Rowing with eyes closed

8 August 2021

Sonia Waddell


Harry had this really unique style. He, he… it was all about feel and rhythm and timing.

And your… the rowing should be effortless. Every part of the stroke should be, should be effortless. There should be no grunt, hard, you know, hard work. It should just be this beautiful flowing movement.

And you know, you’d be you’d be rowing along and we’d just hear: ‘Ah no, ah no, no, no. That’s better. No.’ You’re just, you’re just hearing ‘No, no, no’ after each other, and you’re just waiting for that one moment when you get it right.

And you couldn’t distinguish at the start. Like, what did I do that was different? That was annoying. It’s different. But it was it was so subtle.

And Harry could see it, and he could feel it.

And so you started to… you did start to feel, you started to really feel rowing, and feel the stroke.

We used to do a lot of exercise or a lot of rowing with our eyes closed. And you know, that’s a very bizarre feeling when you start off, especially when you’re in a crew, and you’re trying to keep in time and you think that the way you’re keeping in time is to look at the person in front of you.

And Harry said you shouldn’t need to see anything. You should be able to feel what they’re doing.

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About the

Sonia Waddell

Harry chose me as a triallist for the under-23 team, much to the, I guess, shock of everyone in the rowing fraternity as I’d only been rowing for 3 weeks.

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