British Rowing has lost a legend. Dame Di Ellis, the longtime chairman of the national federation, passed away May 18 following a short illness. It is impossible to overstate Ellis’ impact rowing in her native country. A successful athlete in her own right, Ellis stroked the British women’s eight at the 1966 European championships before embarking on a career a sports administrator, chairing the Amateur Rowing Association (now British Rowing) from 1989 to 2013 and serving as the first woman steward of the Henley Royal Regatta. For her services to rowing, Ellis was awarded the Commander of the British Empire in 2013.
Dear Doctor Rowing, I’ve been out of the game for a number of years but have recently begun to row a single. I’ve checked out a number of websites and watched a bunch of coaches on YouTube. Years ago, I learned the legs-back-arms method of applying power and it’s always worked for me. But lately down at the club all I hear is talk of “the core.” What’s with all this emphasis on the core?