Friday, September 23, 2011

Bring it together

This past week has been spent bringing the intensity up on the pieces we row. It has been increasing the stroke rate into unchartered territory for me. In a single I would try to hit race-pace rates of 32-34 Strokes/minute, sometimes up to a "crazy" 35. But, in larger boats and when the rhythm is all coming together the rates can bounce up surprisingly quick. As more time passes at these high rates, upwards of 38-40, I feel more and more comfortable (in a relative sense). I have lots to work on still, and my top-end "catch" is still problematic. Have a look, I still like what I see. This was part of a 250m on/250m easy, fartlek style workout.

Video by CM - Thanks

Packing up the Boats

This morning we had to spend some time after practice to de-rig the boats, and pack all the seats, shoes, blades and any extra parts into a semi-truck trailer. All the supplies need to depart today for the long trip down to Guadalajara, Mexico.


Seen here is my two (of three) crew partners, Travis and Eric. What a duo! These Ontarians have uprooted their lives and univeristy degrees and transplanted themselves to Victoria. They are roommates and both come from Brock University (St. Catherines, ON). Often caddy with each other I enjoy a good chuckle whenever they get into bickering about any situation under the sun.

Travis is a well stylized and always classy Bow seat. He makes the key calls in the boat to get us to move in unison (which doesn't always happen). I enjoy his chipper attitude and able to talk his way into and out-of any situation. Almost everyone knows him and he keeps up with all the details around the rowing world. He is starting his Masters degree in Public Health at UVic.

Eric, who is also my Pairs partner, is a very focused and mature beyond his years 4th year University Student. He is driven in all aspects of his life; rowing, school, and girls. He will, I mean, will not shy away from a fight if someone gets in his way. Eric is taking four classes at Uvic, mostly to do with European and World history.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Well, it's Official.

The 2011 Pan Am team is officially named for rowing.

And the Canadian Olympic Committee has put together at PanAm Site

The Rowing component will held on Lake Zapotlan, near Cuidad Guzman, Mexico. This is about 120km southwest of Guadalajara.

View Larger Map

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sweeping out the Cobwebs

This past week I have been re-learning how to row, but one step ontop of that is rowing with a sweep blade; just one oar per body. I'm on port side, the right side of the boat looking from the front. Each rower has subtle differences in technique, from previous coaching style or personal preference, but the basic rule is; The boat will move through the water fastest when everyone in the boat has the same technique. Many little movements can change the overall set (balance) of the boat. After catching some video of myself in the 4- from this past week, I see that I have tons of little abhorrent movements that should be cut out, and a few movements/motions that I should be doing. Both these things will slow down the boat. I know that the guys I row with are powerful enough, we just need to work on matching up techniques. Overall, I'm very happy with the first week, and the things we are working on I understand completely.
I have 6 new blisters, completely due to sweep oars. And, my body hurts a bit, getting used to the twist/rotation around the oarlock pin, but I will get some active therapy this week to sort it out.

From the front: Travis, Me, Eric W., Terry
Video by CM.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Technique Rebuild

This week I have spent completely rebuilding my stroke from the start to finish. Due to my prior training and line of work, I had the (wrong) idea for the "perfect stroke". This week, with the help of my coach and my teammates, I have re-designed my rowing stroke.

As you can see, it's obvious from this simple, straight-forward picture, I need to keep my back locked in for the duration of the "drive-phase" - (This probably only makes sense to me). Brought together, a short clip of me focusing on JUST the Drive phase. (Still more things to work on)

Video to Watch NOW

Inside the Olympic Dream - By Cam Sylvester

Inside The Olympic Dream from cameron sylvester on Vimeo.

He just qualified for the 2012 Olympics with his results at 2011 Rowing World Championships in the Lwt Double.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Admiration for the Championship Rowers

This week, Aug. 28 - Sept. 4th, is the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia. Canadian rowers across a broad spectrum of events have been close or on their way to qualify for the next summer Olympics in London 2012.

My pal Jerry Brown is included in the powerful men's 8+. He is a bit of a hero/idol in my world. He had been training with the VCRC group for 2009-2010 and was there for 4-5months when I joined up before he made the jump to the National Team. To hear someone go from regular recreational athlete to future Olympic rower is an awe inspiring feat of determination and drive. A few things he said was, first, to commit 100% focus and second, work when your old, fulfill your goals now. Jerry is the tall guy in the 3-seat (numbered from the front of the boat) below.

Photo: The Canadian Press @ CBC