Recap of 2018 Avizaqcua Rowing Camp

As I write this blog, I am currently flying at 33,000 feet and wrapping up 13 hours of travel after completing the first annual Avizaqcua Master’s Rowing Camp.

The camp was everything I expected and more. The idea for the masters camp was spearheaded by Luis Ahrens-Teixeira the co-founder of the Avizaqcua Center.  Luis asked myself and one of the original ambassadors of the Avizaqcua Training Center to be the guest coach. I had the privilege of coaching alongside 2012 LM2x Olympic Champion Mads Rasmussen for the last three days both in the coaching launch, in the double scull and on land.

Our goal is to provide masters rowers with the highest quality service and experience. We strive to find the perfect blend of coaching as well as relaxation that can only be experienced in Avis!

There are several areas that this camp excels in and offers masters rowers:

  • Coaching provided by Olympic Champions and Strength & Conditioning Coaches
  • A complete training program – coaching on the water and in the gym to add boat speed, build injury resilience, and bolster health.
  • World class food and wine from the country of Portugal

Please check out the photo gallery.

The Lobby


Herdade da Cortesia Restaurant

Mads and Luis enjoying lunch before the camp

Top of the Hill overlooking the lake

The Gym

The Wall of Champions

Rasmus and Mads

Olaf Tufte on the Wall of Champions

The Great Britain 4-

Alan Campbell

German winning crew on the wall of champions


Mads rigging the boats before the camp begins.

The Bay

On the Lake

Avis !

Jooske focusing on the catch

Enjoying the view above Avis!

Mark rowing the 1x

The city of Avis !

Yogurt, Honey, and Jam

The Breakfast Spread


Meat and Cheese

Mads and I rowing the 2x in between coaching sessions


The Avizaqcua Center is nestled just down the road from the town of Avis in the beautiful countryside of Portugal. Rowers can enjoy immaculate rowing conditions on a lake that has no water traffic. In addition, there are two buoy lines covering the Olympic distance of 2000 meters which makes it ideal for doing any racing or tempo type pieces.

There is also 3000 square foot gym that has ergometers, indoor spin bikes, and a full inventory of strength and conditioning equipment.

The hotel offers a beautiful pool for swimming that overlooks the countryside and lake. If the pool doesn’t interest you horseback riding is available as well.

Here are 3 Key Takeaways I learned from Olympic Champion, Mads Ramussen

  1. You can train 1x a day and go very fast. Mads and I had the opportunity to have several meals together over the weekend. One of the things I learned is he often train 1x a day for 60 minutes. My takeaway Quality > Quantity
  2. The smaller the boat the more tuned in the rigging needs to be. Mads spent a ton of time working with our camp participants to make sure they were “sitting” in the boat comfortably and able to move without restriction throughout the drive and recovery. Your rigging directly effects your comfort level and ability to move efficiently within the rowing stroke.
  3. A few years back Drew Ginn posted a video and later did a podcast interview titled “Will it make the boat go Faster?” with me talking about the technical changes and being deliberate around the release to set the boat up on the recovery. This past weekend I heard Mads discussing this exact same technical point to our guests.  Two champions – one a lightweight and the other a heavyweight – but both emphasized the exact same technical point for top end boat speed and efficiency! Champions know how to get the most speed out of the stroke and make it more economical.

You can bet that we will be refining and improving next year’s camp to make it bigger and even better.

Stay tuned for an official announcement in the coming months! In the meantime please sign up for my newsletter.