Rowing bloggers give us all huge insight and pleasure. Rowperfect thinks it’s time they got rewarded for their efforts and so we’ve set up the Rowing Blogger of the Year.
The categories and nominations read our picks for the best rowing reads online.
Rowing History blogs
- Hear the Boat Sing – a blog that has grown in its reach and extent over the past year. It covers not only past history but also history-in-the-making such as Boat Race updates. Goran gives us regular updates and his diverse interests in many countries help show our sport around the world. The community is so strong that they organised to commission a silk tie for readers during the year. It includes lots of good photos and recently, poetry. The only downside is that there’s no way of subscribing by email (only RSS reader).
- Rowing Evolution - written and developed by Peter Mallory while researching and writing his magnum opus, The Sport of Rowing. Peter’s enormous erudition in the technique of rowing and sculling as it developed over the years shines through. Peter sends blog updates in a newsletter format including original photographs. He’s recently moved into coaching and so many of the updates are less ‘historic’ but by no means less interesting.
And the Winner is Hear the Boat Sing
- Rowing Cox - part of a university recruiting service, this blog has made the list because of the challenges its author has answered. He writes from deep experience about coxing technique, how to teach and trials with how to accelerate learning.
- Coxmate - written by a manufacturer of coxing amplifiers this blog is trying to help all coxswains and coaches by collating worldwide coxing news and information. Over the year they’ve published two free email advice series for beginners and for side by side racing written by Andy Probert and Michael Toon. Tackling issues like how to lose weight and how to prepare for training camps, this is a useful site. It’s Resources for Coxswains page also has steering guides for big races like HOCR and Tideway.
- The Coxswain Perspective by Rory Copus is very focused on local knowledge and his realisation that huge numbers of new coxes join Oxford clubs each year and need to learn the skills fast. His recent posts on language differences between US and UK cox-speak and the basics of coxing are good examples.
And the Winner is The Coxswain Perspective
- Drew Ginn – Although no longer an athlete, Ginn is one of the longest serving top international athletes whose bold move into publicly writing about his training and mental preparation is the envy of others. Being frank, unafraid of controversy and failure, Drew’s retirement, and then re-entry into rowing and his London Olympic preparation made compelling reading.
- Girl on the River - written by Patricia Carswell who is by her own admission “pint sized” gives us an insight into the reality of club rowing in a smallish town in the UK. Her writing style is beautiful, drawing on the local scenery and fantastic descriptions of her frequent encounters with adversity and hilarity.
- Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell – a current GB international who courted controversy twice in the past year when he was the last man out of the Olympic 8 and then piled into Neil de Vos when he criticised rowing for ‘technologically doping’ to achieve Olympic success. His detailed summaries of what it’s like training under Jurgen Grobler and the strains of training camp 1900 meters up a mountain give insight that isn’t available anywhere else.
And the Winner is Girl on the River
- World Class Rowing Coach by Xeno Muller – written in exuberant Swiss/English Xeno Muller bursts with energy and enthusiasm for all forms of rowing. He’s a professional indoor rowing coach and also hasn’t lost his love for single sculling Recent series of posts analysing the London Olympic finalists in video commentary form is great because you can really see where his expertise and insight applies to the most skilled athletes.
- Decent Rowing is a new blog set up by Australian coach Lachlan Davey. He mainly uses video to explain skills, drills and techniques that will help coaches improve their skills. The site content is behind a paywall but by joining his mailing list and Facebook page you can see quite a lot of the new material he’s publishing.
- Playbook - an email blog for coaches by Mike Davenport. Mike is a professional rigger, author of the Nuts and Bolts Guide to Rigging and lover of rowing. This email only blog is his latest venture and covers all sports coaches, not just rowing. Mike’s experience and insight into the issues facing club and school coaches, the need to care for your own needs as well as those of your athletes and his perspective on what constitutes success have all been recent topics.
- Coaching the Cox by Chelsea Dommert – this one could have been a coxing blog but it fits better into the coaching blogs category. We’d never seen a blog written so knowledgeably about the problems facing coaches who have never themselves been a cox. Chelsea painstakingly explains why what you say may not be what they understand; she summarises the core parts of safety, first outings and the skills a cox should show before progressing to higher skills. Better than all, she’s also written a book called Coaching the Coxswain.
- ARCSA - The Association of Rowing Coaches of South Africa is a fantastic summary of sports science articles written about rowing. The author researches a diverse range of topics and reproduces them in full so that you can learn at your own speed. The diversity of articles is amazing spanning nutrition through physiology to psychology. The archive goes back to 2007 and is well worth browsing.
And the Winner is Coaching the Cox
- Carolines Rowing Blog - published since 2009 this is a true indoor rower’s mecca – ride alongside the team of friends who are enjoying training and competing on ergos. Caroline is generous with her data – she shares training logs and workouts they do as well as recording the medal winning success of her friends.
- Concept2 UK and USA and news the centre of indoor rowing and competition. The UK blog is pretty new and features great personal stories of success over adversity and fund raising. The US one has a lot more on product development and regattas attended by the team around the world – running since 2010 it’s written by a lot of different authors and so gives a broad perspective on indoor rowing and ski-erging.
- Erg Rowing by Brandy Mulligan is all about fitness, training and performance. Written as a series of articles, the author sets out to show you how to get fit and really use your ergo training to good effect. It has free downloads for erg workouts and a range of strategies on how to approach a 2k test.
And the Winner is Caroline’s Rowing Blog
- Rowing Related by Bryan Kitch, this started as a personal project and brought the author commissioned journalistic assignments it was so good. Bryan knows rowing well and has a focus on US university and international rowing. The video of the week and its associated contest draw a strong readership from USA.
- British Rowing News is the roundup service run by the UK Federation and includes pretty much all the local news on regattas, clubs and programs run by this most active organisation. The news is not exclusively about the UK and readers are invited to submit their own news to the editor.
- Row2k – described as “rowing and sculling for rowers and scullers” this is the news round-up site for American rowing. Its hugely trafficked home page news is a daily compilation of news from around the world categorised by country and event. Including topics like ‘news of the weird it has an archive to die for. My personal favourite is the Rowing Hacks page where readers send in quick fix advice to ease your rowing life.
- Rowing Journal a public blog where anyone can share their anecdote or advice. Set up by Iain Weir, its initial popularity was phenomenal – particularly as he allowed Facebook sharing. Recently activity has been more muted, but recent posts about tartan paint for your oars and classic rowing ‘excuses’ are fantastic.
And the Winner is Rowing Related