Krishnamohan Ramachandran: from India to FISA World Rowing Tour on Lago Maggiore

canottaggio_KrishnamohanRamachandran“I was 44 years old when I started rowing. I had just got my 1st Dan Black Belt  in Martial Arts after training for 10 years and was looking for another activity that I could immerse myself in”. This is the reason why Krishnamohan Ramachandran, from India, started Rowing.

“I was fortunate to meet a young lady who worked for me at Ogilvy Advertising who convinced me that I should get my office in Madras to enter the Merchants and Bankers Regatta held at the Madras Boat Club. A rowing centre established by the British in 1865. We joined the M&B and I got hooked  on to Rowing. In fact I ran the M&B Regatta for 3 years as the President of the M&B committee, before handing over. I have been rowing now for the last 14 years. And some of the memorable moments are etched in my mind : I won the Silver in the M&B regatta Single Scull in 2003. And again Silver in the Double Scull in the M&B Regatta in 2004. Was selected to represent the  Madras Boat Club in the Prestigious Madras Colombo Regatta in the Masters Challenge Fours. Won a Bronze Medal in the Hong Kong Masters in the Double Scull event partnered by my Coach James Joseph  in 2008 who is an Asian level Silver Medalist. Took part in the World Masters in St. Catherine’s Canada. On the Quad Scull. Finished 7th in an eight lane race 🙂 Took part in the Single Sculls and Double Sculls at the ARAE FEARA Regatta held on Bolgoda Lake near Colombo, Sri Lanka. Have helped organise and conduct two Asian level School Regattas at TRC a new rowing centre just outside of Madras. Also helped conduct a rowing programme for women from economically poor backgrounds at TRC over a period of three years. The Programme produced excellent results with the girls winning medals at University, Club, State and National levels. Attempting to write a book Titled “Rowing -Lessons in Life”. Have been Editor of the Madras Boat Club Magazine, “Oarspeak”for two years”.

What’s your job and how old are you?

Adyar Estuary“I am now 57 years old. Will be 58 in August this year. I started my working career with Harrisons & Crossfields as a planter, then moved to Nestle in Sales & Marketing. I spent a year selling shop-to-shop before moving into advertising in the year 1982. After short stints in F.D.Stewart, JWT and Rediffusion, I joined Ogilvy & Mather 25 years ago. I left Ogilvy 6 years ago ‘to follow my dream’ . To become a gentleman farmer. In the two years before I left Ogilvy, I was the National Head for Training & Talent. Prior to this, I was President – the Madras and Hyderabad Offices of Ogilvy. I currently work as COO for an NGO called Eco Earth. Eco Earth operates in a  tiny village called B.L.Shed  in the Palani hills in South India focusing on health, education and Organic farming. I am also Managing Partner at INDIA/2, a south-specific advertising consultancy working with some large National Brands for their Advertising needs in South India”.

Can you describe the place where you generally row and your club?

photo(2)“I row at the Madras  Boat Club on the Adyar River and Adyar Creek. This is situated on the Eastern Coast of India in the State of Tamil Nadu. On a Good day, when the tide is right we can row all the way to the Sea. A distance of around 3.75 KM. The Adyar Creek is very beautiful and the water quality is not bad. But the Adyar river itself is very badly polluted. I am a part of the River Restoration team that is working with the local government to clean the river, a task I think will take another 5 years at least to achieve. We have around 300 Rowing members but only around 50 of them are active rowers. The Club has 7 residential rooms, a swimming pool and a restaurant and bar. We are actively looking for affiliations with other Rowing Clubs across the world. We have a full compliment of boats. Sculls, Pairs, Double Sculls, Fours, Quad Sculls and One Eights. And Concept 2 Blades”.

Is Lake Maggiore your 1st FISA World Rowing Tour?

“Yes it is”. 

Is your 1st time in Italy?

“Yes it is. And I am very excited to be travelling to Italy for this World Rowing Tour”.

After/before arriving on Lake Maggiore for FISA World Rowing Tour will you visit other places in Italy?

“Yes Milan and Venice. We also plan to explore Tuscany. From Italy I leave for the UK for a week only to return to Holland and spend another week in Amsterdam and another two days in Budapest before I return home”.

How do you imagine your FISA World Rowing Tour on Lake Maggiore? What do you expect?

TRC“Having rowed at the World Masters, I am not expecting this to be a competitive event. Looking forward to rowing with different crews from different parts of the World. To make some lasting friendships. To be able to forge alliances between our Boat Club and others across the world, so that we can learn from each other, not just about rowing but about cultures and people. I look forward to rowing on a Coastal Boat. (I have never rowed in one before, the Quad Scull is my favourite Boat). Also the water looks a bit choppy 🙂 On our river the water is like Glass, though on the creek it can get slightly choppy. So rowing on Choppy water is going to be a challenge ! I know that we have to build our endurance, to row up to 35 KM  a day. Even with breaks and a steady pace this will not be easy. It will be a challenge rowing with new crew every day. I know that it is not easy to find our rhythm, but I am sure we will find it over the 35 km. But I understand that the weather will be cool (unlike India) and the scenery is stunning, so that should make the going more interesting. And we have Italian food and hospitality to look forward to at the end of each day. :)”

Have you read something about this place? If yes, what impressed you?

“The sheer beauty of the lake and the surroundings. Stendhal himself, struck by that sort of lyrical rhapsody that occurs only in the sight of miracles of nature, said that here he had discovered the place that he would have preferred never to have left. Yes… given the choice, I would never want to leave”.

How much do you train to row for 180 km in a week?

“We row mostly in a Quad Scull or Double scull. Currently doing about 50 Km a week. Also some cross training. 18 Km of running in a week and 3 km of swimming with some light weights twice a week. In August we will pick up the Rowing to around 120 KM a week, while reducing our cross training”.

How much is important to find also time for tourism and culture?

“On a tour like this and with what I have seen and read about Lake Maggiore and the surroundings , I think as important as rowing on the Lake”.