To my brothers and sisters in the world family of rowers –
I am so very grateful to World Rowing for now making universally available on their website the information contained in my masterwork, The Sport of Rowing.
This four-volume set of books asks three questions:
- what are the technique and force application strategies being applied today in our
sport at its highest levels
- where did these strategies come from in rowing history
- how well do they do in actual competition?
For many of my readers, the “where did they come from” is certainly the most entertaining. Our rowing ancestors and their adventures, their triumphs and their failures, often fall into the “couldn’t make this stuff up” category. We certainly stand of the shoulders of a remarkable and often motley crew, and it has been my privilege to help preserve and spread the memory of their glorious deeds.
But I suggest that new readers of TSOR on worldrowing.com also pay attention to the other two questions.
For two hundred years, the great coaches have not spent a lot of time successfully explaining how they intended their athletes to move boats, but many of those explanations have been preserved, and I have gathered them in the coaches’ own words! I have also analyzed the actual rowing of the boats they produced. Most of you will be surprised, even astonished, at what the actual history tells us. The chances are it will seriously challenge all your assumptions of what good rowing has always been.
Then there is the question of what actually works. International competition provides the ultimate real-world test of the various strategies. Again, what the visual documentary record reveals will surprise many of you.
After decades of pondering the mysteries of our sport, years ago I came up with what works for me as the ideal approach to rowing and sculling, and I was pleased to discover through my subsequent research that the most successful coaches over our two hundred years of history had come to the very same conclusion, but you will not find my opinions in TSOR, only the words of our ancestors and the data you will need to independently make up your own minds if you so choose. I urge you to do so.
Back in 2011, The Sport of Rowing sold out before a single set was printed. In order to discourage piracy and preserve the exclusivity of the original very limited subscriber run, you will be prevented from downloading the four volumes from worldrowing.com. However, I recognize my obligation to my new readers, so if you have a serious need, please contact me directly at email@example.com and I will make every effort to support your efforts on an individual basis. I look forward to hearing from you.