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Tale of the Tape

BY RICH DAVIS
PHOTO BY PETER SPURRIER

There are many insights you can take away from watching the best rowers in the world. Watching crew boats and singles rowing very hard and making it look relatively easy should inspire you to row fast and be fit.

Most clubs have a collection of racing videos that can serve as useful training tools. Rowing camps use these videos in their programs. There are countless examples of memorable races from the Olympic archives that are also well worth a look.

Two from Beijing come to mind: American single sculler Michelle Guerette and the U.S. women’s eight. Michelle’s come-from-behind bronze medal against an experienced and talented field would get any rower excited about racing.

The women’s eight that won gold in China had the best technique of any crew I saw on the water in 2008.

I recommend multiple viewings. When reviewing rowing video you will also see different styles and technical deficiencies among even the best rowers.

This shows that fit and determined athletes can accomplish a lot. As a coach, the most challenging instructional situations often involved students who had never seen good rowing and had no one with whom to compare their technical skills. We all need models to help show us how to row well and video can help. 

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