Volume 4 of 4: The Later Years, is all drawn from the last years of Fairbairn’s life and includes probably his best-known work, Chats on Rowing. Fifteen chapters where each is a ‘chat’ covering one topic from Rhythm to Style, the Endless Chain and Rowing in the Eight.
The Fairbairn principle of working unconsciously while remaining focused on the action continues in this volume. It’s full of great aphorisms and catch-phrases like “Meet your stretcher so you meet your God” and the immortal “Mileage makes champions”.
Like many others Fairbairn understands the difficulty of explaining rowing. Movements can be described but until they’re experienced, many readers fail to understand what is intended. These descriptions here are amplified by exercises and drills and anecdotes about successful athletes who learned the principles Fairbairn taught.
Dip into these chapters on a whim – pick the one that makes you curious or contains an aspect of rowing which is challenging you right now. Or just read the summary “Rowing in a Nutshell” which runs through the principle technique points which Fairbairn coached. Do enjoy the final chapters on the Endless Chain Movement and lastly Fairbairn’s obituary from May 1938 by Frederick Brittain.