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Coxswain Veritas
Pete Cipollone, Olympic gold medalist, coxing the 1997 Head Of The Charles
September 20, 2010

Digitizing of audio files thanks to Pete Cipollone and Oli Rosenbladt.

Pete Cipollone, 1997 World Champion

Transcript of the 1997 Head of the Charles


Pete Cipollone coxing the 1997 Head of the Charles
    Pete Cipollone coxed the record-breaking US Rowing entry in the Charles, which started first and finished first. The crew was not identical to the World Champion crew, but made up of various members of the 1997 US Team.

  • Audio: Pete Cipollone coxes the 1997 Head of the Charles

    Dramatis personae, from bow to stern:

      Michael Callahan, Washington '96
      Ben Holbrook, Brown '97
      Kurt Borcherding, Wisconsin '90
      Matt Madigan, Santa Clara, '93
      Mike Wherley, Minnesota '95
      Phil Henry, Washington '94
      Tim Richter, Princeton '97
      Jonathan Gibbons, Harvard '96
      Peter Cipollone, California '94


    As mentioned, the following transcript contains some expletives that I have not deleted. I believe that the intensity and passion involved in rowing, and much of sport, often results in the use of strong language to convey strong emotions and intentions. Let readers who are easily offended by what is in fact incidental and essentially harmless, victimless profanity read no further.

    Only those comments in italics and parentheses are not Pete's, comments in italics are from crew members or people outside the boat; comments in bold and smaller font size are inserted to add context.

    (Yo, take this?)

    Ok, good.

    Alright guys, it's time. This is the show, nobody's going to be getting their hot dog now.

    Ok, I need bailing. Let's get ready to go. Say when.

    (all set here.)

    How we doing in the bow? Ok? Tap it Callahan; all eight release. Ok, we got you we got you, take your time.

    Say when.

    Ready all, row.

    (3-4 strokes pass)

    Ok guys, this is out of the blocks, go to 2./3 on this one, and we going to go 3 ten and ten,

    Ready to go, on this, here we go.

    (Urgently)
    Push, send.
    Push, send.
    Push, send.
    (quietly now)
    Fo'
    Fi' chaa
    Six chaa
    Seven cha
    Eight -

    (much stronger and louder)
    in two we shift
    One we're at 36
    Power... now shift!
    Push send,
    2 chaa
    Three
    Fo'
    Fi' easy all easy all...
    We got crews around, paddle paddle.

    Give us a little room, Penn...

    Weigh enough, watch the oars on port side... ok all eight ready, go.

    (2 strokes)

    Sharp. Weigh enough.

    Ok, how do you guys feel on warmup? Everybody's ready?

    Breathing, getting ready guys.

    Check your gates, six minutes, five and a half.

    Singles are clear, stand by.

    Let's practice a little build here. That's alright, take your time.

    So everybody's warm?

    (general comments as the crew bails water from the boat)

    Let's go all eight to the release, sharp paddle. Ready, row.

    We're going to go 2/3 power on this one, sharp and clean, get ready to wind it. We're just going to pop it up high for 5.

    Ready to build, on this, practice to build.

    (coaxes power from the crew on the building strokes)
    Push, seennnnd.
    Push, sennnd.
    Push sennnd.
    Now five.
    1
    2
    3 good
    Fo'
    Five
    (crisply) Ea-see!

    Good, 42, nice.

    Weigh enough.

    Breathing guys, let's do this s***.

    (talks to stroke John Gibbons about building calls)

    (Official: What bow number is this? Number 1? Well, make sure they know it's missing.)

    It's missing? (to crew) It's alright.

    (Official: one half of it's gone; that's ok coxswain, they've been missing all day, not a problem, we'll let them know)

    Ok, fine, nothing we can do about that.

    Let's go ahead and back it up, all eight backing, just arms and body.

    (shouting)
    Mr. Official, how long til we go?

    (Official: Just a minute, we'll be right with you. it's about 6 minutes, 6 minutes)

    You guys want to turn? (no's all around) ok, just keep backing, all 8 backing.

    (Official: 11 minutes to the start)

    11 minutes?!?!

    (Official: seven?)

    (Official: no, six minutes)

    Thank you!

    (Official: the starting line has a different clock, they've been late all day, so we're adjusting)

    (laughs) Zulu scenario. Ok, thanks!

    (Discussion about warmup in follows as the crew bails water, followed by an announcement of "10 minutes to start" from the officials)

    OK, we're coming back in 10 minutes, spin it.

    (crew spins the boat as officials make further announcements)

    All 8 release, ready all, row. Just steady state cruising.

    (10-15 quiet strokes)

    Flat and clean. Drop it down one, now, and sharp.

    That's it, getting connected, keep it off port side.

    (10-12 quiet strokes)

    (calmly)
    Breathing, acing all distraction coming into this boat.

    (3-4 more strokes)

    Weigh enough, and down, port side ready, dig it down.

    Here we go, we'll spin it now, ports side backing, starboard side coming through.

    (crew spins)

    Weigh enough, all 8 ready, row.

    (4-5 strokes)

    Weigh enough. Let's see what we got here, let's pick a hole.

    Port sides, we're going to go around this red eight. Port side take it down, starboard sides row. Together starboards.

    Keep going.

    (crew maneuvers)

    Weigh enough all 8 release, ready row.

    Ok, sharp and relaxed, just picking it off, keeping it clean.

    (3-4 strokes)

    We're going to have oars on both sides, weigh enough, watch oars on starboard.

    Ok, guys, we got eights here, we're going to drift through with overlap on both sides. Watch oars on port side now...

    Ok, the route is clear. All eight release...ready all, row.

    F*** yeah, USA guys.

    (3-4 strokes)

    Weigh enough.

    (some discussion as crew lines up in the shoot)

    Here we go guys, first three minutes of this piece, we are breaking the fucking course record today. I got a good line, ready to go.

    All eight check it down.

    (Shouts to official) When do we go?

    (Official: We got about four minutes still.)

    Stern 6, ready, back. Good, port side a little firm.

    (crew backs quietly for several strokes as officials marshall the crews)

    Ok, weigh enough, port sides hold water. Benny go.

    Benny keep going.

    Weigh enough, good, sit loose.

    (several seconds pass)

    good, keep it moving, just relax guys. Ok, listen up, port sides are going to back.

    (something is said about coming in second place in the crew)
    Today. I got four seconds in this regatta.

    Weigh enough, port sides, ready, dig.

    Alright meats, it's time to drop the hammer. Port sides tap it.

    We're going to get connected right out of the blocks.

    Sit loose, alright, go Benny. Weigh enough, starboard sides hold, I want to get pointed toward the shore a little bit.

    (some discussion of tactics and style in the crew)

    No, just simple, just think simple. All we're going to do is attack the s**t out of it.

    (Official: US Rowing, we'll start you in about 30 seconds)

    (quiet, and then)

    Guys, breathing, lightly Callahan. All eight release.

    (Official: this is the start of the Championship 8. Ok, let's get started. US Rowing on the paddle, ready, row!)

    Ready all...

    Ready all, rrrr-ow!

    (calmly) OK half power on this finish, good, sharp and clean. Ok guys they're going to stall, so let's fucking walk away, relaxed, 90 percent now... three to build...

    (about two octaves lower, hoary, growling)
    ON THIS ONE!

    Legs...
    Legs...
    Legs! Give it! Nail this motherfucker, now! You're On!

    Ha! HAAA!

    2
    3
    fo'
    5 cha! walking!
    6 That's it!
    7
    8
    9
    10 chaa!
    1
    2

    39!

    (very clearly, enunciating)
    In two, we shift two beats!

    1
    Shift, Now!
    (intensely)
    Legs, send.
    Legs, send.
    Legs, send.

    (calmly again)
    36, good. One part drive...

    Attack!

    Legs, that's it.

    (cheering from shore)

    Now Madigan, go! Take that handle with you, and attack it. That's it.

    (echoing as crew goes under BU Bridge)

    Push, chaaa! Push, chaaa!

    We got flat water, ASS to ANKLES, NOW!

    Go!

    Callahan, this is your fucking seat race, show em. Now, go!

    Legs, send, Legs, send. Legs, send. Legs, send

    That's it, walk away from those fuckers!
    Now! Send!
    Legs, send.

    (whispers) That's it!

    Pushing, you're right on 36.

    Now listen up! One minute down, let's get focused on rhythm, and speed through. Here we go, now speed five.

    Push, send.
    Push, send.
    Push, send. Yeah.

    Four
    Five.

    Good, driving. Stay clean, and flat. On the rudder, here we go.

    Push, chaaaaaa!
    Push, chaaaaaa!
    Push, chaaaaaa!

    That's it, port sides are cranking!
    Drrr-ive.
    Drr-ive!
    Drr-ive!

    Richter, you do not sit, for one fucking stroke! You drive the starboard side.

    That's it. Now Wherley!

    Push send.

    On the rudder.

    (whispers) That's it.

    Good Giboon, good fucking rhythm. Now Philthy, here we go.

    On the rudder.

    Legs, chaaa. Legs, chaaa. Legs, chaaa. Good, driving it and push. Let's walk away, driving it now, let's walk away. Madigan, good rhythm, take the handle with you, now.

    Push, chaaa. Push, chaaa.

    35 and half, catches stay in, stay in.
    Pop, send.
    Pop, send.
    Pop, send.

    (at this point, there is less noise from the crew's riggers)

    That's it.

    Now, here comes a headwind, sit up and drive. Legs, send. Legs, send.

    Catches in all 8, let's go five strokes for catches, now go!

    1 here we go
    2 I got a line on the bridge.
    Chaa
    Fo'
    Five, 35. Catches in, (whispers) that's it. Catches in.

    Guys you're the mean fucking dogs, drive this thing, now.

    That's it. Send. Legs, send. Legs, send.

    Richter you can see them, I want you driving us away from them.

    Now, go!

    That's it, power! You've got flat water, (almost crazed sounding) Attack, attack!
    Now, 450 until the first fucking commitment Wherley, Wherley! Now, drive it, that's it!
    Legs, send.
    Legs, send.
    Good drive it, push.

    Push, send, push, send.

    Do not sit! Do not sit now! Seven, six and five, go!

    Legs! Legs, send! Legs, send!

    (almost conversationally)
    That's it, walk away. Walk - the fuck - away! Good rhythm, good rhythm!

    Now listen up. Bow pair, one part drive, attaaack, now!

    Push, send.
    Push, send.
    Push, send.

    (whispers) That's it.

    Work it, work the rhythm, attacking. Gotta come up one, get ready...

    On this, kick it.

    Pop, make it light.
    Pop, make it light.
    That's it. Back out to even spacing, now go!

    Legs!

    Ok guys, here's the first bridge, in the wind. Get ready to commit... ready?

    (under bridge, echoing tremendously)
    COMMI-I-I-I-I-IT!


    Legs!
    Legs.

    That's it, this is one minute commitment, push. Push the boat.

    Push, send.
    Push, send.
    Push, send.

    Walking away, walking away from Princeton.

    Go, now, push, chaaaa.

    Drive, you're halfway through the commitment, now go!

    Legs!

    (whispers) That's it!

    One mile down, one mile down. Go!

    (whispers) That's it!

    Legs.

    Now, Borcherding, Borcherding, get it in, get it in, and go. Boom, in the headwind. That's it!

    Driving, drive, send.

    Catches in, 34 and half. Who's going to assault?

    Push, now.
    Push, now.

    (whispers) That's it!

    Good, coming to the end of the bridge, end of the commitment, now is where you fucking hang tough.

    Push, send.
    Push, send.

    Good, Giboon, you're five minutes in, drive it, now go.

    That's it, legs, chaaaa, legs, chaaa.

    (cheering from around Western Ave. bridge)
    They're cheering for you, you go now! Push it!

    Richter, Princeton's going to win this fucking piece, huh? What do you think of that?

    Now, go!

    Legs
    Legs
    Legs
    Good.

    Slight rudder, now, that's it.

    Push, chaaa.
    Push, chaaa.
    Push, chaaa.
    Going, that's it, driving it. Guys, you must attack., now.


    (cheering subsides, very little outside noise)
    We're in the quiet, good time to walk away. Here we go.

    Push!

    The next turn will be to port, and it's the big dog. Here we go.

    Push, send
    Push, send
    Push, send

    Driving, that's it, starboards attack it, cadence is 35, good! Going, go now.

    Push, send.
    Push, send.
    Push, send.

    Good, a little bit of rudder. (whispers) that's it.

    Going, now.
    Going, now.

    Starboard sides, get ready to attack, get ready to go, ready,

    ATTAAACCKKK!

    Legs
    Legs (whispers) that's it.
    Legs
    Good

    Here we go guys, we're going to nail this turn. That's it; going starboards...

    Straight now! straight now!
    Push, send.
    Push, send.

    That's it. Get ready, coming on the rudder, starboards now... Go!

    (cheering begins to swell)
    Legs! Yeah, fuck yeah, USA, go! That's it, go! yeah, driving it, fuck yeah! Push it!

    They're cheering for you, they're cheering for you right now. Push it.

    Now, tell me Callahan, who's tough?

    Now, drive.. the legs!

    Legs, now!
    Legs, now!
    You must fucking go...

    NOOWWW!

    (lower)
    Yeah, Philthy, yeah, Philthy! you tear this... (unprintable, even with disclaimer)

    (cooly, conversationally)
    I want you to refocus. Sit up tall, and push the legs down, with the handle, Madigan, go, NOW!

    Push, send.
    Push, send.
    Push, send.
    Push, send.

    (very clearly)
    You nailed the last turn, get ready to go again! This turn is to starboard, port sides get ready, get ready to go.

    Ready, on this one!

    Push!
    (whispers) that's it.
    Push!
    Push!
    Legs!

    Legs, legs, support it port side!
    Legs (whispers) that's it.
    Legs
    Legs
    Yeah! (whispers) that's it.

    Driving, here we go.


    (going under Anderson bridge)
    Now guys, clean, starboard sides light for two, now ports, legs! Go!

    Even, even power!

    Now, get ready to commit, get ready for the commitment...

    ON THIS ONE!!

    1 twenty strokes
    2 that's it
    3 chaaa
    Fo' 8 minutes
    5 chaaa
    6 chaaa
    7 chaaa
    8 that's it
    9 fuck yeah
    10 you're doing it Giboon.
    1 yaaa
    2 chaaa
    3
    Fo' (rhythmically) make it walk
    Five (rhythmically) push them back
    6 jaaa
    7 jaaa
    8 you hear them calling you Callahan? Go!
    now
    10 do not sit, do not stick!

    That's it, pushing!
    One mile and change to go, now, go!

    yeah, gibboon, push it now.

    Push, send.
    Push, send
    push, send.

    Listen up guys, sixteen hundred and fifty, to go.
    Now, middle four, I want you to sit up, and get the catches in.
    Wherley, you lead them,
    Now, go!

    Catch, send!
    Catch, send!
    Catch, send!
    Catch, send!

    That's it, catches in, and drive the boat.

    (extremely clearly) You are winning, you are winning the fucking piece, now go, go! No fucking mercy, now!

    Legs, send!
    Legs, send!
    Legs, send!

    One part drive, all eight refocus, now, timing.

    Timing.
    Timing.
    Timing.

    (conversationally)
    Good Holbrook, before we go on this turn, I want you to lay on it. I want you to drop the fucking hammer, now! Show 'em!


    Legs!
    Legs!
    Legs!

    I got the course, drive it!

    Legs, send!
    Legs, send!
    Legs, send!

    Coming now, Richter, here's the time, push it.

    (whispers) that's it.

    Drive, send.
    Drive, send.
    Drive, send.

    Good guys, I'm coming, port oars are going to be in the buoys. Get ready to go, now clean, push, chaaa.
    Push, chaaa
    Push, chaaa
    Push, chaaa

    Legs, that's it.

    Starboard side, get ready to go, going to nail it, with support! Get ready to go starboards, in
    four
    three
    two
    one

    Go now! Legs!

    Committed!

    Yeah starboard! Good.

    Here we go,
    Push, send.
    Push, send.
    Push, send.

    Drive it, straight for a bit, straight for a bit!

    Go now, that's it, yaaa!

    Push, chaaa!
    Push, chaaa!
    Push, chaaa!
    Push, chaaa!

    Guys, 1000 meters to go... now! here we go!

    Pushing, send.
    Push, send.

    Attacking now, on the turn.

    Drive
    (whispers) that's it.
    Drive, starboards!
    Drive! Good.

    Legs, Chaaaa!
    Legs, Chaaaa!

    That's it, starboard side, ready to go, now! Good!

    (noise from Cambridge Boat Club grows, announcer calls the crew at 36 strokes/minute)

    Push, send
    Push, send.
    Push, send.

    Driving!
    Driving!

    Listen! When we come out of the turn, everybody sit up, Legs five! Legs Five! Legs five!

    (echoing under the bridge)
    NOW!

    1 drive it
    2 chaaa
    3 chaaa
    Fo' that's it
    5 35!

    Driving now!

    Good, sit up, that's it, here we go, you're coming to the fucking line, get ready to go, on the rudder... now.

    Here we go, push it now.

    Push, send!
    Push, send!
    Push, send!


    Go, baby go! That's it!

    Legs, Send!
    Legs, Send!
    Legs, Send!

    Good, get ready to come up, in two we sit up and go.
    1 Debris starboard!

    (waits) Now, go!
    UP!

    That's it, drive it, 500 to go, 500 to go now.

    Push, chaaa...
    Push, chaaa...
    Push, chaaa...


    That's it, good shift, bring up the speed, 37, go, now!

    (conversationally)
    Guys, listen up, 12:40 down, I think you can break the fucking record!

    Get ready, get ready...

    Go now!

    Legs!
    Legs
    Legs!

    (whispers) that's it!

    Legs, send!
    Legs, send!
    Legs, send!

    Driving for that fucking line.. now,
    Go!

    Push, chaaa!
    Push, chaaa!
    Push, chaaa!

    Going, that's it.

    37 and a half.

    (almost quietly)
    Guys, 350 meters to go, now drive.
    Legs, cleaner, cleaner.
    Drive with power, sit up taller, sit up taller.

    In two we go again.
    It might be close, get ready!

    1 sit up
    Up NOW!

    250, 250 to go, go now!

    Push, chaaa
    Push, chaaa
    Push, chaaa

    Last 20 strokes, go, NOW!

    Legs!
    Legs!
    Legs!
    Legs!

    Good, go for it!

    (cheers come up from finish line area)
    Now!

    Push, chaaa
    Push, chaaa
    Push, chaaa

    Legs, last five, go!

    1
    2
    3
    Fo'
    Easy!

    14:03.

    Good piece, keep rowing.

    Weigh enough, port sides dig it down.


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