A short course in Chaos Management

This was definitely not how 2020 was supposed to be. Back in 2019, we had reckoned that Brexit would be OK for UK visitors to France, despite some new red tape at borders and perhaps some airline disruption. But then came Covid19 and a succession of French and UK restrictions with overlapping requirements. Result – chaos. Nobody knew whether or when they would be able to come to France, or what would happen when they returned.

Locked down in the Ashram

No sports-oriented blog should be without its Coronovirus Lock Down story, so here is mine. Back in 2019 I had booked in for the month-long Advanced Yoga Teacher Training Course at the famous Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram, Neyyar Dam, in Kerala, starting on 9th Feb 2020.

As the date approached, the epidemic was well under way, with Wuhan in lockdown, the Diamond Princess going round in circles at Yokohama, and three reported cases in Kerala State.

The Head of the Charles and the role of the Rival

In October 19th I raced the Men’s Grand Master Singles (50+ division) in the 2019 Head of the Charles regatta in Boston. This is said to be the largest rowing event in the world, with more than 350,000 spectators and about 11,000 rowers taking part in 71 events over the weekend.
It was the first time I had raced a single on this famously difficult course, so expectations couldn’t be set too high. I had two objectives which I thought were realistic…

From Budapest – some thoughts on Masters Rowing

I’ve only just recovered from my trip to Budapest for the World Masters. It was much harder work than Sarasota 2018, which I did the easy way (flew to Florida, had a top-spec boat delivered by my helpful suppliers, and took part in one event). Budapest was a different story. For a start, there was…

The Sit Bones Correction

Last September a well-known coach in the Thames Tideway rowing world, came to Bergerac for a week’s training. This included an introduction to rowing-oriented yoga plus individual sessions on the river and the RP3.
In the Yoga studio, we zoned in on the subject of Sit Bones. These are often discussed in relation to Yoga, and in cycling also, but are often overlooked in a rowing context…

Why rowers need Yoga

Yoga postures are not “how far back can I get my leg?” but rather “where’s the end of the range I can effectively USE my leg, and how can I extend that?”

Yoga breath work and mindfulness practices are there to help you regain your ability to regulate yourself when performance conditions (race day or simply morning practice when you were up all night writing a paper) hijack your nervous system….

Back in action at the Masters

I’ve just raced in two big events, the World Masters in Florida and the Pairs Head in London. Here’s a brief account of how I got on in these two very different Masters environments, plus some thoughts about Masters racing generally. What is it that makes it so interesting, and so different to mainstream competitive…

The Boston Red Arrows

What are these red arrows we keep seeing on your blades? I’m often asked this, and now is a good moment to explain. Because the answer lies in Boston, Mass., and that is where I am now heading.