Pinsent is a legend. I'm a rower, so I'm biased, but he's known as a nice guy with the physiology of a small horse and an inability to lose. He's a massive man, a private personality and the junior partner to the living legend Sir Steve Redgrave. When the junior partner has four Olympic Golds and countless World Championship medals, you realise that it's time for someone to come out of the shadows.
This book isn't challenging, but it's a good read. He doesn't obviously make many allowances for non-rowers, there are plenty of technical terms in there which perhaps a non-rower might not be able to always skip over, but that's not really a criticism. What comes across clear as day is that he's someone who doesn't take for granted that what he is, what he does and what he has achieved. He seems very balance, personable, humble and grateful.
But there's so much not here that would have made the book even better. It's very factual, lots of descriptions of races and of specific events. He doesn't spend a massive amount of time analysing and parsing through the things he's experienced.
For several years he was a member of the IOC, yet this isn't even mentioned! I would have found his inside story on that shady institution fascinating. Perhaps he hankers to return or was worried that his comments might have damaged London's 20112 bid? But to not even mention it seemed strange.
Similarly, in the lead up to Sydney, one of the reasons that the Coxless Four was so popular was the TV programme Gold Fever, yet he didn't mention that for 18 months he and his crew had video diaries. It would have been interesting to learn about how that affected them.
It rolls along easily enough and you'll learn some things; non-rowers especially, will get a good picture of just what it is that drives us rowers to train for hours and hours on cold winter mornings. It's inspirational ... and there enough gaps that volume two, when it appears, will be worth reading, too.