’t go over it (e.g., being at 130-132 so that if they eat or drink too much, they’re still under 135), but I don’t understand from a logical perspective why they get so worked up about getting their weight down and down and down. Yes, getting down to weight is extremely mentally and emotionally taxing, but why do coaches want such drastic margins between the weight maximum and what they actually weigh? It seems to me that you would want to be as close to the maximum as possible, because the heavier you are, the more powerful your stroke can be, theoretically speaking, no? So you would want to be as big as possible without surpassing the maximum to be better competition. I.E. A 160lb guy can probably pull harder than a 150lb guy, if you’re making that judgment solely based on weight. Right? So what gives with the constant weight loss—other than it being emotionally addictive and unhealthy?

QOTD: Hey so following that junior girl, I’m going into junior year as well, I’m 5’9″ and on the lower side of lightweight. I pull an 8:00 2k, and I know that’s not low enough but do you think I may have a chance at recruitment? How do you suggest talking to coaches at solely open weight schools about wanting to compete with them, despite my weight/times? There’s only so many lightweight options and I’m not at that level, so I need a compromise. Tips for really getting that time down in the next year?

QOTD: So I’ve been rowing for a year and a lot of people underestimate me because I’m young and short, but I’ve been doing a lot better than people taller and those who’ve been there longer than me. The problem is the coaches look over me (I’m 5’5″) and automatically chose this girl for boats who’s a bit taller than me, even though my times are better and I’m a better rower. How do I get them to look at us equally?

QOTD: Next weekend is the last race of the season. I’ve been stroke all year, but for this last race I’m suddenly put in bow seat. I can row both sides that’s not an issue, I just sort of feel useless because I don’t have the same responsibilities anymore. I really want to ask my coach about it, but I don’t want to sound ungrateful or cocky. How should I approach this?

QOTD: How do you know its time to throw in the towel with coxing?

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: flashback friday

Tags: Uncategorizedflashback friday

Blenheim Palace Junior Regatta success

2015-06-12 10:51
Source Channel:  British Rowing Source Link:

Over 300 athletes aged 14 and below arrived at Blenheim Palace early on 6 June for the fourth Blenheim Palace Junior Regatta.

Staged on a stunning lake in the palace grounds in the Cotswolds, set against a backdrop of the impressive birthplace of Winston Churchill, the event offers a rare opportunity for young and often first-time scullers to experience competitive racing over a four-lane 500m course.

Despite challenging conditions presented by a strong cross wind, 58 races were successfully run and medals were awarded to athletes from 18 of the 22 clubs in attendance, with Nottingham and Union Rowing Club crowned Victor Ludorum.

The event was interspersed by two exhibition races, closely watched by competitors and their supporters. Sebastian Johnson, an adaptive TA sculler from Falcon RC, raced in a double with Joel Garden against three crews from Hinksey Sculling School and Falcon RC. After starting the sport in September 2013, Sebastian has progressed hugely and racing at Blenheim was a great achievement.

Eight members of the victorious Oxford University Women’s Boat Club overcame a clash off the start and executed a competitive race in two quads with commentary from Oxford coach Christine Wilson.

Winners were pleased to be awarded their medals by members of OUWBC, with one Nottingham Union medallist commenting, “I can’t believe I actually shook hands with the Oxford Boat Race winners!”

Oxford-based Hinksey Sculling School, who inaugurated the event in 2010, are already hard at work planning the next event in 2016. Interest levels are certainly high, with a Ross RC member remarking, “We’ll be back! Brilliantly run event…perfect for less experienced kids.”

More information at 

By Alice Carrington-Windo

Photos by BigBlade

Athlete in the Spotlight: Vicki Meyer-Laker

2015-06-12 07:53
Source Channel:  GB Rowing Team Source Link:

GB Rowing Team news caught up recently with Vicki Meyer-Laker in the latest of our series of spotlight features on squad members. We'll add another each month so look out for future editions. Tweet us via @GBRowingTeam if there is an athlete you would like to see featured.

Vicki Meyer-Laker

Birthdate: 18/03/1988
Height: 191cm
Hometown: Premnay
Education: Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen; King's School Canterbury; University of Nottingham
Began rowing in: 2006
Clubs (past and present): Nottingham University BC, Leander
Original coach(es): Chris Thomas, Dez Atkins

Vicki Meyer-Laker has her sights firmly set on winning an Olympic medal in 2016 – an ambition fuelled by a holiday to Rio.

She went there in 2009, three years after taking up rowing as a fresher at Nottingham University and at the end of her first season in the GB Rowing Team.

Vicki had been part of the women’s eight which finished seventh at the 2009 European Championships in Brest, a venue she returned to for the following year’s U23 World Championships. She was in the women’s quadruple scull on that occasion, again finishing seventh.

Vicki returned to the eight for the 2011 and 2012 European Championships, placing fourth and winning a bronze medal respectively. Just talking about the latter race still gives Vicki goosebumps.

The 2013 season saw Vicki teamed with Frances Houghton in the double scull, bagging bronze at the Sydney World Cup before winning gold at Eton Dorney.

After narrowly missing out on a medal at the World Championships in Chungju, South Korea, Vicki was selected for the women’s quad for 2014 alongside Tina Stiller, Lucinda Gooderham and Beth Rodford. The crew finished ninth at the World Championships in Amsterdam.

Now, after missing the GB Rowing Team Senior Trials and European Championships through injury, Vicki is back in the women’s eight for the World Cup in Varese, Italy on June 19-21.

We caught up with Vicki to chat about her rowing career to date, her Olympic ambitions and life outside the boat.

GBRT: How and why did you first start rowing?

VML: I signed up at a freshers’ fair at Nottingham University but it probably started a bit before then. I had friends at school who rowed and tried to get me along. I used to do sailing and swimming at the time, which was absolutely fine for me, but I watched them on the lake and it obviously caught my interest, so when I went to university I thought “let’s give this a try”. My dad used to row as well when he was a kid and has always been very supportive of me.

GBRT: What has been your biggest success and your biggest disappointment in the sport so far?

VML: Probably winning at the World Cup at Eton Dorney in 2013 was my greatest success. I was very disappointed not to get a medal at the World Championships that year, I remember feeling very gutted when we came fourth, but I don’t really mull over the disappointments too much, I tend to look forward more.

GBRT: What are some of your most memorable moments in your career so far?

VML: Probably my most memorable moment was going to the Europeans in 2012. It was a tumultuous summer trying to get a crew together but we went out and did really well. We had a couple of team-mates in the eight [Caragh McMurtry and Olivia Carnegie-Brown] who raced in the pair as well and won a silver medal. They had a last 500 which really worked, so we all bought into that in the eight and had just the most amazing race in the final. We came through the field massively and won a bronze medal right on the line, it was superb coxing. It still gives me goosebumps thinking about it now!

GBRT: What aspirations do you have within the sport?

VML: Getting a first Olympic medal in the women’s eight for Britain is a nice dream to chase. I am very much about enjoying the journey, it would almost be meaningless if the path wasn’t worthwhile. I went to Rio on holiday just after it was announced the Olympics would be there. I’d just started rowing and remember looking down over the big basin where the rowing will be, thinking how incredibly inspiring it would be to be in this position at the Olympics having won a medal. It would just be incredible.

GBRT: Who is your best friend within the rowing set-up and why?

VML: That’s really hard to say because sometimes you are in competition with certain people, so I find friendships are quite fluid. The most consistent friends are actually in the other squads, like the men or the lightweights. I wouldn’t say I have one best friend but I have very close relationships and I know I can go to certain people for certain things. The whole environment is quite supportive and it is getting more so.

GBRT: Who do you look up to?

VML: I’m quite good friends with [Czech single scull Olympic champion] Mirka Knapkova and I love the way that her ethos seems quite easy going. She’s also just an incredible athlete. Obviously the New Zealand pair [Hamish Bond and Eric Murray] are exceptional. They keep pushing their boundaries, keep breaking records.

GBRT: What hobbies and hidden talents do you have?

VML: In the summer I really like going down the park and doing a bit of slacklining. That’s where you string a band between two trees and have a play on it, it’s really sociable and good for balance too. I’m a real outdoors person. I also like doing practical things, making bits and bobs.

GBRT: What are some of your favourite bands?

VML: I like quite a lot of singer/songwriter stuff, things with powerful, interesting vocals. Alt-J are good. On my playlist I have a lot of old classics from my mom’s era. It’s really cringe when Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water comes on. I’ve just discovered Spotify as well, which is amazing. I can get very set in my music, so it’s nice to be able to have a fast turnover of new stuff without having to spend loads of money.

GBRT: Favourite books?

VML: I think I have a reading age of about 14. I loved The Hunger Games, I think they’ve been ruined a bit by the films but the books are so good. I really enjoyed The Book Thief as well. I know they’re quite young reading, so I’ve recently taken on Paradox by Jim Al-Khalili which is something more intellectual. Reading is a Godsend on training camp, I read pretty much all the time to switch off. When I’m back home, I find I get busy and never get round to it.

GBRT: Favourite films and TV shows?

VML: I don’t actually watch that much. I find it’s not a very good way to switch off, I don’t feel like I’ve had a rest after watching a programme, although, the best TV show that has ever been made is Green Wing – it’s an oldie but a goodie.

GBRT: What qualifications and job aspirations do you have outside of rowing?

VML: I pulled out of university to row, so I would like to go back to studies. I would really like to go to Germany and study something like physics. My mom is German, so I would like to embed the language properly and become fluent. In the long run I am interested in food production and making it easier for people to make their food choices – I know that’s nothing to do with physics. Food is such a big thing in our culture, people care so much more about where it comes from.

Music to erg to, pt. 94

2015-06-12 00:02
Source Channel:  Ready All, Row... Source Link:

Everybody that’s racing at Youth Nats this weekend – good luck!

If you didn’t see last week’s playlist post, check it out. This summer is going to be less about blogging and more about writing and I need your ideas! I also posted a handful of questions on Tuesday so give those a read as well.

Filed under: Ergs Tagged: erg playlist, music to erg to

Tags: Ergserg playlistmusic to erg to

The Necessity of Foot Straps

2015-06-11 20:00
Source Channel:  Concept 2 Source Link:

The handle, the seat, the foot straps. What do these three things all have in common? They are the parts of the indoor rower that connect to your body. Let’s look in depth at the foot straps, why they’re needed, and how to use them.

The foot strap secures you to the indoor rower for the finish position, where the abdominals stabilize the body, and the glutes and quads are contracting. The foot straps allow for more layback in the stroke, but the core muscles should be engaged for primary stability. A drill that helps to ensure the abdominals are being used at the finish is to row without any foot straps (rowing “feet out”). The stroke may shorten a bit during the drill, but the goal is to engage the core to stabilize the layback. When rowing with the feet back in the foot straps, make sure the abdominal muscles maintain the layback position; do not rely on the feet.

The foot straps are not a necessity on the recovery, where you slide back up to the catch. Using the foot straps to gain momentum on the catch puts undue stress on the hamstrings and can cause injury. Instead, think about getting your hands away quickly, then letting your back follow your hands forward to get the forward body angle that you need at the catch. Using the foot straps to pull back up the slide also tends to rush the recovery. The recovery is just that—a “recovery” from each stroke and preparation for the next one. Your drive to recovery ratio should be 1:2. In other words, your recovery should take twice as long as your drive. If you are using your feet to pull up on the recovery, you are most likely “rushing the slide” (see our Technique Video, starting at minute 4:52).

Position the foot strap above the ball of the foot as shown in Getting Started. While rowing, be sure the foot strap is snug but does not cut off circulation. The foot strap doesn’t have to be completely tight. If you find that your feet and legs are more comfortable with a bit more foot-freedom, that’s fine. A couple fingers worth of extra space should be plenty.

Foot straps can wear out over time but are easily and inexpensively replaced—just shop online or give us a call. The life of your foot straps can be extended, however, both by using proper technique and strapping them correctly. The foot strap is tightened by pulling down on the loose end. To remove, pull up on the tab of the buckle. The foot strap does not need to be fed through the buckle to be removed.

For a detailed discussion of where to position your foot on the indoor rower, visit Olympian Sam Loch’s blog “Foot Position Primer.” As discussed earlier, the foot strap aids in the finish position but the abdominals should be doing most of the work.

Row Better with Rowley Douglas and Robin Williams

2015-06-09 12:42
Source Channel:  British Rowing Source Link:

As we head into summer, it’s time to start thinking about the regatta season and putting away those winter warmers.

With Henley Women’s Regatta and Henley Royal Regatta just around the corner, the “Start to win” article by Olympic cox Rowley Douglas, is very timely. Rowley provides guidance for coxes on how to approach start practice and developing and executing a race plan.  He explains how important the role of the cox is in helping to deliver an effective start sequence and transition to pace during a race – a winning combination.

A lot of emphasis is placed on body position and sequence during the rowing stroke, but what about how to hold an oar? In “Get a Grip”, Robin Williams - former GB rower and GB Rowing Team coach – explains the correct grip for sweep rowing. The hand positions at each part of the stroke are explained in depth along with some useful photos.

Check out these articles now on RowHow by clicking here .

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Remember to check back each month as we add more articles. If there’s any particular topics that you would like to see on RowHow in the future, then we’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch by emailing

Hereford Regatta held after three-year break

2015-06-09 10:18
Source Channel:  British Rowing Source Link:

The River Wye welcomed back historic Hereford Regatta after a three-year hiatus at the weekend, as nearly 300 boats raced beneath the city cathedral in beautiful sunshine.

With its 150th anniversary next year, organisers were keen to relaunch the event after being buffeted by foot and mouth, floods and falling entries, with five events cancelled in the last 10 years.

And the date switch from early August to the first weekend of June looks finally to have done the trick of re-establishing the regatta, as rowers from 25 clubs made a splash on one of the UK’s most beautiful rivers, in two days of racing.

Umpire and WAGs regional chairman Phil Clements said: “It’s really good to see the event resurface with a reasonable entry.

“Racing on rivers is where the sport comes from, and it’s a lovely setting here, with the cathedral and the old railway bridge on a dead straight course.”

Hereford RC life member Norman Matthews was on prize-giving duty. He said: “There’s no doubt Hereford and other river regattas have been hit by the Dorney effect, with clubs just racing there instead of travelling for the weekend. 

“We’ve got a straight 2km here and before Dorney opened in 2002, we used to get Boat Race rowers and Henley-bound crews at the Worcester/Monmouth/Hereford weekend, including some who went on to win at the Royal Regatta.

“We had foot and mouth in 2001 and flooding in 2006, and our entries gradually fell on our traditional May Bank Holiday Monday date, so we moved to August.

“It’s the best river stretch in the country, with a fantastic backdrop, and it’s great to see racing again where it’s taken place since 1866.”

A total of 298 entries took part in Saturday’s 1,000m event and Sunday’s 500m sprint, with Stourport taking home 15 pots and City of Bristol 11. Worcester won 10 with 

Hereford, Evesham and Monmouth each landing nine apiece.

Some excellent racing saw Stourport beat Evesham by a foot to sprint ME/G doubles, while Worcester beat Hereford by 3ft to WIM3 doubles and City of Bristol pipped Evesham by the same margin to WJ15 doubles.

University of the West of England’s Jessica Corbell, whose WIM2 sprint four beat Evesham, added: “It’s a fun, well organised event. We’ve had a great day.”

Rowers from as far afield as City of Oxford, Guildford and Nottingham RC launched out in 203 races.

Other notable performances saw Monmouth’s junior double treble up with J16 1km doubles and J17 and J16 sprint doubles, while club mate Rory Freeman landed IM3 and novice sprint singles. 

Flipping burgers at the BBQ, Hereford RC’s GB U23 cap Jamie Coombes said: “This date looks like it works. It’s a big boost for the club.”

Club junior coach and former UL oarsman Nigel Fraser added: “It’s great to be back on the scene and we can move on from here.

“The weather’s smiled on us as well, though Saturday’s cross tail wind was tricky coming through the bridge, but that’s the beauty of river regattas.”

Report and photos by Nick Hartland

Video Of The Week: Yale Bests Harvard in 150th Regatta

2015-06-08 18:42
Source Channel:  Rowing Related Source Link:

This past weekend marked the renewal of the oldest rivalry in U.S. intercollegiate athletics, the annual grudge match on the water between Harvard and Yale.

Yes, it was the 150th running of the regatta (or was it?), but there was perhaps still more interest added to the proceedings given that Yale...

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Tags: collegiate rowingDualHarvardHead RaceThamesvideoVOTWYale

US woman sets out to become first to row solo across Pacific – video

2015-06-08 07:05
Source Channel:  Guardian - Rowing Source Link:

Sonya Baumstein launches a record attempt to become the first woman to cross the Pacific alone in a rowing boat. Baumstein, 30, from Orlando, Florida, sets out in her bright green lightweight carbon boat from Choshi Marina, Japan. Her trip to San Francisco will take between four and six months. Only two men have successfully completed the journey Continue reading...

Tags: RowingUS newsWorld newsJapanSport