20 September 2013
Another magical week on the water, with a huge moon creating a stunning early morning sky and all of our corporate crews showing massive improvements. Looks like there’s going to be some tight racing at the Corporate Regatta!
Thanks to photographer Nicholas Bucher for his dedication in getting up at the crack of dawn and capturing our crews on film. Take a look at his brilliant photos.
Welcome to a new entrant to the LRC Corporate Challenge, the Department of Planning and Infrastructure. Coached (and sometimes coxed) by Peter Gilder, this crew brings together a handful of novices with some more experienced rowers, including LRC member Sandy Shewell.
Looks like coach Guy Elron is ensuring his APRA crew are getting a good workout during their training sessions! Coxed by LRC member Nivi Massarek, it’s great to have APRA back on board this year, with a number of rowers returning to the Challenge after last year’s success, a couple of novices and LRC’s Peter Madden leading the charge. More photos of APRA are in the pipeline, and will be featured next week, along with our other three mystery crews who have eluded our photographer so far.
Tell us about yourselves
We are just starting to put together the program for regatta day and want to know a little bit more about your crews. Your crew co-ordinators will receive a request for information which will be featured in the program – just a couple of sentences about each crew member would be perfect including, of course, any nicknames or claims to fame during training. Please can you return this to Justin Milne as soon as possible so we can ensure we get everything as right as possible for the big day.
Don’t forget to book in the date
As if you’re likely to forget – Regatta Day is next Saturday 28 September. The regatta is being held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre (SIRC) at Penrith – the rowing course for the 2000 Olympics – so you get to race on a world class course and stand on the Olympic dais (whether you win or not!).
SIRC is about a 50-minute drive out of Sydney and is well signposted. It’s a great venue with excellent facilities, including a grandstand, canteen (coffee, sandwiches, wraps etc) and a 5km cycling track around the course – perfect for kids or adults, but remember to bring helmets. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on leads. So invite your family, friends or workmates to come along and cheer you on. More information on the facilities and a map of how to get there is available at: http://www.dsr.nsw.gov.au/regattacentre/
Why are we doing this? Rowing drills
Rowing drills and exercises aim to isolate each part of the ‘stroke cycle’ in order to assist coaches in successfully communicating the different stroke variation technique to athletes. In case you’re confused as to why you’re doing the drills, here’s a breakdown of some more common exercises and the learning that may be gained from them.
Balance exercises – Rigger Dips – one side of the boat lifts their oars while the other side lets them drop down, come back to level, then the other side lifts and so on. Used to get a feeling for balance in the boat and how each rower’s oar height affects that balance. Another balance/trust exercise is standing up in the boat while the others hold the boat level – it’s possible to have all 8 rowers standing up at the same time as seen in this picture of the Pymble Ladies College 8+.
Legs Only Rowing (or Russian Catches) – Starting from the catch, drive back using only legs, extract blade with straight arms and return to catch position. Shoulders remain swung forward and arms are straight throughout. Variant: legs only rowing with square blades. The exercise helps rowers to focus on the catch and start of the leg drive. A more ‘extreme’ version of this is to actually lift the seat off the seat during the drive, using the glutes, and then lower gently back onto the seat.
Quarter Slide Push (sometimes known as “bunny hops” – Starting from catch position, blades are placed into the water and one quarter (6 inches) of the slide is covered just by pushing with the legs. When quarter slide is reached the blades arc extracted remaining squared and recovery to catch position. The exercise helps rowers to focus on connecting with the water at the catch and start of the drive.
Wide Grip Sculling – slide hands down handles until they are holding on below the rubber grips and on the narrow part of the blade shaft. Variant: Return hands to the lower part of the handle as an intermediate stage for 20 strokes before moving back to normal grip. This exercise aims to focus on pulling through with the outside hand, blade control and not lunging at the catch
Inside Arm Rowing [equivalent to wide grip sculling above] -slide inside arm down the oar shaft until it is double the normal width of the hand grip. Variant: Move inside arm further away down blade or place inside arm onto back-stay of rigger. This is to assist stability and oar control going up the slide
Single strokes or Pause Rowing – Pausing can take place at any point during the stroke – from hands away only, hands and body pauses, body rock only through the slide sequence. It enables the rower to focus on clear separation and sequencing. Pauses can either be carried out in batches with continuous rowing in between or pausing every second or third stroke. One example is pausing with weight on the feet, when the pause point is between backstops position and quarter slide, hold the pause, then slowly continue up the slide.
With acknowledgement to http://www.rowperfect.co.uk (also a great source for videos on erging)
Inspiration – Row around the World!
While we’re very lucky to be rowing on a beautiful stretch of water like Iron Cove, right in the middle of the City, watching videos of top crews rowing on other stretches of water around the world might inspire you to incorporate rowing into your travels. To me, Tasmania looks like an absolutely sensational place to row (or perhaps it’s just because it’s our Olympic quad and four rowing beautifully!), or Lake Varese in Italy which is the European base for our national rowing squads and a magnificent regatta course.
And while we’re dreaming of international destinations, the St Petersburg University VIII is enjoying a training camp and racing in Sydney – I suspect the bushland shores of Middle Harbour are equally exotic for them! The Russians will be racing some homegrown crews on Darling Harbour on Friday from 4.30pm to 6pm (near the IMAX) – go along if you want to see some powerful rowing over 250 metres – it’s going to be fast!
Check out these videos to inspire you to row and travel!
The Australian men’s 8+ train at Lake Varese, Italy (coxes – some good calls from Olympic cox Toby Lister in this clip)
The Australian men’s quad and lightweight four (world championship gold medalists) training on the Huon River, Tasmania before the London Olympics last year – a great watch for any of you whose coach has been banging on about fast hands , rhythm and pushing the puddles away! Also, encouraging to see that even Olympians don’t keep the boat totally level all the time, and even crash into each other.
Welcome to the St Petersburg University VIII training in Mosman this week