Birthdate13 Nov 1992
|W8+||AUS||FA Final||2||05:59.630||View Details|
|W8+||AUS||R1 Repechage||2||06:06.070||View Details|
|W8+||AUS||H1 Heat||2||06:09.420||View Details|
Athlete of the Month – May 2020
Australian Georgina Rowe used to row surf boats through the breaking waves before changing to the smoother waters of rowing a few years ago. She was part of the silver medal winning women’s eight at the 2019 World Rowing Championships. She’s put the corona virus lockdown to good use – breaking four world indoor rowing records.
World Rowing: How is your 2020 going so far?
Georgina Rowe: There was a big build-up of anticipation for 2020, the countdown was on to a very exciting few months of racing overseas and then hopefully onto the Olympic Games. It’s fair to say it hasn’t gone to plan for anyone anywhere in the world. We had a very disruptive summer with the devastation of the Australian bushfires and then just as we were gaining momentum, Covid-19 hit. I guess the silver lining is that we all got to go home and spend some time with our loved ones. My brother and sister in-law have just had a beautiful baby girl, it’s been wonderful to be around for that.
WR: Are you training differently because of COVID-19 restrictions?
GR: Yes, stepping away from our training centre has required a lot of logistical changes around training. The fundamentals remain the same but I’ve had to adapt to different ways of training. Nothing is foreign as we have such a thorough programme with a lot of variety but it’s been great to be able to get into the ocean more and move my body in ways that I don’t usually do.
WR: What are the pluses and minuses of those changes?
GR: It’s great being close to home and being around friends and family but the challenge is the quality of training. The environment we are in daily is very competitive and forces you to go to a new level every session, training on your own at home is enjoyable but that intensity is very difficult to replicate.
WR: Why did you become a rower? And why do you stick with it?
GR: I’ve always loved the water and I have a passion for all sports - combining them was a no brainer for me. My aunty went to the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics for kayaking and initially I thought I’d have a similar journey. Kayaking was great but as I got older, I fell out of love with it and the surf club community led me down the surf boat rowing path. I row because I like the challenge - it’s a tough sport and requires a lot of mental and physical strength. I also love the feeling of moving through the water in unison with your crew. There’s this beautiful sense of freedom when you’re out on the water, no distractions, just your craft, your crew and your coach. It’s simple.
WR: Do you ever miss the action of rowing through the waves in a surf boat?
GR: I’d be lying if I said no, rowing surf boats is an exhilarating experience. You could be standing on the beach with two metre waves coming at you and you have to put all your trust into your sweep and hope you get out the back [of the breaking waves] safely and in front of any other crew. It can be scary and dangerous but the adrenaline rush is fantastic and the laughs you have afterwards are what keeps you coming back for more. So yes, I do miss the action a lot but I miss the surf boat community as a whole.
WR: What is your most memorable race?
GR: I have two. In 2015 my Collaroy surf boat crew and I won the Aussie titles. That is still my favourite most memorable rowing race ever. Winning that event with your three best mates was something we dreamed of and when it happened the feeling was euphoric.
In 2019, at the second World Rowing Cup, I raced in the women’s eight. We had a fantastic race and I think we surprised ourselves with how hot we came out of the blocks. We led the whole race. Our coxswain James Rook called a fantastic race. It felt like everything came together on the day and we were able to produce a very good race.
WR: How do you approach an indoor rowing competition compared with one on water?
GR: I can’t give away too many secrets but I have a routine that I know very well. I do the same warm up every time and I prepare myself as best I can re nutrition, hydration and sleep. I also know that if I haven’t prepared well that I am still able to produce good results. I like to get myself in the right headspace and then I know I can go for it.
WR: What is your next big goal?
GR: My goals haven’t changed they’ve just been pushed back 12 months. I’m constantly striving for improvements. I want to have a solid domestic season under my belt and put myself in the best position possible to make the Olympic team next year and then go on to winning a gold medal.
WR: What do you do when you are not rowing?
GR: I like to do things that make me feel good, whether that be working as a nurse, yoga, reading, getting amongst nature or catching up with friends and family. I make an effort to nurture my relationships with people as they have a huge importance in my life.
WR: Which athlete do you most admire?
GR: I admire many athletes but I’ve got to say the 24 female athletes that I’m surrounded by every single day that push me to limits that I didn’t think were possible are without doubt the core to what keeps me going. And probably Sarah Pound.