April 11, 2012
BERKELEY - The 2012 crew season is underway and California men's crew looked strong two weeks ago at the San Diego Crew Classic. One of the reasons for their success was the return of senior Jack Farthing, who missed the fall campaign due to injury. CalBears.com had a chance to sit down Farthing about how how it felt to return to action, coming to Cal from his native Australia and his thoughts on the 2012 season.
CalBears.com: How did it feel to get back in the water after missing the fall season due to injury?
Jack Farthing: It feels really good to be back! Fall was such a frustrating time for me. There were periods where I thought I was going to be out for the entire racing season. Nothing seemed to be going well. My treatment was going nowhere, I couldn't get any answers about a return time, I had two separate rounds of injection into my disks and I was in a lot of pain. But slowly I started rowing again after winter training camp in early January. I slowly got back into shape, and now, I feel like I am rowing the best I ever have.
CB: Coming to Cal from Australia, how difficult was the transition of moving to the United States?
JF: The transition from Australia was intense. Everything was different and exciting. I could hardly believe my eyes when I first saw the Cal campus, the boathouse and my dorm. Everything was just so amazing and it is so much fun to be a part of. I do miss home sometimes, but there is always so much going on at Cal, it's hard to think about it for too long.
CB: Do you plan on moving back to Australia after graduation?
JF: At this point, I am taking everything one day at a time, but I would like to stay in the States if I can. If not, Australia's not a terrible place to end up in.
CB: You're one of only six seniors on the team this year. Do you feel a lot of pressure to be a leader?
JF: Not at all. This year we are lucky on the men's team to have such great talent coming up through the ranks. The juniors and sophomores are a great group. All the guys have one mindset and it was laid out early in the season - "Winning is not an option, it's a requirement" - M. Teti.
CB: What are your personal goals for this season?
JF: After my fall injury the only goal I had was to row at IRAs. I didn't care which boat I made, I just wanted to row. However, now that I'm back rowing and feeling good, my goal is to make whatever boat I'm in go as fast as I can, and then get that elusive IRA victory.
CB: What's been your favorite memory at Cal, on and off the water?
JF: On the water, my favorite memory would have to be the first time I raced in the varsity. I was so excited, and it was something I had been working towards since arriving at Cal. Off the water, I love our team dynamic. There are some interesting characters and some very funny experiences.
CB: Why did you decide to come to Cal?
JF: I came to Cal because I heard that it's an unreal university full of opportunity. I also wanted to leave Australia and do something very few people ever get to do. It's the best decision I ever made.
CB: What are your postgraduate plans?
JF: At this point in time I have no postgraduate plans. I'm very focused on finishing my degree and starting a career.
CB: Do you have any traditions or rituals you do before a race?
JF: [Laughs] Not anymore. When I rowed in high school, I use to read a poem that was written by a good friend of mine, but I know it by heart now. Anyway, I have been racing for so long that all I need is that "hands on" call from the cox and I'm ready to race.