Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood Over Water, 4 Aug. 2009
This review is from: Blood Over Water (Hardcover)
I live in the Western U.S., and I could not find this book at any bookstore (Powells, Barnes and Noble), nor any library. I even checked the NYC Public Library and the Library of Congress online, but my searches found nothing.

I was referred to amazon.uk by a friend who had studied at Durham University, and who had used the UK service before. The delivery and service were terrific.

The book should be of some great interest to rowers and those who follow rowing or train as a rower might on the ergo and weight circuits. Those who have not rowed in the UK, like myself, likely cannot comprehend the "boat race" mental construct, which motivates, guides, and perpetuates training for one race held only one time per year. The only event I can compare it to in the States is the Army-Navy football game, where winning that match-up determines success or failure for the season.

However, this book, a journal kept by 2 bright and lively lads who competed against each other in the boat race as brothers, brings home precisely the stakes involved in winning the Oxford-Cambridge race: nothing short of success in this race will mean success for the year for the coaches, the old boys, and the crew members.

Shortly after I purchased and began reading this book. I discovered a video on U Tube of a researcher in business psychology, who worked out (some) and spent time with one of these crews in order to understand the psyhchology underlying the crew. This researcher gave lectures to business executives demonstrating how those qualities necessary to successfully constitute the crew might be applied to successful strategies by the business teams.

As this book makes potently clear, the fastest or even the strongest rowers do not always complement the others in the 8-oar skull, and so the successful 8 plus cox requires something more.

I found the book terrific, although that may have resulted from an interest in the subject matter and sports psychology.

By the way, does one know that the blue blazer given each memeber of the
Cambridge 'Blue" crew has no identifying crest patched on, unlke the other sports clubs.

Don't you want to know why? This is just one detail found in this book that gives the story cred. The writing is plain, detailed, and straighforward (no Walter Scott here), but the details are fascinating.
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