A little more than a week ago, Dylan Kirby was once again doing his magic on the website. He casually reminded us that the Jeppe Boats and Blades website and for all intense and purposes the initiative went live on the 23rd of March 2020.

I must admit that this came as something of a revelation to me. I had automatically seen December 2020 as the end of what had been a spectacular year.  In reality, with the Jeppe rowing community and the support of Jeppe, it had only taken 9 months to purchase a new world class 8+ and secured 14 other boats and their blades.

All this took place in the midst of a global pandemic is proves the Jeppe motto that for the brave nothing is too difficult!

As we look to the year ahead, we need to ask two important questions.  What do these accomplishments mean for the club and how do we build on what has been achieved?

The answer to the first question, is that Jeppe Rowing now has the capacity to double in size and be sure that each oarsman will have the chance to train and compete.  It also means that with better equipment, crews in all age groups are able to race competitively with both the crews and the club securing podium positions.   The fact that this is now a possibility cannot be overstated.

Building on this, what are our plans for the next year? As a trust we have two primary aims:

  • to equip Jeppe rowing and ensure it continues to make an impact at school and national levels;
  • to build the Jeppe rowing community and ensure that it can support current and future oarsmen in every way possible.

How do we plan to do this?

  • Pay off the remaining R180 000 for the 13 boats acquired on auction.  This will be made possible through your generous donations , auctions and the Adopt a Boat initiative;
  • CSI funding for 20 boys (R10, 000 each) for the 21/22 Season;
  • Corporate sponsorships (with promotional opportunities).  Simon Moore the Director of Jeppe Rowing has identified a number of requirements that the club needs to train and equip the athletes.

To find out more about the CSI and sponsorship opportunities please do contact us on trust@jeppeboatsandblades.co.za .

Lastly, we are very excited to announce that in conjunction with the Crew of ’64, we will be compiling a coffee table book on the history of Jeppe Rowing and the significant impact the club has had on rowing. 

Looking forward to another great year


For the JBB crew

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The interference effect is the phenomenon by which adaptation to concurrent strength training and endurance training is diminished compared to separately training only strength or endurance. This is important for sports like rowing, which requires both great power and great endurance. Rowers must train both strength and endurance, so the challenge of the interference effect in rowing is how to maximize adaptation to, and minimize conflict between, the different forms of training that must necessarily occur concurrently.

Coffey and Hawley (2017) have provided the most basic explanation; single-mode training sends one stimulus to one receptor area, stimulating one set of physiological responses and concurrent training sends multiple stimuli to multiple receptor areas, stimulating multiple responses which may conflict with each other. The principle of specificity of adaptation suggests that the volume, intensity, frequency, and specific mode of training should be as close to the goal outcome as possible for the best results.

However, we know it to be more complex than that in actuality. If it were not, rowing training programs would be nothing more than max effort 2,000m pieces to train for 2,000m performance. Even if you followed this absurdist training approach, you would still find grey area even within specific modes, volumes, intensities, and frequencies of training. Research suggests that a max effort 2,000m rowing performance is around 70-80% aerobic, and around 20-30% anaerobic, so there is a mixed stimulus even in the most specific training situation. Very few activities are 100% aerobic or 100% anaerobic, and even if they are, it’s rare that athletes only train in one modality. Most sports involve concurrent training to some extent, which means managing the divergent stimuli from aerobic and anaerobic training.

The best advice is to master the basics first. Do basic strength training, improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness via multiple means, develop great technique on the water, and of course, make rowing a positive part of your life or the lives of the athletes you coach, and this will yield the greatest results in rowing and beyond.

If you have the basics down, if the athletes you coach are sufficiently advanced, and if you have the ability to structure your training program and organize your sessions, research on the interference effect offers us takeaways that might yield small performance improvements that add up in the big picture.

If you are interested in further rowing research, a great resource is https://rowingstronger.com

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