Skinny arms coming in to the finish

29 May 2021

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I remember one particular day I was out with Harry and I think we were working a little bit on the finish. I was trying to figure out how to […] the finish.

And the thing with Harry was he got you to work hard. He was hard. He got me to pull really hard and work, work hard… push really hard, I should say.

And I remember one day I was working and he was talking about the finish and I was thinking about [pay to?] the finish and it had to be like you were scraping your fingers down a blackboard. So when the teacher scrapes their fingers on the blackboard… I had to scrape it right in here. But then, I was then slower around here.

And I remember Harry saying to me, ‘Ok, now you’re scraping in the last bit. Now I want you to just copy my arms, and just pretend you don’t have those big muscles in your arms. Pretend you’ve got skinny arms like me’.

And I remember him sitting in the motorboat behind and getting his skinny arms to go like this. So I scraped it in and then I was already loose and skinny around here.

And as I did that, I could feel the boat picking up and it felt like the boat was going faster. And then I had the speedometer on the boat… I had the speed in front of me with the impeller under the boat… and I could see the boat was going faster. And so Harry said, ‘Look, look what’s happening to the speed. I’m having to change the speed of the motorboat to keep up with you’. He was changing the speed of the motorboat.

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Greg Searle

British rower Greg Searle was already an Olympic Champion in sweep rowing when he was first coached by Harry Mahon in the single scull.

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