30for30: The Bratichkos’ Vision

By Guennadi and Elena Bratichko, with Clara Elias

Guennadi and Elena Bratichko came to Capital 25 years ago and are the club’s longest-running coaches. Guennadi had formally coached the Russian junior men’s team, and Elena was on the Russian national team, competing at the 1980 Olympics (watch her in lane 1, 2 seat). Their decision to coach that Capital, when it was young and less competitive, and their long-term dedication to Capital have made made a huge impact on the growth of the entire club.

Capital has significantly changed since 1994/95, when Elena and I started coaching here. Back then, we were not sending crews to national-level competitions like Masters Nationals and Head of the Charles River on regular basis. The first year we went to Masters Nationals was in 1997: a small group of rowers went to Long Beach, California, winning two medals, a gold and a silver.

Since then, the number of rowers competing at Masters Nationals has continued to grow along with the number of medals we have won and overall team placement. The biggest change is that we have a steady flow of rowers joining the competitive program from our own club programs. At one of the recent Head of the Charles River we had five rowers in our women’s eight that learned to row at Capital!

Our vision for Capital is to improve everyday training and grow the club’s team system, which introduces new athletes to rowing and provides them with the necessary foundation to move onto more technical and competitive programs, if they are interested. It allows us to grow our own talents and bring in new rowing enthusiasts to our program.

The greatest strength—and best asset—of Capital is its people. We love working with people who share our love and commitment to the sport.