Four months ago, I sent the following draft for a rowing blog to a friend who runs clothing company Hugga. He was looking for a feature to bring regular traffic to the company website and I was looking to do a bit more writing and blogging (as I did across a range of sports at the BBC a few years ago).
The blog was eventually named The Rowlup – a rowing round-up – and that first draft became the first post of the series. The format has changed a little as we’ve gone along but it remains a way of collating the rowing news and views that appears all over the internet now but maybe don’t get the sort of audience it deserves.
Obviously the format isn’t original. I enjoy reading Ollie Williams’ Frontier Sports Olympic links and drew some inspiration from it.
The Rowlup isn’t a place for spurious gossip. What appears has either been published elsewhere, is first-hand (ie published on social media by the person involved) or I’ve sourced and checked it myself.
There isn’t a lot of original content in there, admittedly. Original content takes time and therefore costs more money. I work on the assumption that people may have seen some of the content in there but – unless they’re glued to social media all the time and know all the nooks and crannies I’ve peered into over the last few years – they won’t have seen most of it.
If you haven’t seen The Rowlup before, please give it a click. It was published weekly through the British season but has moved fortnightly for now. We’ll make decisions on its future regularity in September.
As with any blog, it thrives on being shared so if you enjoy it, please tweet, like or share with like-minded people. You can also sign up to receive the blog via email.
I’m always keen to hear suggestions for stories from readers. Dan Spring spotted the photo of the coxed Kiwi pair that led the 1 August blog and Rory Copus dropped me a line with his coxing video from Henley Royal which featured in the last issue. If you have an idea, please get in touch.
The next issue will be out on or around 28 August, with the action already under way at the World Championships in Amsterdam and finals weekend looming.
Eyes were on Caversham last weekend, where the GB Rowing Team competed in their final set of selection trials for the year. Unfortunately spectators weren’t allowed at the Redgrave-Pinsent Rowing Lake, to the annoyance of some after the crowd-pleasing 2012 trials at Dorney.
There are reviews of the event on the British Rowing website and BBC Sport, which mentions “cold but sunny conditions” but not the raging headwind and forecast for worse on Sunday, which saw the event squeezed to three races in a single day and many male heavyweight scullers taking more than eight minutes over the 2k course.
Helen Glover and Heather Stanning were reunited in competition for the first time since winning Great Britain’s first gold of the London 2012 Olympics, and they won in emphatic fashion.
Meanwhile, for the first time in nine years, neither Pete Reed nor Andy Triggs Hodge came away with victory in the men’s pairs. Moe Sbihi and Alex Gregory pushed Hodge and George Nash into second, while Reed pulled out through illness.
A few Molesey members took exception to club stawart Sbihi being pictured in a photo gallery named “Leander at Henley” and staged a black ops raid on the pink palace’s Facebook page.
Olympic bronze medallist Alan Campbell crossed the finish line third in the single sculls but was disqualified, having arrived late to the start then false-started.
Meanwhile Constantine Louloudis was able to raise a wry smile after capsizing in the B-final. After his Boat Race success a Standard reporter had mistaken his mention of a single scull as an aim for the Rio 2016 Olympics, rather than a route to selection for big boats.
Some interesting stats and discussion afterwards on the relative strength in depth of the men’s and women’s pairs. Women’s coach Paul Thompson boated his strongest combo while Jurgen Grobler split the talent, so is it any more than a statistical exercise?
Some statistical suggestions too in this Rowing Magazine article offering 10 tips to get your novices up to speed. When coaching newbies on the ergo, how about using watts rather than 500m splits?
“Watts are easily understood—more is better—and they are easier to compare. The difference between 1:59 and 1:57 splits doesn’t seem as significant as the gap between 203 and 218 watts.”
As we come to the end of the training camp season there are plenty of videos around, and some outstanding scenery in this montage of Westminster School’s trip to Sarnen in Switzerland.
We found that on RowHub, along with this challenge to find your rowing name. I’m Sloppy Swimmer, which is true but not really rowing-related.