Letter from the editor
Volume I, Issue 4
WE SEEK CHANGE
ON EVERY STROKE.
You've noticed it, I know you have. As a sport, we're changing.
Rowing is one of the oldest organized sports in the world. From the beginning, as rowers dipped oars in rivers and spectators lined the shores of those rivers, our sport has been growing–and changing.
With change comes speed, and with speed, success. It would be impossible to win this season if your crew did just what it did last season. If we didn't embrace change, we'd still be in wooden boats, with wooden oars and paper megaphones strapped to our heads, and the times for a 2K race would be what they were all those years ago. If we didn't embrace change, we'd still be using cotton laces in open foot stretchers and wearing grey, cotton sweatpants on the dock. If we didn't embrace change, our sport would still be a single-sex sport and would–most likely–slide into the past; it wouldn't be a slow descent.
As one of the oldest sports, rowing is steeped in history. Indeed, "legacy" is a word that is thrown about routinely when talking about the honor of being a member of a rowing club. History, however, can thwart growth. Legacy can define an institution, and, if it isn't forced to expand, can stunt achievement.
Row New York and Philadelphia City Rowing are two of the most innovative clubs that are leading the change in rowing. The rowers at Row New York and Philadelphia City Rowing are fundamentally shifting the balance of who is represented in the boat. And with the expansion of who has access to getting into a shell and pulling hard, these clubs are highlighting the growth that is happening in our sport. That change is challenging the old ideas of what rowing looks like. It was an honor to get to know the movers and shakers at these two clubs and to get to know the rowers themselves.
Another change that is challenging the old notions is the newest technology from Shimano that is revolutionizing the idea of what equipment should–and shouldn't–be shared in a boat. If having shoes that are only worn by you sounds crazy, check out some of the advantages that Shimano shoes are netting rowers (and coxswains) who use them.
As coxswains, we seek change on every stroke. We're calling for changes that make our boats go faster, changes that make our rowers more efficient, changes that win races. That's what is happening right now in our sport: we're seeing changes that win.
Editor, Coxing Magazine