Mike Nicholson is an Australian film maker who came to our notice because he’s just released a new 90 minute documentary on sculling that gives an overview of club, national and international sculling. It’s available in 10 parts for free download from his website.
I’ve been involved in rowing since l was 10 years old when l asked my father – a rowing coach and President of Melbourne University Boat Club – if l could steer a crew. So l did a lot of coxing but really wanted to scull and coach. So l started sculling and won the Winter Sculling Series ‘Herald Shield’ twice, 1970 and ’89 – that is 6 x 2000 metres handicap races [it’s harder to win than an Olympic gold medal].
l continued steering crews though and had a lot of success with lightweight 8s and 4s and the MUBC Senior 8, but l never got in an Australian crew, although in 1979 l nearly did. However, on the coaching front l was the first person to start school girl rowing on the Yarra River in 1975 with the Lauriston Girls School and l coached their 1st crew and ran the school rowing programme for 7 years. Also in that time, in 1978, l was asked to coach the MUBC Women’s Inter-Varsity 8, which l did for 7 years and we won 6 times. Then l returned to sculling. Recently, or in the last 20 years, l’ve been either sculling or steering the Veterans at MUBC and this year l’m going to Torino Italy with an MUBC team to compete in the World Masters.
I have also been a film-maker since 1976 and you can see a lot of my films on my website Mike Nicholson so l like to combine my two passions and make documentaries on rowing and sculling. There are heaps of them on my website.
The London Olympics Regatta was so well run l could hardly believe it. So l shot about 4 hours of footage there in High Definition, not only of Australian crews coming and going, but also all the nations including the Brits, but l only used some of it because l had Slovenia and New Zealand World Rowing Championships and various Australian locations.
Maybe you could discuss this with some of your colleagues but it seems to me that in years to come you might have some British film-maker who will re-visit 2012 at Eton and edit a documentary on it and my footage would be very useful because l got so much great footage of crews boating and rowing up to the start and warming down after races and the whole atmosphere.
Usually l just delete all my rushes to free up space on my computer, so please get back to me on this.
The IOC and the AOC didn’t give me permission to film at Eton and didn’t give me media accreditation either and FISA wouldn’t even give me media accreditation for the current World Cup in Sydney because l put a short film l shot at Slovenia – a promotion for my Sculling documentary – on You Tube. So it all seems a bit silly if you ask me. I thought the idea was to promotion sculling and rowing.
Anyway, many thanks for asking to profile my ‘School for Sculling’ on your website. Feel free to use any of my rowing films.