What's the meaning of "the nemesis of the hammer"?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Open-water rowing : One Thread

I am a student rower in Hong Kong, as English is my second language, when i read the book "the art of sculling", i find it hard to understand some of the contents. As i am very interested in the rowing culture of the united states, i would like to ask why Joe Paduda (the author) used the phase of "the nemesis of the hammer and the winning ticket for the old, weak and out of shape" on Page 14. Then the author said about many oarsmen although lacking in technical proficiency have been successful in spite of their poor techinque, paying no attention to the finer points of style is wrong. Could somebody help me pls!

-- Li Hoi Ying (c9004577@hkbu.edu.hk), February 27, 2003


Dear Mr. Li, The winners at the CRASH B ergometer races are presented with a hammer as the trophy. I believe this custom reflects the underlying meaning of the term "to hammer", since you don't need elegant technique to score well on the ergometer. In other words, a very strong or powerful athlete can hammer his/her way down the course and go fast in spite of the lack of technique. However, I think Joe Paduda is saying, "don't count on mere strength... it's far better to develop excellent technique."

I recall in the book by David Halberstam titled "The Amateurs", one of the protagonists is nicknamed The Hammer because he was known to be very fast due to his phenomenal strength in spite of his lack of finesse. Incidentally, this powerful sculler was one of the originators of the CRASH B regatta.

I hope this explains the phrase.

Sincerely, Steve Wells

-- Steve Wells (steve@evergreenrowing.com), March 02, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ