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Some of you may have heard of Steve Fairbairn… …Saying Nothing is Often Best…

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Some of you may have heard of Steve Fairbairn .  Long time Jesus College coach, founder of the Head of the River Race , originator, or a least populariser of, many sayings still current in our sport.

I have been re-reading his collected works recently with much enjoyment.  Some of his technical stuff has been superseded because of improvements in equipment and knowledge, his wisdom on coaching is still always relevant though.  

‘Saying Nothing is Often Best.
I believe in letting men alone as much as possible when rowing in an eight, because the more leisure they have for picking up the sense and timing of the crew, the more the stroke will develop into an eight man drive.  When in doubt as to what to say to a man, or whether anything need be said – say nothing.’

Still true today!  

‘Mileage Makes Champions.
The whole of my teaching is teaching the oarsman how to work the oar correctly and then plenty of long rows, and plenty of racing crews together…’

What more do you need today?

So; Hail to Steve Fairbairn, guru of the rowing world.

Duncan Holland


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