Rising Star - April 2014
South African rower David Hunt says the first time he dreamt of rowing for his country was while listening to Ramon di Clemente talk about his Olympic bronze medal at his club. Hunt’s dreams have come true. Not only has he represented his country, but he has picked up one gold and two silver medals at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in the men’s pair as well as a seventh place finish at the 2013 World Rowing Cup in Lucerne (SUI).
Currently balancing a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a full-time training schedule, Hunt’s goal stretches into the future; a gold medal at the 2024 Olympic Games. His talent, success and determination have made him World Rowing’s Rising Star.
I get annoyed when... My internet connection is slow, there is nothing worse than waiting ages for a web page to load.
Sweep or scull? Sweep, but only because I have spent the majority of my rowing career in sweep boats, I am sure that I could learn to love sculling if I had the opportunity.
Right before a race I… Make sure everything is tight, say one last thing to the person in front of me, take three deep breaths and try to empty my mind until the race starts.
On the erg, I listen to... The sound of the fan. I make sure every stroke I take is preparing my mind and body for racing and there is no music during a race.
My non-rowing friends think… I am insane! Most of them have tried the erg at some stage and can't imagine anything related to it being even remotely fun.
My favourite boat to row... The coxless pair because, for me the more control I have over the boat speed and feel, the better. Also, in the pair you get immediate feedback from the boat when you make a technical change and this makes it feel like you are always improving, which makes long blocks of winter training easier to manage mentally.
2k or 5k? 5k, there is more time to execute a race plan.
I’m most relaxed when... I am riding my mountain bike in the mountains somewhere.
My favourite workout is… Any session on the water where the coaches line me up next a crew that is a similar speed to me. Particularly short, high rate pieces like 500m or 1000m pieces.
Who would you most like to row in a crew with? Drew Ginn
I row because... It’s a bit of an addiction. I can't get enough of pushing myself to the absolute limit every day in order to make the best I can produce in a boat better than what anyone else can produce on race day.
My favourite food is... Pizza. It’s the one food I could eat every day for a week and not get sick of it.
In ten years’ time… I would ideally like to have found a good balance between work and training and be doing my final preparations for a shot at gold at the 2024 Olympics.