World Rowing Cup III - Lucerne

09 July 14: Since our triumph in Aiguebelette we have been getting stuck into our work on a 7km lake just 30mins drive from Lucerne. It has been a great location to us, been delivering great flat water to row on as well as great chefs at the hotel serving great food. Ensuring that we are delivering top performances during training. It will be a sad day to say goodbye, but not quite yet, we will be back for 2 weeks straight after the World Cup. Entries for Lucerne are up from Aiguebelette, we have our usual suspects for the medals coming from Denmark, Great Britain and France. We welcome to the party Australia, Italy and the Dutch. All highly worthy of a place in the final and a spot on the podium. We say goodbye to USA and China. Heats are on Friday, Semi Final on Saturday and Final on Sunday with Sky Sport NZ having live coverage on the finals.  Also some idea on what we are up against, have a click through to the following article which talks about one of our top competitors. A very worth while read. http://www.worldrowing.com/news/danish-national-icon-the-lightweight-men-four (Photo is from where we have been training in Sursee).      READ MORE

Avanti Partners with New Zealand Olympic Commitee

02 July 14: Cheery pop vintage bikes are being teamed with sleek, black commuter bikes in a bid to give New Zealand’s Commonwealth Games team the leading edge in Glasgow. Avanti has signed a two year deal to be the official bike supplier of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, initially providing Avanti bikes as transportation around the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village, for the New Zealand team. John Struthers, Avanti founder, said the partnership with the New Zealand Olympic Committee was part of the company’s ongoing commitment to cycling following the sponsorship of the Avanti Racing Team and Avantidrome. "We are proud to be supporting the New Zealand team as they head off to the Commonwealth Games and we’re excited to be part of the build-up to the Olympic Games in 2016. We’re committed to cycling and we’re honoured to be working with our Kiwi athletes to help achieve their sporting dreams." "We wish New Zealander, Stephanie McKenzie, every success at the Commonwealth Games as she rides the high performance Avanti Pista Evo II track frame. While some athletes will be riding Avanti at the Games, we are here to support all the New Zealand Athletes in Glasgow." "Our research team work hard to continually develop our Avanti Design Technology, using leading edge technology right here in New Zealand, to provide bikes for family recreation through to high performance cycling teams," he said. Avanti has provided 10 sleek, black Inc. 2 bikes and 20 Metro 2 bikes with locks and helmets. Both models are designed specifically for urban street riding and will fit well with the requirements of the team as transport around the 35 hectare village, which will be home to more than 6,500 athletes and their team officials. "The Commonwealth Games village is a large area, and we clock up kilometres every day getting around - from the dining hall to the gym, to the medical clinics and back to our apartments," said New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith. "Having fantastic Avanti bikes to ride will save our athletes time and ensure they can rest when they need to. And what’s more they’ll be black, sleek and show the rest of the village that we mean business. READ MORE

Turning the tables

23 June 14: We did this and the result transpired; we won by over 2 seconds to the Danish crew that knocked us off the day prior. To turn that result around within 24 hours with an extra race for us is something that we are pretty chuffed about and is what you can give credit to the Rowing New Zealand training programme that Dick Tonks has installed. Our start wasn’t as fast as the other days, well we didn’t get the lead that we have done. Not to worry or panic, we got to our length and found our rhythm set by our stroke man, Curtis Rapley. James Lassche and I got in behind and got into our work. Long, smooth, powerful strokes. Capped off by Jamie in the bow, setting the boat up and providing the counter balance to Lassche and I. The 2nd 500m is our rhythm, the 3rd 500m is our power phase. We targeted this and we achieved. The fight started off with a 4-way tussle, France, Great Britain and Denmark. Which became 3 by midway with France dropping off. Having a canvas lead at halfway and then moving out to ¾ length over the Danes by 1500m, we were achieving our goal. Being fired up, we started to put our foot on the throat of the other crews, picking the pace up in the last 500m. Clearing out to over a length lead, nobody was going to catch us now. Winning by over 2 seconds to the Danes and a second back to Great Britain. It felt bloody good, and my emotion came out of me where there were a few woohoo’s could be heard afar. I was just so stoked that we were able to turn around the previous days races into a good performance today. Also to cap of a great day was the performances of Mahe Drysdale, winning how he did and so early in his comeback is quite remarkable. Gold also to Emma Twigg, Hamish Bond, Eric Murray and Julia Edward adds to the buzz around the team. Congratulations have to be also given to the Women’s Quad Bronze Medal, choice effort. A big thank you too for all the amazing support back home. Been awesome receiving all the emails and hearing about how everyone is following our team. Special mention to my sponsors, Deloitte, Bankstream, Horleys, 2XU, Avanti Bikes, 2 Degrees Mobile as well as The Pinnacle Programme and Outward Bound. This is what I love to do, set high targets, reaching goals and represent New Zealand at the highest level. Now, we can’t get ahead of ourselves here. It was a tough and successful regatta for us. We have learnt a lot and need to keep improving if we are to keep the performance coming. There are always areas for improvement and we haven’t nailed it yet. We have 3 weeks till our next World Cup and then World Championships at the end of August. All working it’s way to Rio 2016. For now, it is a bloody good feeling.   READ MORE

"You're never too old to make mistakes"

23 June 14: Let’s just say, I’ve learnt my lesson and I will be paying extra attention to my equipment in the lead up to my next race. This is how it played out.... Race morning was wet and cool. Nothing to really worry about, but it was just going to be uncomfortable, more so for the spectators than the athletes though. I really enjoy the challenges of inclement weather conditions, and I think Kiwi’s are bred to deal with whatever gets thrown at us. The proof of that is why there were so many NZer’s on the pro and age group podiums in both the 70.3 and Ironman races that day. I was determined to reach the podium for my Age Group in this race, and I was pretty confident in my fitness. I had tonnes of base, but not much strength or speed, but I figured that was still going to get me in with a shot. The swim course was going to be a great test of strength, navigation and confidence. We had a few good sized breakers to negotiate before getting into a nice clean rolling swell. I was in one of the last age group waves so spent much of the swim navigating through the slower swimmers from the earlier waves. Fortunately it was fairly well spread out. This is where my first mistake came. I have my own neoprene Blue Seventy timing chip strap that I use around my ankle, and I have ALWAYS used a safety pin to keep it in place just in case it gets pulled off my ankle by a following swimmer. For some reason I didn’t go with the safety pin this time, and that coupled with the fact the Velcro was very worn out, meant that the inevitable failure was about to occur. Just as I felt it slip off I flipped over and managed to hold on to the strap by my toes, and in a freak moment of luck, balance and control I grabbed it and reattached to my ankle. As I came out of the water I heard from Kellee I was 7th! Awesome, great news, excellent swim for me. Straight through transition I got to my bike and worked my way through the mud and traffic. Once on the bike I was eager to find anyone around me in my age group. We had a crazy tricky serious of judder bars to get over early in the bike and I was very careful not to crash or lose my nutrition. Once on the highway I waved goodbye to two uber-bikers from my age group as they stomped past me, but I also passed a few of my age group in the first 30km. I had intended to hold back until this point, and I was happy with my energy levels and pace I was holding. I made the decision to pick up the pace, and I worked with another guy in my Age Group as we kept the pace high and steady. I figured I had moved up to about 4th in the age group by the 60km mark. My bike was humming along, and rolling over the undulations beautifully, the slight headwind didn’t even feature. The Avanti Evo2 is built for these conditions and roads. All I had to do was stay aero and not let up. The final 30km I had planned to ride as hard as I could, as the closing stages of the bike is usually where I feel my best. I had dropped my companion and I had passed one of the earlier Uber-Bikers, who must have pushed a bit hard. I had moved up to a strong position, and I was confident of having a good run. Cue mistake number two. At 80km I suffered my first ever flat tyre in a race. What are the chances on brand new tyres? With the rain came a whole heap of glass and grit on the road. A lot of people had been getting flat tyres, so I guess my years of good luck was up. I was carrying a gas powered sealant to quickly repair the puncture, but just my luck it didn’t stay up as long as I needed it to, so at the 85km mark I jumped off my bike and started running it in. Now if I had made the very simple decision of carrying a spare tyre with me this would have only been a blip on what was going to be a very good race for me. But in a moment of laziness the day before I didn’t feel it was necessary to take a spare, opting for a lighter and more aero setup. IDIOT! During my 5km run to the end of the bike I was able to reflect on the decisions I had made, and vowed to make sure I didn’t make that mistake again, and I will be able to prove to my athletes the importance of carrying spares with them. I was totally gutted, and embarrassed that this had happened, but I was glad I didn’t toss my lollies and pull out. I had mates doing the full Ironman, and were going to be suffering a lot more than me, so I was bloody well going to finish it. I finished the bike in 37th place, so had lost a heap of places. Running is a great way to kill your average speed, and I had gone from 38kph to 32kph in the space of 5km. The real downside of this run was that I was barefoot, and by the time and jogged across the line at the end of the bike my calves were tight and my feet were bruised....awesome, let’s run a half marathon. Cue mistake number three. Not that it was going to mean much by this point, but I like to have my Magellan GPS watch to run with. It gives me an idea of how I’m going and something to focus on. But my battery was dead-flat, so this was going to be a blind run. It actually didn’t go as badly as I had expected. I was wearing a very light, flat New Balance racing shoe, which usually are pretty unforgiving and aggressive, but compared to the hard pavement when barefoot these were like a pair of nice soft slippers, and I was really enjoying the run. I had moved from 37th to 21st in the Age Group, and my competitive nature meant I had to sprint down a guy in my AG just before the finishing chute, probably annoying to him, but a small victory to me. So I left the Ironman 70.3 Cairns not disappointed, but actually more circumspect about taking care of the small things. A few lazy decisions and not checking equipment prior to the race cost me dearly in the end. I had a great time at this race and I really recommend it to anyone who wants an early winter get away. The training in NZ leading into it is really good, so it isn’t that hard to get out and bank some miles. I’m certainly going back next year, I have a score to settle. READ MORE

We are about to Race!

19 June 14: We have left behind the comforts of home and have set up camp in the South of France. It sounds nice, a bit of wine, cheese and sightseeing, why not? Aspiring to be my best is why not. I haven’t even made it outside the hotel grounds on foot yet. It is purely a competition mindset going on at the moment. We checked into our hotel on Saturday morning after 39 hours of travel and we kick off World Rowing Cup II on Friday morning (Friday night NZ time). No time to play tourist on this trip… well not just yet. We picked up our brand new Filippi boat and hit the waters on a near by river to get as much prep in as we can before we start racing. Some of the locals are not to fond of us rowing contingent being here, restricting the use of Lake Aigbuelette to only a few days before racing and during. Aparently we cause too much of a destruction to the natural environment and ruin the fishing! Ha. Surprise surprise, the French don’t like change. Our prep back in New Zealand had gone well, getting in some decent k’s on the water, racing down over 2,000m in healthy times and getting our weight down for the first time for the International season. This put us in a good mood departing our shores. What lies ahead for us is the World Rowing Cup II this weekend, followed by another World Cup in Switzerland and then culminating in Amsterdam for the World Rowing Championships at the end of August. For now we have 12 countries entered for our event. No surprise we see the current World Champions and newly crowned European Champions of Denmark take the top seed. Also in notable presence are Great Britain, the 2013 World Championships Bronze medalists as well as 2013 Finalists, USA and France. Some great competition to put ourselves up against. A miss from this regatta are the Italians, Australians, Germany, Holland and South Africa. You can follow us live through the Heats and Semi Finals on www.worldrowing.com and the finals racing will be televised on Sky Sport Live! So get following and get behind us once again. It is going to be a great season. READ MORE

Nice to be winning at nearly 42!

09 June 14: The new swim course at Palm cove was beautiful but I had a shocking swim and could not find any rhythm in what was a very choppy swim. I was out of the water 4:30mins behind the leaders which wasn't a nice feeling but I was hopeful of catching the leaders at some point if I rode well. Soon after the 40km mark we caught Tim Berkel and the only person ahead now was former three time World champion Peter Robertson. We managed to reel in Robo at the 105km mark, I was starting to feel much better now but was still looking forward to getting off the bike without any mishaps, there were plenty of athletes suffering punctures due to the rain and that was the last thing I needed. The last 30km off the bike were tough with rain and a strong head wind all the way into Cairns, the group had now dropped to four riders which included Peter Robertson, Tim Berkel, Matt Burton and myself. The new three lap run course was all on the Cairns Esplande so it was great viewing for all the spectators who were soaked at this stage but still on course to support the 3000 athletes in the Ironman and 70.3 race. Tim Berkel took off like it was a 10km race with Peter chasing hard a few seconds back, I tried to stay close but we were running at 3:30km/pace and I didn't want to explode later on in the race. I managed to bridge up to the leaders at around 8km and we ran together for the next 5km before Robo finally fell off. I could then sense Tim was starting to tire at the 21km mark when a small gap opened up, 5meters turned into 10 and then 20. With 14km and one lap to go my lead was 2mins. I was hopeful I could hold on but could also feel my calf muscle tightening up so was worried I could pull up at any time if I wasn't careful. The final 2km was fantastic and I finally start to relax and enjoy the moment even though I was still in a world of pain having just run a 2:44hr marathon. It was great to win my 12th Ironman tittle and to also be the oldest professional to ever win an Ironman. I'll be having a few easy weeks off to recover and get ready for the season ahead.   Results 1st Cameron BROWN (NZL) 8:20:14 2nd Tim VAN BERKEL (AUS) 8:23:22 3rd Peter ROBERTSON (AUS) 8:33:25 4th Matt BURTON (AUS) 8:35:18 5th Jarmo HAST (FIN) 8:41:23 READ MORE

Cairns Ironman this weekend

06 June 14: I'm looking forward to this race after a shocker last year and having to pull out after being sick through race week and seeing stars at the 2km mark on the run. My form is good and I've had a great build up, I made sure I arrived in Cairns early to cope with the 30°c heat as New Zealand heads into winter and temps only reaching 16°c. As always head to  http://www.ironmanlive.com/ for all race day coverage and live feeds this sunday. The Ironman starts at 7:45am(9:45am NZ time) and the 70.3 race starting at 6:35am(8:35am NZ time).   I'll be in touch straight after Sunday's race.     READ MORE

Avanti Racing Team Duel Asian Attack

05 June 14: Half the team will saddle up for the tough Tour of Korea a UCI 2.1 with the other half in West Sumatra for the Tour De Singkarak both starting on the 8th June. Korea will be Jack Haig’s last race with the team before heading off to the Jayco World Tour Academy. Haig is definitely a star on the rise and he will be looking for a good result. Mark O’Brien will also be a contender after a strong run of results in the last two weeks but the team has numerous options. “We’ll focus on stages first and foremost” said team manager Andrew Christie-Johnston. “We have guys that could do well overall but we are up against some really good Pro-Continental Teams so we’ll have to get the right guys in the right moves. We’ve had a bad run of injuries recently but the team has most bases covered with guys that can sprint and guys that can climb.”  4500km away the other half of the team line up for The Tour De Singkarak and whilst it isn’t the same classification as Korea the terrain and length of the tour make it a real challenge. “Singkarak has a bit of everything, the stages are long and when you climb you really climb” said team manager Steve Price. Jack Beckinsale will be in the mix and showed at the Tour of Japan that he has the ability and tenacity to figure as does Brenton Jones who will target the flatter stages. General Classification hopes will be shared between Taylor Gunman and Matt Clark but once again the team will take a fairly relaxed approach to the overall. “To be honest despite having raced here in 2012 we aren’t too sure what to expect competition wise. We’re up against Tabriz and a couple of other Iranian teams so it depends on what form they bring. Sometimes they are human sometimes they’re super human…we’ll see” Price said. Avanti Racing Team for KoreaMark O’Brien, Jack Haig, Ben Dyball, Anthony Giacoppo, Neil Van Der Ploeg and Aaron Donnelly Avanti Racing Team for SingkarakJack Beckinsale, Mitchell Lovelock-Fay, Taylor Gunman, Tom Robinson, Brenton Jones, Matt Clark and Sam DavisSponsors of the Avanti Racing Team include Avanti Bikes, Praties, Shimano, Giro, Torq Nutrition, Champion Systems, Motion, Adidas Eyewear, BioCeuticals, Kenda tyres, Park Tools, Easton, Zero, High Sierra, Rocktape, Aussie Butt Cream. For further information:Steve Price – Director, Australian Performance Cycling Network Inc. Avanti Racing TeamPh: 0439991490 Email: steve@avantiracingteam.com.au READ MORE