In various papers and research articles, the differences of the kinetics and kinematics between ergometer rowing and water rowing are highlighted.

First of all on an ergometer, the handle force has a higher peak and develops later, the stroke length tends to be 3-5% longer and the curve of foot stretcher force is considerably moved towards the beginning of the stroke. An important point is that the legs:trunk:arms proportions of power development on an ergometer are 37% : 41% : 22% compared to 45% : 37% : 18% for on water rowing. This means that the trunk is doing a larger proportion of the work on an ergometer. All of these factors potentially lead to an increased load applied to the structures of the trunk, and particularly the spine. Greater work done by the trunk could produce earlier fatigue of the trunk muscles, placing the spine at risk.

Interestingly, Holt et al (2003) studied the effects of prolonged ergometer rowing. Over a 60 minute piece there were significant changes in the way the athletes moved. Lumbar spine range of motion at the catch and total lumbar spine range of motion increased during the piece. The gradient of force production decreased, and the ratio of drive to recovery time increased, over the piece. The authors attributed these changes to fatigue of the trunk muscles during the piece, reinforcing that fatigued trunk muscles may lead to low back injury.

In addition, Teitz et al (2002) conducted a retrospective study of 1632 US intercollegiate rowers. By the use of detailed questionnaires they established that 32% of these athletes had experienced back pain of at least one week’s duration during their rowing careers. The use of rowing ergometers for greater than 30 minutes per session and free weights were the variables most consistently associated with back pain.

This research suggests that there perhaps is a link between the amount of time the athletes spend on the ergometer (under greater trunk load than when on the water,) with less desirable technique and postural positions. The end result is an increased load on the spine which may increase the risk of injury.

It is therefore essential coaches have the ability to coach the correct technique on the ergo taking into account the difference forces impacting on the body compared to rowing on the water.

Jeppe rowers were able to compete at the SA National Regatta at Roodeplaat on 01/02 May 2021 after a very long hiatus.


This event is usually held annually towards the end of April, for senior rowing clubs and provincial/national junior athletes. However, in 2021 school clubs we invited included after the SA Schools Championship could not be staged in March because of the Covid-19 restrictions on sport.

As the regatta was planned during the public school holidays, Jeppe were not able to send a full team as. Thus it was a great opportunity to embrace the Jeppe Team Spirit, and establish crews that were a mix of fitness and technical prowess.

The Under-18 Eight crew, for example, was a mixture of senior and junior rowers. They rowed in an older boat, “Kitty” which is roughly 11 years old. Damascus, the clubs most recent purchase thanks to the efforts of Jeppe Boats and Blades, will only be used by official 1st teams in official school regattas, so it’s debut has been delayed. The young and mixed Jeppe eight came third, never-the-less, which was a very good result for them.

Rowing Head Coach , Mr Chris Paynter, points out that the main thing was to give the boys an opportunity to compete in a real competition in a year when that didn’t seem likely.

“We did very well, however,” he said. “Jeppe crews won a number of medals, including numerous golds, and our rowers who were in the SA Development Squad boats also came home with medals.”

The medal winners were:

Under-15 Single Scull, Gold – Logan Roodt
Under-15 Double Scull, Gold – Logan Roodt, Mario Alho
Under-16 Pair Oar, Bronze – Troy Jarvis, Liam Anderson
Under-18 Pair Oar, Bronze – Darian Ferreira , Sven Clausen
Under-18 Quad, Gold – Robert Preston, Liam McCourt, Joshua Gillespie, Darian Ferreira, Sven Clausen
U18 Coxed Four, Gold – Robert Preston, Michael Concalves, Joshua Gillespie, Darian Ferreira, Sven Clausen
U18 Eight, Bronze – Robert Preston, Troy Jarvis, Blayde Franken, Terence Laughton, Mandla Green, Christiano De Freitas, Joshua Gillespie, Darian Ferreira, Sven Clausen

The following Jeppe rowers won medals while rowing for the SA National Development Squads (under-15 and under-16).
Under-15 – Logan Roodt Gold (Oct), Gold (Quad); Mario Alho Gold (Oct), Gold (Quad)
Under-16 – Blayde Franken Gold (Coxed Four and Eight); Mandla Green Gold (Eight), Silver (Coxed Four), Bronze (Single Scull); Cristiano de Freitas Gold (Eight and Coxed Four).

All in all it was a fantastic regatta and so good for our boys to be back on the water again.

We have a great new prize up for grabs a raffle for a 3 night mid week getaway at Rooibos Bush Lodge in Hoedspruit for 4 adults and 2 children valued at R12,000. Limited to 100 tickets at R200 per ticket. Buy your tickets here

In conjunction with Simon Moore, director of Jeppe rowing and the rowing club, we are pleased to announce that with the use of drones, we will be streaming three events from SA Champs 2021 this Sunday. The 3 events will be:

JM16 4+ Final – 14:38

JM16 4x Final – 15:38 (Junior Women)

JM18 8+ Final – 16:26

By using drone’s for the streaming, you will get up real close and see all the race action. Simon Moore says:

‘We believe Jeppe are at the forefront of technology with pursuing this technological capability and also believe it will create greater amount of access/ exposure to rowing and therefore help grow the profile of the sport’.

Viewing is free and YouTube links will be provided on the Backsplash and Jeppe Boats and Blades Facebook pages 10 minutes before the race starting times.

It would be great to get your feedback on the races and on the quality of the feeds.

See you at the races on Sunday

2020 was a phenomenal year for Jeppe Rowing. In reading this statement the natural conclusion would be to look for the results achieved at regattas. COVID 19 restrictions put a stop to that, so instead we will measure success through other achievements.

Thanks to the support and generosity of the school, the Jeppe Rowing Club and Jeppe boys (past and present), Jeppe Boats and Blades raised R500 000 to purchase “Damascus” for the 1st 8 crew. This in itself was a significant achievement but 2020 still had a lot more to give and we were able to acquire another 13 boats (complete with blades) for the club.


These additions to the fleet will ensure that many more Jeppe oarsmen have the opportunity to train and race with confidence, allowing Jeppe Rowing to grow in size and be a force to be reckoned with in every age group.
The first objective for Jeppe Boats and Blades in 2021 is to settle the acquisition of these boats. At R220 000 it represents less than half the amount we needed to raise in 2020. Thanks to the support of the old boys, the adoption of boats by Martin Maine (JRD Tomlinson) and Claudio Salassa (Gladius) we have already raised R50 000. To read the stories of all our successful projects please visit our website .
In addition to the generous monthly contributions Jeppe Boats and Blades receives, we are looking to settle the R170 000 balance through our Adopt a Boat initiative. There are a number of boats (4+, pairs and sculls) looking to be adopted.

How does Adopt a Boat work?
An individual, crew or group of people adopt a boat at R10 000 a seat (Section 18a tax certs available)
They get the naming rights of that boat
The boat is launched with its given name
If you are interested in adopting a boat please do get in touch with us and we will provide you with next steps.

Yes, I want to get involved with the “Adopt A Boat” programme

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Sunday the 11th April 2021 will leave an indelible memory for every person who attended the event or watched the live stream from around the world.


The success of the event that coincided with Jeppe Rowing’s year end prize giving event was a fitting tribute to the efforts of everyone who made it possible.
The christening of JRD Tomlinson and Damascus are milestones in their own right too. The impact of these two boats on Jeppe Rowing cannot be overstated. As Simon Moore said in his speech, Jeppe Rowing is indeed entering into a new era.


It is said that a picture paints 1000 words and this video clip does just that. Martin Maine is seen christening the boat he adopted and named after JRD Tomlinson who started rowing at Jeppe and schoolboy rowing in the Transvaal. This is followed by Michelle Kirby and Christopher Midlane christening Damascus and a ‘row-by’ with the current 1st 8 getting the boat on the water for the first time. The launches are testimony that together, we can achieve anything we put our minds to and together we celebrate and pay tribute to every Jeppe Oarsmen through the ages.

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The Kiwi Pair,” the New Zealand pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, was the most successful men’s pair in the history of rowing. In addition to world records, gold medals, and total dominance during their unbeaten streak of 2009-2016, the duo are known for shaking things up and not being afraid to train differently, and for openly questioning some of the dogma in rowing training. It became known at some point that the duo were not doing traditional strength training with barbells and free weights. “The Kiwi Pair Doesn’t Lift” then became a meme around the Internet to justify a lack of strength training in rowing programs.

Fortunately, Eric Murray himself had a chance to set the record straight when he appeared as a guest on Rowperfect UK’s “Rowing Chat” podcast. Host Rebecca Caroe was kind enough to read the question verbatim, and it has been reproduced the discussion below with some additional notes to follow.

RC: “Our next question comes from Will Ruth, who says, “The Kiwi Pair Doesn’t Lift” is often bandied about on the Internet as rationalization for lack of strength training in other rowing programs, elite and otherwise. I’ve only been able to find passing mentions in interviews and articles, so I would be interested to hear his own account. Did you ever do strength training (bodyweight, bands, weights, etc.) in your life or career? Where does strength training fit (or not fit) into your philosophy of rowing training?

Murray didn’t say exactly when he started strength training, but he rowed and played rugby in high school before graduating in 1999. If he started as a high school student-athlete, he may have had up to 11-15 years of strength training before he cut things back to plyometric, bodyweight, resistance band, and core exercises in 2010.

He specifically says that he doesn’t think the absence of strength training would work for big boats, only for singles, doubles, and pairs.

Murray talks about maxing deadlift at 200kg (440lbs). It’s not clear if this is hypothetical or actually what he was able to deadlift, but that’s a very reasonable number for an elite rower to be able to lift for a max, and also a very reasonable number at which a rower might say, “hey, I’m strong enough for rowing, adding more to my max is going to require a significant amount of work and may not help me as much on the water,” and begin prioritizing other forms of training that will yield greater returns.

The Bottom Line:

Use strength training as part of your rowing training to build your base of strength and muscle and improve performance especially in bigger boats. When you’ve done this for YEARS, consider your strength training in the context of the rest of your training program and maybe, if you’re on a high-performance track in small boats, consider cutting it down to “just” bodyweight, plyometrics, resistance band, and core work. If “years,” “high-performance,” and “small boats” doesn’t describe you and your training…it’s probably best to get back to strength training

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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

Greg

For the JBB crew

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