To ALL rowers I coach, or will coach in the future: A good friend of mine once said to me: “If you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” You will always hear a coach asking you to check your equipment before going on the water. The consequences can be devastating if it happens in a race, as evidenced this morning in Rio in the semi-final of the women’s single. Fie Udby Erichsen is the defending Olympic silver medallist from London and was considered to be a strong medal candidate in Rio. She was sitting in prime position after the start sequence. At that moment, the top nut popped off her rigger, and four years of preparation and hard work went out the window. Afterwards, she called it a “rookie mistake”, and said she didn’t check the boat over thoroughly before her race. The safest way to approach it is to ALWAYS assume that every nut, bolt, wing nut, or screw is loose and needs to be tightened. It was one hell of a cruel lesson for Erichsen to learn this morning.