Becoming a member of the Rowing Club Graz most recently has brought me to covering the City Graz Race last Saturday on the River Mur.
One of the still hidden secrets of the City of Graz when you talk to people is the fact that you can actually row on our River Mur and that the Rowing Club Graz provides the possibility to attend courses to learn how to row if you engage with locals in a discussion.
So far still a newbie in the rowing world I decided to document the recent Race on the River Mur that brought several rowing clubs together to compete in the discipline eight boat racing for people unfamiliar to rowing, meaning that eighth people row in one boat, not as usual three to five like in normal rowing boats and that you do not have two oars each but simply one per person that are distributed to both sides equally by means of every second rower having one oar pointing in the same direction, boats mainly used for professional racing.
One of the greatest misconceptions by the general public is the distinction between paddling and rowing as they simply did not grow up with it like me, not being priviledged enough to be sitting in a rowing boat from early childhood onwards.
Rowing for me has a lot to do with music as well as you hear and feel the progress of being in a team in a boat yourself whilst rowing up and down the stream when everyone is pulling in the same direction and the team becomes one, perfectly rowing together, moving a boat across the river with a fine sizzling sound when the oars are moved backwards in the right manner.
When documenting the race I was early and took a photograph of the participating rowing club LIA, who are the first existing rowing club in Vienna, who went up to the starting point where the race began. The moment they passed I heard their tact when the oars hit into the water and gently swirled across the surface of the river backwards and that moment I knew we had no chance to win.
You might ask yourself why the sound is so important and looking at the live pictures I took several times to analyse why our team from Rowing Club Graz did not make it in the end, I realised that we had a similar technique but simply weren’t in the same tact entirely. Not a single additional rowing stroke audible, no clacking of the oar against the one behind, simply a perfect brief cut into the water and a fast follow up stroke afterwards.
Nonetheless retrospectively it can be said that it is a great success to win against a team of that caliber once, with rowers participating, who took part in olympic games before and make it their sole discipline to row in the eighth boat all over the year and I look forward to our progress for the next year to compete again when we perfected our technique, maybe I am as far at that point to join the team myself.
For the moment I enjoy the club evening rowing training still as a newbie training and learning from those in my club Rowing Club Graz, that won a race against olympic games rowers from our friends in Vienna Rowing Club LIA at the beginning of the tournament.
The finals were a close head to head race between Vienna University and LIA Rowing Club Vienna resulting in a win of the tournament by LIA Rowing Club Vienna.
The extended living room of the City of Graz I called the River Mur banks in my concept for the Sculpture Garden on the River Mur and it indeed is extended to the Rowing Club Graz which can be reached by foot from the centre of Graz in 6,5 kilometres taking about 1,5 hours to engage in a truly royal sport with people who have the same interest, to excel and make the river their own for two hours of rowing in the club evenings every week.
How to become part of the rowing community if you do not yet have heard of it get in touch with the rowing club Graz and subscribe to their newsletter on their website: http://www.ruderclub-graz.at
One hint for those taking part in the rowing classes, wear a T-shirt covering your back entirely, it is called rowing shirt but every rower knows, that the back has to be covered to prevent yourself from sun burns if rowing during the day especially the lunch time hours.
I hope you enjoyed my first cover of a sports event that had nothing to do with my work as a curator for contemporary art and Wealth Adviser for Art as Investment. In the boat, I take the commands given by the boats woman or man, like the entire team in the boat, allowing for a team effort resulting in something that is both physically demanding and keeps people engaging in a singular goal, to move a boat across the river.
Someone once asked me once what my hobbies are, I did not know the answer as my life consisted of work alone but now I can say my hobby is rowing and I try to excel as best as I can to be part of the rowing community in the City of Graz and train after work to keep a perfect balance between work and private life. As I won every possible medal in walking challenges already in the past month, I take on a new challenge to master something I so far did not engage in the best I can guided by professionals in this field.
All my best and have a lovely summer,
Daniela Haberz, M.A.
Curator & Wealth Adviser for Art as Investment & Rowing newbie
Photo Credits: Daniela Haberz, M.A. for AØH Art Consultancy Haberz e.U.
Contact Rowing Club Graz: