Friday, November 6, 2009

Lowie's leaving

Graham Lowe - Lowie to all of us here in San Diego - completed his last day with the team on Thursday. After taking care of the physical training for the BMW ORACLE Racing team for nearly two years, he's moving on to the (much) greener pastures of Scottish Rugby.

Having just joined the team myself (and not being big on morning - or evening for that matter - gym sessions), I can't claim to know Lowie well. In fact, our first conversation was for this little piece.

But you don't have to ask around the base much to find out Lowie will be genuinely missed. And for someone whose job involves getting you up early and making you lift heavy things over your head, I take that as a pretty strong character reference.

So I feel confident in saying the team will miss him. But what will he miss about us?

"The people here have been fantastic. Having an opportunity to know a different group that are connected to a different challenge and learning how hard-working and dedicated they are has been great. There's a real sense of camaraderie and family with the team."

As far as work goes, "the athletic ability of the group surprised me. It exceeded my expectations. The dedication to the cause and the amount of work they have to do is very impressive.

"Sailing these boats is a gruelling, physical job. Massive hours. The analogy I use, with my background in rugby, is it's like the players turning up for a test match and they've got to mow the lawn first, they've got to mark the lines, they've got to play the game and then clean up the stands afterwards. There's some big work being done by a lot of people."

So what would make a seemingly sensible man leave sunny San Diego for Edinburgh, especially in November?

"It's the opportunity and challenge of the role itself, as Director of Performance Rugby. It's fundamentally a high-performance position. It's got player development, coaching development, medical, conditioning, all the different components in it; more strategic and quite administrative, so more suits and ties than shorts and t-shirts."

And if we're being honest, the subject of golf and St. Andrews did come up as another enticement.

Best of luck Lowie… from everyone here. Enjoy the Old Course.