Croatia’s Sinkovic Brothers

Perfect Blend of Power and Style

Martin (L) and Valent Sinkovic stow their shell after a Friday Practice.

By  Scotty Schenck Published on October 19, 2014

Fluid, dynamic, and agile: If you have seen Martin and Valent Sinkovic, you would know that these words describe their rowing technique. The Croatian duo not only won the 2014 World Rowing Championship for men’s double sculls in Amsterdam, but also set a world best for doubles, 5:59.72. The time sent a buzz through the rowing world, and made their appearance in Saturday’s championships doubles one of the most anticipated races on the 2014 Head Of The Charles calendar.

The brothers did not disappoint, shattering the course record by 12 seconds with a smooth-as-silk 15:40 to win the event by 17 seconds over Americans Tom and Peter Graves, continuing the remarkable run that began in Amsterdam.

The Sinkovic brothers said they believed they could break the world best at Amsterdam this summer, but their shocking sub-six-minute row was a surprise even to them. “We didn’t even consider we could break six minutes,” Valent said.

Their strength and grace the brothers showed in setting the world best had everyone talking. Boris Kusturic, 35, head coach for the Cambridge Boat Club, and a rowing coach for 12 years, said the Sinkovic brothers’ sense of rhythm and power application throughout the whole drive is what makes their technique extraordinary.

“I think they’re incredible. In my mind, it’s textbook rowing,” Kusturic said about the brothers.

But the Sinkovics don’t necessarily agree that their technique is all that perfect. Valent said their technique is solid, but can always be improved upon. Martin said that the details in their technique are what they focus on.

“We think of the details. … We are looking for every detail to be perfect,” Martin said, who said they don’t feel the need to talk often when rowing because they “know each other very well” and can tell what the other is thinking.

Valent, 26, and Martin, 24, practice at the Mladost Rowing Club in Zegreb, Croatia, where they were both born. Martin began rowing in 1999 and Valent in 2000. The brothers said after they had left the juniors in 2007, Mladost chose to make them row together and that their new coach, Nikola Bralić, was instrumental to their success.

“We have a great coach. … He knows everything about rowing,” Valent said. Also, he said that he helped them improve their technique.

The brothers said they were drawn to the Head Of The Charles by fellow Croatians who had been before. Valent said the others had told him that the brothers had to go to the Head of the Charles Regatta, calling it something they “had to experience.”

And nearly 200,000 rowing fans on the Charles River riverbanks are quite happy they got to experience the Sinkovic brothers.

 

 

 

 

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