New Approach for Boat Motion Analysis in Rowing


  • C. J. Duchesnes
  • R. Borres
  • L. Lewillie
  • M. Riethmuller
  • D. Olivari


In rowing, the study of the movement of the boat and of the rower in the boat is difficult. Indeed, the shell is quite narrow and fragile and it is impossible to use the classical apparatus for physiological and biomechanical analysis. For this reason, the physiological studies of rowers (cardiac and pulmonary parameters) have been more easily realised on specific and non specific ergometers (see Hagerman for an extensive review 1984): it is well known now, that rowers have exceptional aerobic possibilities and also use anaerobiosis for the start and the final part of the race (Hagerman 1984). In contrast, only a few publications deal with the movement of the boat and the rower. The velocity of the boat at different stroke rates (Martin and Bernfield 1980), the angular velocities of various articulations of the rowers (Nelson and Widule 1983) were studied by kinematic analysis. Though this technique is very useful, it does not catch the movements behind the subjects and is of no use to record physiological and mechanical parameters (Ishiko 1967). Some authors used DC recorder placed in a motor boat following the racing shell to record different parameters (Baird and Soroka 1952; Di Prampero 1971; Celentano 1974). But, this technique is not practical because of the need of a second operator to keep the cables out of the water. With the miniaturization, Ishiko proposed and used multichanneltelemetry to record the force of the rower and the acceleration of the boat (Ishiko 1967; Ishiko 1971). Schneider also used the same technique to record the force of the rower in the boat (Schneider 1978). Though this technique is excellent and powerful, it is also very expensive and quite sophisticated. Our goal was thus to take advantage of the miniaturization of the elements and to build and use a recorder and transducers that can be placed into the boat to record the acceleration of the boat and the propulsive force of the rower.