“When you train with someone
else you are helping each other,”
says Drysdale who has also
trained with Tufte. “One person
is not necessarily getting more
benefit. But,” admits Drysdale,
“during the racing season we
keep our distance. At regattas we
can be social, then on the water
for seven minutes we are not
Cup winner, Campbell. “I still
can’t quite put my finger on it, but
I’m an only child and I’ve always
been able to amuse myself.”
“In the single I’m totally
responsible for my performance.
It’s a big pressure. This pressure
is not good for me, but the feeling
after a good race is a lot stronger,”
this year has championed three
different winners. The goal of
being the best will continue to be
an ongoing journey of discovery.
“You have to be kind of stubborn,”
says Tufte. “You have to be stupid
enough to do enough.”
“I don’t have to rely on someone
else. If I don’t achieve it’s my own
fault,” says Drysdale. “I love having
control over my own destiny.”
Winner of the 1968 Olympics, and
the Netherlands’ only ever gold in
the single, Jan Wienese, now in
his 60s, still rows his single today
and is still looking to master the
Hacker’s approach is relatively
insular. It’s him, his coach Andreas
Maul and a small support team.
“Most of the time I train alone,”
says Hacker speaking from
his pre-World Championships
altitude training location in St.
Moritz, Switzerland where he
says he has little time to worry
about his competition.
“We like to train more than our
friends and therefore have to
train in the single,” says Karonen.
“I also think that the single
sculler just wants to depend on
themselves in good and bad.”
The need for self-dependence is a
Unlike the current women’s
event, no one athlete dominates.
There are at least six contenders
that could all put themselves in
the top spot. And they all know
it. Three Rowing World Cups
“It’s just like a woman, you think
you can understand it, but you
can never understand it,” says
Wienese in The Perfect Stroke.
“I flipped recently. I still have not
gained full control of the boat.”
“I don’t have a guide (mentor) as
I currently hold the World Best
Time,” Hacker adds.
Differences abound between these
individuals, but they sit hesitantly
side by side with similarities.
“People say we’re a little crazy.”
Both current World Champion
Drysdale and World Best
Time holder, Hacker, echo this
comment. “You have to be a
little bit crazy, a loner,” says the
Netherlands top sculler, Sjoerd
Hamburger. “Being by yourself is
a little addictive.”
© 2006 Getty Images
“I get asked about my personality Mahe Drysdale (NZL)
a lot,” says first Rowing World