Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Monday, August 13, 2012

Co Rentmeester: Oarsman And Photographer

American sculler Jim Dietz training on the rowing machine for the 1972 Olympic Games. Photograph © Co Rentmeester.

The other day, HTBS received an e-mail from Johan ten Berg, editor in Holland. Amongst the publications that Johan has been the editor of is the wonderful book Holland Beker, which was reviewed on HTBS on 28 September, 2011.

The latest book that Johan has been working on is by Co Rentmeester, who represented the Netherlands in the single sculls at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. After the Olympics, Rentmeester emigrated to the USA where he began to study photography. He earned a degree in Photography in 1965. He immediately started working for Life magazine as a freelancer, and was hired a year later as a staff photographer. Rentmeester covered the Vietnam War for Life and also the 1972 Olympic Games. Before the latter, Rentmeester created a beautiful photo essay about the American sculler Jim Dietz's pre-Olympic training. (Jim Dietz was inducted into the Rowing Hall of Fame in 2010) This essay is re-published in Rentmeester’s new book, Johan tells HTBS. The book, which covers many other sports and is being printed right now, is bilingual, Dutch/English, as there is a market both in Rentmeester’s native country as well as his ‘adopted’ country.

In 2006, Co Rentmeester produced and directed the beautiful The Perfect Stroke, a 55-minute film documentary of the famous regatta Holland Beker. Among the many scullers in this film is the recent Olympic champion Mahé Drysdale. Watch the promotional trailer below.

Rentmeester is still taking pictures and also coaching rowing in America.

More about the Holland Beker in tomorrow's post.

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