The lightweight men’s squad took centre stage for the GB Rowing Team on day two of the Henley Royal Regatta as they stayed on track for a potential Saturday semi-final showdown.
European lightweight men’s pair champion Joel Cassells teamed up with Steven Parsonage, Sam Mottram and Jamie Copus in a Leander Club and Oxford Brookes University quad which comfortably beat Reading University B in the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup heats.
That came after Zak Lee-Green featured in a quad with John Hale, Charles Waite-Roberts and Tim Richards – representing Imperial College London and Agecroft RC – that overcame a Molesey BC and Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School crew featuring the familiar faces of Adam Freeman-Pask, 2013 eights World Champion Dan Ritchie and London 2012 Olympian Tom Solesbury.
Should both crews win again on Friday, they will meet at the weekend and Lee-Green, a lightweight single-sculls finalist at the recent European Championships, is hoping that happens.
“We have all rowed together for the past two years and we are crew-mates in everything we do, so it will be an interesting one – if we both get there of course,” he said.
“Today was only our sixth session in the quad in that order so we’re happy with the win but there is a lot we can learn from it as well.”
Thursday’s victory came in an eye-catching race against a boat featuring three rowers with elite GB experience and an aspiring international in Angus Warren, a winner of the Fawley Challenge Cup at Henley last year.
“We are the old boys, apart from Angus, and they are a GB lightweight crew, so it was quite tasty,” said Freeman-Pask. “I fancied racing them at the Regatta – that’s my level of competition.
“Tom and I bumped into each other in London and came up with the idea of getting a crew together for Henley. It’s a bit of a mish-mash but it’s been a fun project.”
Jack Beaumont, who won a bronze medal with the men’s quad at the European Championships in May, and his Leander Club team-mates also made impressive Prince of Wales progress with a comfortable victory over a Bath University B crew.
Beaumont is eyeing a fourth consecutive Henley win and said: “I know there’s a strong field this year but hopefully we can come through on top – I feel confident.”
Friday will see GB crews take to the water, with the women’s eight starting their Remenham Challenge Cup campaign in the morning.
The eight will be looking to build on the progress shown at the World Cup in Varese, where they twice went under six minutes and gave the all-conquering Americans an almighty scare in the heats.
They went on to finish third in the final behind the US and Canada – potential opponents in Sunday’s final – but cox Zoe de Toledo believes the crew is making good progress.
“We made a big step on between the Europeans and Varese, and we are operating now at a much higher level,” said De Toledo, who has been commentating on Henley’s YouTube channel.
“It’s a combination of factors, there is no one big thing that has made a difference. It’s not about crew changes, it’s not about some major technical difference, it’s about everyone individually stepping up their game and it clicking.
“It’s now about using Henley and next week’s World Cup in Lucerne as the best learning experiences possible because there is a long seven-week period without racing after that going into the World Championships.”
The GB eight – racing as Leander and Imperial College London – face Leander Club in their opening race and, if all goes to plan, will meet Canada, racing as Western RC, in Sunday’s final.
“That would be great because we lost to them by a couple of seconds in Varese so they are a good crew to measure ourselves against,” De Toledo added.
“They have been on the American’s stern for quite some time, so we know they are there or thereabouts in terms of the fastest in the world. It would be good to have another crack at them.”
The feeling is clearly mutual with Cristy Nurse, the Canadian bow, relishing the prospect of facing a GB crew on their home water.
“It’s exciting,” said the World silver-medalist. “Obviously the crowd will be very much on Britain’s side but that’s something we can feed off as well – it’s still noise, and it’s still excitement, and it’ll be a lot of fun.
“I think all of us just love the atmosphere here. It’s so unlike anything at home – the grandeur, the outfits, the number and interest by the spectators. It’s a unique race.”
Tomorrow there will be two GB crews in the Silver Goblets & Nickalls' Challenge Cup for men’s pairs – the European champions of James Foad and Matt Langridge, plus Varese World Cup finalists Mat Tarrant and Callum McBrierty.
Virginia racing past the Progress Board in Round One of the Temple
The following is the fourth installment of our #HoosGoingToHenley series with Forrest Brown of Virginia Men's Rowing.
Greetings, once again, from Henley, after an excellent first day of racing! While our four had...
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GB Rowing Team para-rowers past and present were in action on a scorchingly-hot opening day of the Henley Royal Regatta.
Three years ago, James Roe was part of the British mixed coxed four that famously won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Today he helped Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club defeat Quinton BC by two-and-three-quarter lengths to reach the quarter-finals of the Britannia Challenge Cup.
“It is good to be back racing,” said Roe, who is visually-impaired.
“After London 2012 I didn’t do any rowing until the start of this season and I’m easing my way back into it. We didn’t have the results we were hoping for in the first couple of races back but it has come together in the last few weeks.
“This is my third Henley but it’s Stratford’s first for 26 years, so it’s great to be a part of it.”
Also competing for their clubs on day one were Oliver Hester, a 2013 World Champion in the mixed coxed four, and Jordan Beecher – both relative newcomers to the para-rowing squad.
“I don’t think I’ve actually met the other two guys, they came along after my time – I don’t know where the last three years have gone!” Roe added.
“But it’s great to see the other para-rowers here and to see the new blood doing so well.
“I’m still really good friends with Pam Relph and I follow their results keenly. Setting two World-Best times in Varese the other week was amazing.
“James Fox has won Henley before and to see people like him go into para-rowing from such a strong background can only be good for the sport.”
Hester, who helped an Upper Thames RC eight to one-and-three-quarter length victory over Reading BC in the Thames Challenge Cup, was grateful to gain more big-race experience as he competes for a place in the GB mixed coxed four.
“You don’t usually get the chance as a para-rower to be part of an eight, so it’s about learning to move the boat and getting some great experience in the quicker boats,” he said.
“There is a lot of competition in the mixed coxed four at the moment, so anything I can gain from racing like today I can then take back into the squad.”
Hester was also hugely impressed by the live streaming of all of today’s races on YouTube.
“I cannot say how great the live coverage is for the sport,” he said. “Good work whoever sorted that out, it is just such a positive thing for rowing.
“I live in Henley, so I had all the guys in the boat back at my place this morning to watch the live stream. Seeing how hot it was, we all agreed we were grateful to race in the evening!”
Beecher, whose left leg had to be amputated after an IED blast while serving in Afghanistan in October 2012, only took up rowing 18 months ago and was making his Henley debut.
It came in the first race of the day as well, a defeat for Marlow RC’s eight to Cantabrigian RC in the Thames Challenge Cup.
“That was emotional,” said Beecher, a trialist with the para-rowing squad. “We rowed as well as we could considering it was our first-ever side-by-side race.
“We have only been rowing together for a week as a crew, so our main aim was just to qualify.
“It’s great that there are a few of us para-rowers here. The weather is great and there is an amazing atmosphere, it’s just a pleasure to be a part of it.”
The GB Rowing Team para-rowing squad is supported by the National Lottery and Guide Dogs.
Things are already heating up in Henley-on-Thames (Photo: B. Kitch)
While the first day of racing at Henley is nearly over, there are many events that have not yet begun. Wednesday was a hot one, both in terms of the weather and the action on the water, and we don't see any reason what that...
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Everybody loves sprinters. Whether it's the sight of Usain Bolt styling it out after destroying the field; cyclists slowly teetering around the top of the velodrome before swooping down the boards; or watching dragsters that look like a wedge of brie with tractor wheels at the back and baby carriage wheels at the front, speed demons have always captured the imagination.
Over the past few years, sprint rowing has been increasing in popularity due to the growth of high intensity interval training, and we're seeing lots of people use the indoor rower and the SkiErg to help train their fast twitch fibers. The shortest event in the Concept2 Ranking has always been 500m. Today, however, we're introducing two new ranking events for the more anaerobically inclined: 100m and one minute. So if you're quick (in at least two senses) and hop on your machine, there's a good chance of being able to boast about that time you were the fastest 100m athlete in the world in your age group. Once we have enough results in, over the next few months, we'll also be adding in national and world records for these categories.
To celebrate, we're also introducing a new one-time challenge for the Online Logbook, the Summer Super Sprints, which runs from July 12 through July 19. Now that the mercury's starting to rise, at least in the Northern hemisphere, this seems an ideal time to celebrate the fast and the furious.
To complete the challenge, you need to log both 100m and one minute on the indoor rower or SkiErg during the challenge period. If you do so, you'll appear on the honor board, as well as get a free downloadable certificate. And if you're looking for some inspiration, have a look at this video of Australian Rugby League legend Marty Taupau taking on the one-minute challenge on The Footy Show.
Good luck, and happy sprinting!
Not long now! Catching up with the Hoos on the eve of Henley Royal Regatta
What follows is the third installment of our #HoosGoingToHenley series, thanks to Forrest Brown of Virginia, as he and the Cavaliers gear up for the first day of racing at Henley Royal Regatta.
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Every now and then I am sent a product that causes a bit of a stir in the family. As a journalist and blogger I am sent quite a few parcels to review, and most are greeted only with mild interest. The Monkey Nutrition Primal26 Pro was not one such. Even before I’d unpacked the box, my teenage son was circling with a gleam in his eye. He knows his whey, and had heard about this particular product.
So what’s the big deal? Well, here’s the blurb:
“Primal26 PRO is the upgraded version of the award winning Primal26 and one of the most advanced powders on the world market today. Fortified with a clinically tested, superior digestive enzyme complex, Primal26 PRO increases amino acid concentrations in the blood by up to 55 times, when compared with other fortified powders, allowing for more effective growth and recovery. The ProHydrolase enzyme complex helps to ensure smaller, non-immunogenic protein peptides are formed, reducing inflammation and the potential for gastric discomfort, which are often associated with protein consumption.”
So, in a nutshell, it’s a classy product, it’s easier to digest than a lot of whey powders and is – so it claims – more effective in helping your recovery.
It’s hard to test such a claim (especially as I don’t find other powders a digestive challenge) but I was very interested to find out what it tasted like, especially when I learned it was flavoured with real, organic cocoa rather than a nasty flavouring, and is sweetened with stevia.
I’m pleased to report that on the taste front it earned a huge thumbs up. It tastes of chocolate milkshake, in a thoroughly good way (mmmmmm) and is properly chocolatey (very important to a chocolate-lover like me). The aftertaste is better than with most protein powders, which earns it extra points.
I tried it just as it comes (milkshakey) and also made it into a seriously good shake with banana, peanut butter and even more cocoa powder. Sublime.
There’s just one problem, though. I have had to find ever more inventive hiding places for it, as every time I get it out of the cupboard I find my son got there first and it’s gone down a bit more. I’m down to the last sprinkling now and may just have to carry it around with me everywhere I go.
Would I buy again? Most definitely, but I shall have to buy a whey-sized safe first.
Monkey Nutrition Primal26 Pro whey protein isolate £29.99 for 434g, currently reduced to £21. It ain’t cheap, but it is good.Tags: Food and recipesReviewschocolate wheymonkey nutritionprimal26 prowhey protein isolate
Kent School Boat Club at Dorney Lake (Photo courtesy of KSBC)
This week's featured video comes to us thanks to Sam Haack of Kent School Boat Club, as KSBC prepares to take on the competition in the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta, starting tomorrow!
The video below is a montage from...
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We had to do some track adjusting towards the end of the season with the IRA four and since it became a slightly more involved process than I thought it’d be I figured it’d be worthwhile to share this video to show how it’s done. Keep in mind that you should talk with your coach first if you think there’s an issue with your tracks (i.e. they’re not aligned, they’re too far forward/back, etc.) before you mess with anything, just to avoid damaging them or making any unnecessary changes.How ToVideo of the Weekadjusting the tracksboat repairsHow Tomax rigging
The York Summer Regatta, raced over 1000m downstream on the River Ouse, was a great day of racing for all ages and abilities on 21st June. The cool breeze and broken clouds were ideal for competitors and spectators alike, who enjoyed a relaxed atmosphere and well organised event.
The entries included clubs from all over the region and beyond, including teenagers and students through to grandparents in categories from singles to eights.
Although some of the races were won well by ‘a distance’, there were many that went right to the finish line, marked by the intensity and determination etched on the faces of the crews. A sweeping bend in the river looked as though it may be an advantage to those on the inside, but the nature of the start, and sweep of the wide river, resulted in equal opportunities for all, and it was those who showed the greatest desire and ability who triumphed.
In a strong field, St Hild & St Bede College of Durham University, won the IM3 4+ race which started the day. The University was well represented with wins later on for St Aidan’s, St Cuthbert’s, Van Mildert’s and University College.
Although many clubs experienced a small number of wins, by far the most successful club of the day was York City Rowing Club.
Two special ‘Challenge Fours Events’, open and women’s, were popular with crews and spectators, providing some of the closest and hard fought races of the day. The women’s event was won in style by St Cuthbert’s College, Durham. The open event by York City RC who gave a master class in technique and determination.
Many competitors who have attended the regatta year after year commented on how enjoyable it always is, providing a great day of racing, and are looking forward to returning next year.
Article: Andrew Lowe
Photos: Andrew Archbold
Constantine Louloudis, a double World Champion in the men’s eight and Olympic medallist in 2012, has finished his University finals, packed away his books and rejoined the GB Rowing Team for the season’s final world cup taking place in Lucerne, Switzerland, from July 10–12.
The Louloudis return is one of a number of small changes, announced today, to the successful crews that competed in Varese last weekend and won eight medals, four of them gold.
Jamie Kirkwood, winner of the last two GB Rowing Team Senior Trials in the lightweight single, has recovered from injury to take a seat in the lightweight men’s four with Mark Aldred and 2012 silver medallists Peter Chambers and Chris Bartley.
James Foad and Matt Langridge are also back in the fray as the lead men’s pair. The European Champions sat out Varese. They will be joined by a second men’s pair of Stewart Innes and Oli Cook - the former having won eights gold in Varese.
Three of the four gold-medal crews from Varese therefore remain unchanged. Charlotte Taylor and Kat Copeland built on their world’s best time in the semi-final to beat the reigning Kiwi World Champions by a whisker in Varese in the lightweight women’s double.
Olympic, World and European women’s pair champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning laid down a significant marker last weekend by winning their event which has strengthened considerably since the Europeans.
Angus Groom remains in the bow seat of the men’s quadruple scull who saw off the best of the rest of the world in Varese apart from the Ukrainians and Russians who were absent in Italy but so strong at the Europeans. Groom is a super-sub, like Jack Beaumont before him, for World silver medalist Charles Cousins who is making a good recovery from a broken bone in his hand.
Coach Jurgen Grobler has moved Phelan Hill back into the men’s eight cox’s seat for this world cup in lieu of Henry Fieldman who coxed the eight to victory in Varese but now steers the coxed pair of Mat Tarrant and Callum McBrierty. This is an event in which Fieldman won World silver in 2014.
Germany took European gold in the men’s eight but the GB Rowing Team hit back, taking the title last Sunday. Both crews are entered for the Grand Challenge Cup for men’s eights at Henley Royal Regatta on Sunday 5 July. In football parlance, the score this season stands at 1-1 with extra time coming up at Henley and the potential for it to go to penalties (or not) in Lucerne.
“There is quite a lot of rivalry there. I think the Germans thought they would beat us in Varese and then come and spoil it for us on our home waters”, said stroke Will Satch after Sunday’s race. “It turned out differently in Italy”.
Coaches Paul Thompson and James Harris have decided not to tinker with the women’s eight that took bronze in Varese behind only last year’s World gold and silver medallists, the USA and Canada. This boat showed that it has come on leaps and bounds since its European performance. From this women’s sweep training group, Lucinda Gooderham has been chosen to race the second women’s pair with Rebecca Chin who raced in Varese with Karen Bennett.
Frances Houghton was off-colour in the lead up to Varese but now steps into the women’s quadruple scull who were B finalists in Varese. She joins Melanie Wilson, Tina Stiller and Jess Leyden. The four-times Olympian and twice Olympic silver medallist competes instead of Beth Rodford who now moves to the single scull.
Richard Chambers and Will Fletcher will continue the search for speed in training before competing in Lucerne again as the lightweight men’s double which has already won European silver and world cup bronze this season.
“I’m really proud to be representing GB in this boat”, said Chambers who after Sunday’s final had indicated the forward plan: “There was more fight in our performance today than in the semis. We had the aggression now we just need to work on the speed”.
GB Rowing Team’s men’s four, the European Champions were fifth in Varese, and Scott Durant, Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell, Alan Sinclair and Tom Ransley will be looking to bounce back with a strong Lucerne performance.
John Collins and Jonny Walton race once more in the open men’s double scull after being rowed out of the final in Varese in the tightest of four boat finishes of the entire world cup last weekend. They went on to win the B Final.
Alan Campbell is the open weight GB single sculler. On his return to top racing for the first time since July 2104, and after an injury lay-off, he made the final in Varese - a good and positive first performance this season on the world stage.
There are no para-rowing events in Lucerne so the GB mixed para-rowing coxed four, who set a world best time in Varese as they took gold, are back in full training alongside bronze medallist Tom Aggar and finalist Rachel Morris as well as potential members of a new mixed trunk-arms double scull.
The para-rowing crews for the World Championships will be announced alongside the Olympic and International class crews on July 21 as the whole GB Rowing Team squad moves towards the Olympic and Paralympic Games qualifying regatta from September 1-6 in Aiguebelette, France.
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CREW LISTS (Includes club, home town, date of birth)
GB Rowing Team for World Cup 11I
Lucerne, Switzerland, July 10-12.
Pair - two boats
Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)
Louise Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)
Jessica Eddie (London RC/Durham/07.10.84)
Donna Etiebet (Sport Imperial/London/29.04.86)
Victoria Meyer-Laker (Leander Club/Premnay/18.03.88)
Olivia Carnegie-Brown (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Oxford/28.03.91)
Rosamund Bradbury (Leander Club/Banstead/17.12.88)
Zoe Lee (Imperial College BC/Richmond/15.12.85)
Zoe de Toledo (Cox) (Leander Club/London/17.07.87)
Coach: James Harris
Melanie Wilson (Imperial College BC/London/25.06.84)
KrisTina Stiller (Tees RC/Yarm/23.06.87)
Frances Houghton (Univ of London Tyrian Club/Oxford/19.9.80)
Jessica Leyden (Leander Club/Todmorden/22.02.95)
Coach: Nick Strange
Pair - two boats
Scott Durant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Lancaster/12.02.88)
Alan Sinclair (Leander Club/Munlochy/16.10.85)
Tom Ransley (Leander Club/Ashford/06.09.85)
Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Univ of London BC/Durham/13.04.88)
Coach: Christian Felkel
Matt Gotrel (Leander Club/Chipping Campden/01.03.89)
Constantine Louloudis (OUBC/London/15.09.91)
Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth/27.07.81)
Paul Bennett (Univ of London BC/Leeds/16.12.88)
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)
Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington/11.03.84)
George Nash (Molesey BC/Guildford/02.10.89)
Will Satch (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/09.06.89)
Phelan Hill (cox) (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)
Coach: Jurgen Grobler
Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers School/Coleraine/09.05.83)
Coach: John West
Angus Groom (Leander Club/Glasgow/16.06.92)
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC/Reading/26.11.85)
Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC/Preston/08.11.88)
Peter Lambert (Leander Club/Maidenhead/03.12.86)
Coach: Paul Stannard
Imogen Walsh (London RC/Inverness/17.01.84)
Coach: Paul Reedy
Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Coleraine/14.03.90)
Jamie Kirkwood (Leander Club/Cresswell, N’bland/30.08.89)
Mark Aldred (London RC/Birmingham/18.04.87)
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Chester/02.02.84)
Coach: Rob Morgan
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GB Rowing Team website, including full rower biogs: www.gbrowingteam.org.uk
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ONE YEAR AGO
QOTD: Can you explain the term “rowing it in”?
VOTW: Why We Row (This is a must-watch if you’ve never seen it.)
“Weight enough” vs. “Let it run” Despite being used interchangeably they don’t mean the same thing.
QOTD: At Masters’ Regionals this weekend we were having a discussion on if it is important for coxswains to have time rowing. Not just on the erg, but on the water as well. What do you think? (I get this question a lot but this is the most in-depth response I’ve given to it…)
Words. Race for the psychological advantage…
Music to erg to, pt. 44 St. Lucia, Pink Floyd, Passion Pit, Bassnectar, Fatboy Slim, etc.
TWO YEARS AGO
VOTW: In memory of Jill Costello, a coxswain at Cal who passed away in 2010 from lung cancer.
QOTD: How long can a cox box go without dying? (If it’s fully charged to start with.)
QOTD: There are many excellent coxswains, especially at the D1 level. But what do you think separates an Olympic level coxswain from the many excellent D1 varsity coxswains?
QOTD: Hi today was my first day coxing and my coach told me I had to talk the whole time. I tried but I felt really silly and I had nothing to say. I would really appreciate just some things to say! Thanks!
Words. One of the best quotes from Vince Lombardi…
QOTD: I used to cox women for all four years I was in high school. I’m in college now and on a men’s team. In an 8+ or a stern loader 4+ I have a hard time seeing things in front of me since my rowers are so much taller than the women I’m used to coxing. This had led to close calls with logs floating in the water and other obstructions. HELP!Uncategorizedflashback friday
Did you see the new recordings post that went up yesterday? There are four really awesome ones in there, including one from our repechage at IRAs. I also posted a couple new questions on Tuesday, one of which asks a really good question about eliminating rush on the recovery and finding a sustainable rhythm while still maintaining the appropriate pressure.
Also, because it’s summer, just a reminder that now’s the ideal time to take a week or so off from training and just relax, re-evaluate where you’re at with rowing (if necessary), etc. I’ve been getting some panic-y emails lately from both rowers and coxswains so I just wanted to remind everyone that your mental health is just as important whatever other training you’re doing right now so don’t neglect it. Where the mind goes the body follows…Ergserg playlistmusic to erg to
Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 || Part 4 || Part 5 || Part 6 || Part 7 || Part 8 || Part 9 || Part 10 || Part 11 || Part 12 || Part 13 || Part 14 || Part 15 ||Part 16 || Part 17 || Part 18 || Part 19 || Part 20 || Part 21
University of Delaware V8+ Dad Vail Petite Finals (2015)
Jake, the coxswain of Delaware’s heavyweight 8+, sent me this recording after Dad Vails and it really blew me away. Easily one of the best recordings I heard all season – actually, I think this is the best I heard all season. Here’s what I said in my email to him with a few additional bullet points below that.
Hey Jake! Congrats on winning the petite! This is really good – your intensity, tone, calls, etc. are on point. I feel like I’m nitpicking just trying to find stuff to critique. The one piece of advice I have is when you make a call like “walk away, walk away”, “it’s time to go”, “time to break off UNC” (great call btw), etc., immediately follow that up with a 5 or 10-stroke push just to carry over the momentum from your call. When I make a call like that I want the rowers to immediately think “yea, let’s go!” and since I know they tend to get a burst of energy from that I want to capitalize on it by immediately following up with a 5 or 10-stroke move to do whatever I just said to do, be that to walk away from the field, put away another crew, etc. If you say “it’s time to go” and then there’s crickets after that then it’s like “OK … I’m ready to go … tell me what to do …” and you kinda lose the opportunity to make something happen. You also run the risk of another coxswain hearing you say “walk away!” and them thinking you’re calling a 10 so they call their own 10 to counter the move they think you’re making. That can backfire on you if they end up getting a seat or two out of it. (The only reason why I say that is because I’ve done this to other coxswains before and if you’re down a seat or two and do it at just the right point in the race you can pretty much kill their momentum and take the race from them.)
In addition to everything I said up above, I really like the simple “assault” calls he makes throughout the race. This is something I think a lot of younger coxswains have to learn/remember – every call you make doesn’t need to be a full sentence long and every call doesn’t have to be “a call”. More often times than not you can easily get away with saying something simple like “assault” and that will convey the same exact message as “OK guys, this is where we get after it and start taking back some seats”.
Another thing I really liked was the build up into the sprint starting with the “10 at base” at 4:55. I like how he calls the first five of that ten, says “assault”, then starts the next five with “next five, bow ball”. THAT is what I mean when I say to simplify your calls and cut out all the excess. You know exactly what he wants and how many strokes you have to do it and it only took four words to communicate that. Now, what I really liked about the sprint was how he transitioned into it. At 5:12 he says “shifting up to a 38 over two … shift one, shift two …” and then they hit it. I like the simplicity. If you’re trying to figure out how to get your crew to shift up at the end without doing a big build or anything (or alternatively, you’re only going up two beats and don’t need five to build into it) then I’d definitely suggest trying the shift over two and seeing how that works. (Related: If you haven’t read this post on “in” vs. “over” vs. “on” check it out so you understand the difference between all three and make sure you explain it to your crew too. In, on, and over do not mean the same things!!)
So yea. This is my pick for best collegiate recording of the 2015 season. If you’ve got any other contenders feel free to send them my way!
Kent School Boat Club Women vs. St. Andrews
Colette sent me this one of her boat’s race against St. Andrew’s and it’s also on my list as one of the top recordings from this past season. Here’s some of the feedback I sent her:
Tone, volume, intensity, calls, etc. throughout the entire race were solid. I wouldn’t change a thing. You got a little repetitive with the “twist” call but I think you had a good enough variety otherwise that it doesn’t matter too much. In the future you might consider incorporating in some alternatives to “twist” (“rotate” is one that I use a lot), that way you’re still communicating the same thing just with a different word so as to not get too monotonous or repetitive.
Another thing is it seemed like you stuttered over the names of the crews a couple times when you were giving the girls your position – if you’re not 110% sure of who is in each lane then just say their lane number. When I race I only call the name of the top one or two crews that we consider our biggest competition and everyone else I just refer to by their lane #s, that way I don’t risk tripping myself up in the middle of a call if I can’t remember who is where. I feel like when you’re in a groove of coxing and then you stutter over something like a crew’s name it can throw off the momentum a bit (or at the very least knock you our of your zone) so that’s always something I try to avoid.
A couple other calls I liked –
– “I just lit the fuse” call at 2:32. I love the way she said it and I love the call.
– “No mercy one, no mercy two…” at 2:56. The intensity is great (there’s nothing like a good “no mercy” call to really stick the knife in) but I like that she sandwiched them between counting out the ten. Making simple but occasionally deadly (for the other crews…) calls like this are a great way to get just a liiiiittle bit of extra punch on each stroke.
– “You don’t mess with us ’cause we’re the best” at 3:45 (Cocky? Hell yes. A great call? Oh hell yes.)
– “They’re coming, let’s sprint in two, this is it – one … and two, no fucking mercy! One back it in, two back it in, three YEAAA, four, five don’t let ’em touch us, six breeeathe, seven, eight, nine, ten…”
Henley Royal Regatta 2014 Temple Challenge Cup – Oxford Brookes vs. Brown University
Henley is next weekend (if you’re racing, record yourself!) so I figured it was only appropriate to post Rory Copus’s follow up to the epic Abingdon – Belmont Hill recording of 2009.
I actually got an email about this a couple weeks ago asking my thoughts and it said: “Both my crew and coach love the coxing here, but the other cox at my club, who’s very experienced and has coxed the [redacted the very prominent team name] eight, doesn’t think the coxing is great – he reckoned they would have won regardless. I wondered what your take on it is?” This was my reply:
Personally I do like this recording. I think Rory’s other one (the Abingdon – BH one) is better but this is still in the upper echelon of recordings that are out there. Something I’ve heard a lot of people say is that he was a little over the top and should’ve acted like he’d been there before, which I can definitely see and agree with (to an extent). At this level I think having a coxswain like him can only add speed to your boat so regardless of whether they would have won or not, I don’t think that should really change how he’s coxing them. The only real thing that I didn’t like was he was a little repetitive for me, although I think that’s just a general difference in style between the UK and the US.
Now, make no mistake, I love this recording. Our V8+ coxswain even borrowed some calls from it this season. The main thing I hear people have spirited discussions about is how over the top he gets and like I said, I get that and can see how it might annoy people but to me it’s not the kind of “over the top” that is offensive or asshole-ish. There are PLENTY of recordings I’ve posted on here where you can argue that the coxswain is being “over the top” during the race but sometimes that’s just part of coxing. As long as you’re not being unsportsmanlike, does it really matter how into it you are as long as you’re still steering straight and communicating clearly?
The takeaway for coxswains from this recording is the Beyonce levels of flawlessness in the execution of the race plan. They grab the lead right from the very beginning and just pile it on from there. The bladework at the start is excellent and the gradual build in volume he has as he’s calling “legs loose” really sets the tone early. You can tell they have a plan going into this because the moves and his calls just flow really well throughout the race. It doesn’t feel like anything he’s saying is being come up with on the spot, which is rare since you’re not usually in a position (at this level, let alone at this regatta) where you’re far enough ahead of the other crew(s) that you don’t have to worry about deviating from your race plan.
Some calls I liked:
– “Legs loose…”
– “Stay relaxed as we hit the gust … stay loose … stay loose …” If you can see the ripples in the water up ahead of you, always prepare your crew and let them know it’s coming.
– He makes a lot of rhythm calls (and announces them too…), in addition to encouraging the rhythm by the way he makes the calls so if that’s something you’re looking to work on definitely listen to this. There are lots of spots throughout the recording where he does this and they’re very easy to identify. (Plus, you should be able to pick this stuff out on your own anyways without someone else pointing it out to you.)
– “Keep moving in this rhythm, in your rhythm…”
– “10 months, every erg, every session, together, for this one fucking moment…” This is the kind of call that I’d pull my ass off for. I don’t care if I”m blacking out, this is the kind of call that would force me to dig deeper and find some way to give more.
– “Drop the knees” – good alternative to most “legs” calls.
– “Take it all in, feed off of it…” This is a great call for those regattas where you can feel the energy from the spectators and you can hear them screaming as you approach them. Never underestimate the power of the crowd to give your crew an extra surge at the end. Bring that energy into the boat and make it work for you.
– “End them now.” I love this but what really seals the deal is the finger point he does as he says it. I did this once and my coach told me it was the most demoralizing thing he’d ever seen a coxswain do to the rest of the field so I’ve always had an affinity for psychological fuckery like this. (Fun story, Wisco’s V8+ coxswain did this to our eight when we raced them back in May and when they came up to collect their shirts I told him in front of our coxswain how much I respect coxswains that have the balls to make moves like that. Luckily our cox knows me well enough to know that it wasn’t a dig against him so it was cool. Laughs were had later.) To me, stuff like this is the ultimate sign of confidence. Some people probably/definitely think it’s cocky but I don’t think it is. Being cocky is fine (and necessary) to an extent but at some point it crosses the line from being legit to being compensatory and it’s always obvious when you’re compensating for something (usually a lack of confidence more than anything else). No coxswain would ever do the “shut them the fuck down now” finger point if they weren’t 1000% sure that their crew was executing everything exactly the way it needed to be done and that their position in the race was unquestionably secure. This isn’t one of those things that you can do every race though. This is one of the ones that you do once, maybe twice in your career. The moment’s gotta be right otherwise you do just look like an asshole.
(Also, can anyone confirm that that is Neville Longbottom circa Order of the Phoenix rowing in seven?)
MIT Men’s Rowing V4+ 2015 IRAs Repechage
I don’t think I’ve posted any of our recordings on here (they’re all on YouTube if you wanna listen to them) but I wanted to post this one because I think it’s our varsity coxswain’s best recording of the season and I’m really damn proud of that for more reasons that I can count. I wish I could remember everything I pointed out to him when we initially watched this after the race but that was a month ago so below is a brief-ish (OK maybe not…) synopsis of what I assume I told him.
The whole starting sequence – start, high 20, transition to base – was really well executed. He started off the year/season drawing his calls out to really annoying and unnecessary lengths so to finish the season really crisp like this is a huge improvement. I also really like how we started doing the shifts down to base. I honestly don’t remember if this is something we talked about or if he just started doing it on his own but adding in that second shift really helped clean up that transition and make it a lot smoother.
It still annoys me (in the most minor of ways) that he calls a “ten to establish (the rhythm)” right after the start but if you’re going to take a ten for something at that spot, calling it for rhythm isn’t the worst thing to choose. (As long as it’s not for power – you have no idea how much this makes me rage.) One of the things we/I really harped on this season was not relying on 5s and 10s to get across whatever you wanted them to do. Instead of calling numerous 5s for catches, finishes, legs, etc. just make the call for a few strokes and then move on. You don’t need to take a burst just to get them to do something. My point there is that instead of calling a 10 to establish the rhythm I would have just gone straight into “legs long, legs loose” for five to eight strokes. Just counting out the strokes doesn’t establish the rhythm, you’ve gotta back it up with legit calls.
As I said on Rory’s recording, prepping the crew for an oncoming wind gust is always smart so I like that he saw the gust coming at 1:16 and said “wind gust on this one”. This is probably the best footage I’ll be able to get from a coxswain’s POV of what the wind looks like so if you’re still trying to figure out how to read the wind, look at the ripples in the water immediately before, during, and after he makes that call. The wind had been picking up throughout the reps (there were three total) but it stayed pretty much a cross-head the entire time. You can tell it’s a headwind because the boat is going into it (vs. a tailwind where you’re going with it) and the diagonal pattern of the ripples indicates that it’s a slight crosswind, meaning that the wind is going perpendicular-ish to the course instead of straight with the lanes (in which case it’d just be a direct head or tailwind).
A couple strokes later you can hear BU’s coxswain say “I’ve got bow ball”, which could easily have been disastrous for us (and if it was earlier in the season it probably would have been). I like how he handled it though. He’ll probably say that he didn’t hear her or wasn’t paying attention, thus what I’m about to say is totally irrelevant but I like that he just said where they were on BU, that they were walking, and to stay relaxed and poised. From there he makes the call to get the boat set (the crosswind wasn’t helping us there) and they immediately took a seat back on BU. The calmness in his voice throughout that segment is not something I would have thought was possible a few months ago, or at least not something that could be executed that well, so I’m really, really proud of how he handled that. (But like I said, he’ll probably say he had no idea what BU’s coxswain was doing so I’ll just pretend that what I said was his plan all along.)
As they come into 750m and he says “let’s walk up and pass, I’m on 2-seat, get me bow man…”, that’s a perfect way to call that and is another good example of what I mean by simplifying your calls. All you’ve gotta do is tell them where you are and where you wanna be and that’s it. The only thing I wish he would have done after that five was to tell them whether the move worked or not (by either saying “got the bow man” or “they held their margin” or something easy like that).
At 1000m I like the shift in his tone. I was getting a little worried initially when I listened to this that his usual fire during the body of the race wasn’t going to be there but it came out here and stuck for the rest of the race, which was good. All his calls through this section are great, especially the “now keep the attack” that he finished off with. I also, obviously, love the “that’s BOW BALLL” call. That 20 plus the small moves for each pair that he followed up with are, I’m convinced, what secured our position for the rest of the race. Couldn’t have asked for better execution here.
The “five for each pair” move is something we’d been working on throughout the season and it was getting to the point where I was so frustrated with it that I almost told him to just stop doing it because he could just not go from pair to pair without freaking monologuing between each one. It was driving me nuts. (You can hear this in the Sprints recording I think.) He did a great job calling it here though. I love the transition from stern pair into all four with the “establish dominance, 5 strokes for open” call. (400ish meters ago we were down two seats and now we’re going for open … can’t ask for much more than that.)
The ten for length at the 500 was kinda the only thing that I wasn’t super happy with, only because his calls didn’t match up with what he was asking for. Taking a ten for length there is a great idea and something we definitely needed but if you’re gonna call it for length your calls have to match that and his were a little all over the place. I liked his tone and everything, just not the words themselves.
5:31, “drop them” … this aggression was what I was waiting for and he brought it out at just the right time.
The end of the race always makes me a little nervous because he’s not the most reliable at calling the finish – sometimes he nails it, other times he’s way off (ahem … Princeton) – but he did fine here. In any other situation casually calling the extra two like that probably wouldn’t have worked, especially if the race was close, but we were ahead by enough that it didn’t make a difference. We were in a position to advance so whatever. Not something I’d recommend though – if you’re gonna call last five or last ten, make sure it’s actually the last five or last ten. Practice this whenever you do pieces so you can get used to gauging the distance between when you make the call and when you cross the line, that way there’s no question on race day that you’re calling the correct number of strokes to the line.
Like I said, I’m really, really happy with this race (as was everyone) and being able to see the culmination of all the tweaks and improvements in Alex’s (he has a name!) coxing made me really proud. It’s no secret how much I love this team and a HUGE part of it is because I got to work with some amazing coxswains this year. Every coxswain on all four of our teams is good but I’m adamant that even on their worst days, which we definitely had a few of, the heavyweight coxswains were still the best ones in the boathouse.
Alex, I couldn’t have asked for a better sparring partner this year. You challenged me, stuck to your guns (even when you were wrong ;-) ), and finished the year as the coxswain I knew you could be (and told you you could be) all along. I can’t wait for you to help me whip these guys into shape come September. Janelle, you’re a fighter. There were a few times this year where you got the short end of the stick but you always put the needs of the boat ahead of your own and for that, I respect the hell out of you. We’ll miss you in the fall but can’t wait to have you back in the spring. Jesse, what else can I say other than holy shit. The coxswain you were in September is total night and day compared to the coxswain you are now. There’s no question that you earned every ounce of respect you got from the guys this year and I can’t wait to see what you do next year. It’s gonna be a fun one for sure. 8-)
Filed under: College, Coxing, Racing, Recordings, Rowing Tagged: brown university, calls, college, coxswain, coxswain recording, crosswind, dad vail, headwind, henley royal regatta, IRA, kent school boat club, mit, mit men's rowing, oxford brookes, racing, reading the wind, rory copus, sprint season, st. andrews, temple challenge cup, university of delawareTags: CollegeCoxingRacingRecordingsRowingbrown universityCallsCollegeCoxswaincoxswain recordingCrosswinddad vailheadwindHenley Royal RegattaIRAkent school boat clubmitmit men's rowingoxford brookesRacingreading the windrory copussprint seasonst. andrewstemple challenge cupuniversity of delaware
With the famous Liver Birds Building and Liverpool Cathedral’s in the distance, this part of the revitalised Liverpool Mersey Docks was a change of scenery for the crews that normally row on rivers, lakes or canals. Negotiating Sea Cadets holding their Regional Regatta in 4 oared boats, crews from Warrington, Hollingworth Lake, Runcorn and hosts Mersey took part in the new League competition supported by British Rowing’s Explore Programme Manager Jo Atkinson.
With 3 races each over a short course of about 300 metres the action was enjoyed by spectators and participants alike. This was the second round of the North West’s Explore Rowing League series with two further rounds to come. Hosts Mersey RC’s crew ‘Press Ganged’ finished their day with 3 wins , Hollingworth Lakes crew ’Motivated Driftwood’ with 2 wins and Runcorn’s ‘Weaver Diva’ crew with 1 win.
If you are new to rowing or have never raced, look out for similar events held at a local venue “a day’s rowing, really cheap to enter and with cake thrown in – what’s not to like?” as one participant described it!
With most Regions now running an Explore Rowing League series, if you have not seen a flier or poster and want to know more, contact your local Area Participation Manager - names and contact details can be found at http://www.britishrowing.org/about-us/contact-us/staff
Quote from Elaine Richardson – Runcorn Participant:
“As part of Runcorn Rowing Club’s ‘Weaver Divas’ crew, we thoroughly enjoyed the previous event hosted by Warrington Rowing Club and were looking forward to this one. Bev Johnstone, our women’s captain, was roped in as cox at the last minute and although we only had one win we all thoroughly enjoyed the event and camaraderie and are looking forward to the next one where our water and coxing skills will be put to the test!”
On Thursday June 18th, British Rowing and British Canoeing hosted a joint on-water rowing and canoeing ‘splash and dash’ inter-college fun regatta. This is the first event of its kind.
The regatta is part of the R.A.C.E (Rowing and Canoeing Event series) which was established by Chris Farrell (British Rowing) and Ben Seal (British Canoeing) in which has supported developing canoeing and rowing opportunities in the Black Country and Dudley area. A similar indoor event took place in the winter. (This was placed on the British Rowing website if you wanted to cross-reference)
Walsall College, Dudley College and BMET Stourbridge College attended the event.
The event has come from key participation partnership work in the colleges. The colleges involved have worked with British Rowing and British Canoeing to support partaking in indoor rowing/ canoeing and then outdoor in the spring.
Each college attended a 6 week learn to row course up to the event. This was part of the Dudley ‘Let’s Get Rowing Project’. This is supported by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council public health and British Rowing.
The Black Country Consortium Sports Partnership sponsored the regatta.
Participants enjoyed splash and dash racing over a short sprint distances in both rowing and kayak boats.
Each college raced against one another and the winner of each race gained a point. After some close racing, Walsall College came out as champions. This means that they are the 2015 indoor and outdoor rowing and canoeing champions.
Special well done should go to Dudley College who entered the only female team. And Stourbridge College too.
#HoosGoingToHenley, Part Two: Dude, where are our oars?
While Henley is still a week away, it's time for the second installment of the #HoosGoingToHenley series, with Forrest Brown.
Last time we checked in with Forrest, he and the Cavs were training in the U.S. in preparation for a European...
(Read the full article on our website)
There will be a strong GB Rowing Team representation at the 2015 Henley Royal Regatta, taking place from July 1-5.
The GB men’s eight – World Champions in 2013 and 2014 – will race as Leander Club and Molesey Boat Club in The Grand Challenge Cup.
And they could once more come up against Olympic and European Champions Germany, who will be represented by Hansa von 1898 e.V. Dortmund, should both crews reach the final of the Blue Riband event.
Britain overhauled Germany in a thrilling final at the World Cup in Varese on Sunday and stroke Will Satch is looking forward to a potential third meeting between the crews this year.
“It’s obviously two strong forces and there is a lot of competition there that has built up over the last two-and-a-half years, which makes it more exciting,” said Satch.
The GB men’s quad – fresh from their World Cup success in Varese – will be looking to retain the Queen Mother Challenge Cup when they race in Leander Club and Agecroft RC colours.
Jonny Walton and John Collins represent Leander Club in the Double Sculls Challenge Cup and the GB men’s four of Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell, Alan Sinclair, Tom Ransley and Scott Durant – who won gold at the European Championships last month – will compete in the Stewards’ Challenge Cup.
Fellow European Champions James Foad and Matt Langridge have been entered in The Silver Goblets & Nickalls’ Challenge Cup for men’s pairs. They sat out last weekend’s World Cup in Varese, Italy after Foad picked up a slight niggle in training.
Alan Campbell, representing Tideway Scullers, contests the Diamond Challenge Sculls – a title he won in 2011 – and Polly Swann, World Champion in the women’s pair in 2013, will ease her way back into competitive racing with a tilt at the Princess Royal Challenge Cup.
The GB women’s eight and quad will also be in action at the Regatta, which has attracted a huge entry of 526 crews from 18 countries.
The gladiatorial style of head-to-head races on the famous 2,112m course will be seen beyond the hundreds of thousands of spectators that line the riverbank this year as the Regatta will be live-streamed across the five days on YouTube.
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British Rowing welcomed three female leaders; Victoria Aguirregomezcorta, Argentina; Oluode Olumbunmi, Nigeria; Sevara Ganiyeva, Uzbekistan (mini biographies below) to Great Britain at the weekend, from our wider international rowing community. These women visited primarily to attend the Women’s Sport Leadership Academy, organised by the Anita White Foundation (AWF) and Females Achieving Brilliance (FAB) which is currently being held at the University of Chichester (22 – 26 June). To optimise their trip over here and make it as enjoyable as possible, they were given a tour of the English Institute of Sport centre at Bisham Abbey. After that they went straight into the heart of women’s rowing by attending Henley Women's Regatta (HWR) for the entirety of the regatta, also attending the HWR dinner to meet with some of the overseas rowers and coaches.
Victoria Aguirregomezcorta, Argentina
· Former rower
· Teacher and Director´s assistant at Colegio Santa Teresa, Tigre, Buenos Aires (since 2010)
· International Umpire, including an Olympic Qualifier Regatta and World Cups since 2001
Sevara Ganiyeva, Uzbekistan
· Former international rower
· Works for the Uzbekistan rowing and canoeing federation
· A FISA umpire and a member of the FISA Youth Commission
Oluode Olumbunmi, Nigeria
· National Sports Commission, Federal Secretariat, Abuja, Nigeria. (Secretary General of Nigeria Rowing Canoe & Sailing Federation and Coach)
· Currently undertaking a masters in sports administration
This week's double-feature comes to us from England, where Oxford Brookes is looking to put the finishing touches on a stellar season, while Leander is aiming to defend home water at Henley Royal Regatta.
Brookes had an outstanding Head of the River in 2015, placing two eights in the top four...
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