Rowing in South Africa has always been something of a neglected little brother, receiving less funding and support than a lot of other sports. Yet South African rowing has produced some incredible world class results.

In 2012 our lightweight coxless four took gold at the London Olympics. In the video below, John Smith and James Thompson (two of the “oarsum foursome” as they came to be known – the others were Matthew Brittain and Sizwe Ndlovu) give a blow-by-blow account of exactly what was happening in the boat and along the course, as well as in their heads, at each stage of the race.

“Watching this video still gives me goosebumps,” says John.

“Sometimes when I watch it, I still don’t think we’re going to do it,” adds James.

It was that close!

The gold in London was followed by a silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016, which was won by the men’s heavyweight pair of Shaun Keeling and Lawrence Brittain. And then earlier this year, Kirsten McCann won gold at the World Rowing Champs in USA. We also have the world’s number one rowing coach, Roger Barrow, who leads the National Squad.

In July 2017 RMB announced the official sponsorship of the National Squad, now known as the RMB National Squad, which will see them through to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. With the support of such an iconic South African brand behind them, our rowers are sure to make us proud.

Meet the team and follow their inspiring journey to the Olympics on the new RMB National Squad website: Keep an eye out for the new branded kit, trailers and equipment. Here’s a peek at some of it: