You don’t have to be the biggest and most powerful to win races.
So much emphasis is placed on ERG scores and size (height & weight) these days as metrics for success in rowing. Well, the first of the NZ National races on Karapiro last Saturday should put a big spanner in that theory. Let’s look at the 3 main protagonists in the just completed premier men’s 1X race last weekend at Karapiro, New Zealand.
- Mahe Drysdale- 201 cm, 100kg, world’s fastest time for 2K on the water, second best ERG score for 2K (to Rob Waddell), 5 times 1X world champion and 1 x Olympic champion.
- Eric Murray- 195cm, 95kg, worlds best ERG time for 5K, in pairs (with Hamish Bond) unbeaten in 16 events (over 40 actual races including heats).
- Hamish Bond- 190cm, 85kg, in pairs (with Eric Murray) unbeaten in 16 events (over 40 actual races including heats).
So which of these guys actually won the 1X final (and had the best times in all the heats)?
Final Placing & Times
- Hamish Bond- 7:05.4
- Mahe Drysdale- 7:11.0
- Eric Murray- 7:17.1
So, does size and absolute strength always win on the water? Apparently not. To be fair, Murray & Bond have been training full time in 1X boats since October (longer than Mahe during this current cycle- post World Champs). However, given Bond’s time vs his partner Murray, something must be said for overall fitness and lightness. Physics tells us it takes more HP to move more mass. So it is strength-to-weight that counts on the water, whereas on an ERG just absolute strength matters (ERG’s don’t float). Then there is the matter of technique, but having not seen the actual race, I cannot comment on any of these fine points here. Row well & happy holidays, Evan Snyder A Guest Post by Evan Snyder, St George Rowing Club, Auckland, New Zealand