Rowing Applied Session

  • R. Smith


Aim The aim of the Rowing Applied Session is to see how an understanding of rowing biomechanics and applying technology can help to improve rowing performance. The presenters will introduce some concepts, controversial issues, demonstrations and methodologies which will be the focus for discussion among the participants. Basics The rower works against hydrodynamic and aerodynamic drag. Drag is roughly proportional to the square of the boat velocity, and the greater the net force the rower applies to the boat the greater will be the boat velocity. The mechanism for applying theses forces is made all the more intriguing due to the oscillatory motion of the rower in producing the drive and recovery phases of the stroke. The rower applies force to the pins via the oar and the stretcher. During the drive phase, the net force applied to the boat is the difference between the pin force and the stretcher force while during the recovery phase it is mainly the stretcher force. Blade and boat hydrodynamics constantly change due to the changing position of and application of forces by the rower. The aim of our biomechanical studies is to understand how all these variables affect performance and channel the power output of the rower optimally into boat propulsion. Firstly, in this Applied Session we will assess how to get the best value from various technologies that can supply the quantitative information needed for informed decision making about technique. We do this first as the following sections depend on collection of data using the equipment. The next two sections will examine various combinations of these variables as they apply to large and small boats and simulation of rowing. Technology: (Richard Smith and Valery Kleshnev) What is the best value for money in rowing instrumentation? We will look at the value of simple instrumentation such as accelerometry, oar angle measurement, handle and pin force through to complex three dimensional measurement of pin and stretcher forces, rower segment and oar position. On-water rowing performance (Valery Kleshnev and Richard Smith) Large boats: (Valery Kleshnev) What are the determinants of performance peculiar to the large boats? Are there seat-specific differences in performance requirements in fours and eights? Small boats: (Richard Smith) The pair Should a pair rower learn to row in a given seat or should they be selected for their ‘natural’ force production technique? Sculling Even sculling is asymmetric. Is this detrimental ? How do we deal with asymmetry in rowing? Rowing simulation: (Peter Sinclair) How specific are popular rowing ergometers to on-water rowing? How do handle force, stretcher force and handle velocity differ between ergometer and on-water rowing? Sliding vs fixed ergometry Indoor rowing tank