Backsplash: The Box Set

The Rowing Gallery at the River and Rowing Museum, the venue for the 2017 Rowing History Conference.

22 January 2018

Tim Koch experiences déjà vu all over again.

Any numbers of Hollywood movies have illustrated the dangers and problems of time travel. Nonetheless, a grant from the British Association of Rowing Journalists has made it possible to visit an event three months past – ‘Backsplash’, the 2017 Rowing History Conference at Henley’s River and Rowing Museum. At the time, the eclectic mix of speakers was videoed and the edited results have now been put on YouTube for viewing ‘on demand’. Perhaps even the most hardened HTBS type may not want to binge-watch all six hours in one go, but there is a separate link to each of the six speakers recorded. Get yourself a cup of coffee, a Danish pastry and a hard chair – and you can imagine that you were here.

Is HTBS’s Greg Denieffe giving the best-selling writer, Daniel James Brown, his autograph?

The keynote speaker, Daniel James Brown, the author of the million-plus selling book The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (2013) did not disappoint. Enjoy his talk here.

Peter Mallory has already put his contribution to the conference, 17 August 1829: A Singular Day on the Thames Tideway, on HTBS in words and pictures. Now experience it in sound and vision here.

Ali Gill interviewed Mike Spracklen about his 40-year international coaching career, one that has included 14 World and Olympic wins and numerous clashes with national rowing establishments. The result reveals a man who knows his own mind and who has no regrets.

Mike Spracklen, Peter Mallory, Colleen Orsmond and the MC, Robert Treharne Jones in a panel discussion.

Few would expect the President of Leander Club to be a revolutionary, but it is perfectly possible to argue that the present incumbent of this honoured post is precisely that. Jeremy ‘Rass’ Randall was one of the leaders of the 1983 ‘Storming of the Pink Palace’ when he and some other younger members replaced the old guard on the committee, paving the way for the thriving, prosperous and successful Leander of today. Jeremy’s story of Cerise Revolt is here (unfortunately, technical difficulties meant the second half of the talk was not recorded).

Andy Triggs Hodge has three Gold Olympic medals. By listening to his talk on his career and his motivations, Optimism & Confidence, we can have some better understanding on what it takes to make a champion.

South African, Colleen Orsmond, competed in 11 World Rowing Championships, seven World Cups and the Olympics of 1996. After retiring from international rowing, she built a career with FISA. Unsurprisingly, she spoke on ‘a life shaped by rowing’ – the life in question being hers.

Roll the end credits.

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