Antiphase Crew Rowing – more scientific research

Further results show: Antiphase crew rowing might turn out to be faster!

New researches made in Holland indicate that Antiphase Rowing might be a good thing:

“If everyone rows at the same time, the boat will – with every stroke – pause for a while”, explains movement scientist Laura Cuijpers of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, in the NOS Radio 1 Journal. “That is why it is better for rowers to row alternately. That way the boat is accelerated more continuously all the time.” Source: NOS Journal, September 12th 2019

An animation film shows the differences


So what are the differences between Inphase and Antiphase rowers? All rowers are trying to move at the same time and make their strokes at the same time, but ….. This animation clip shows the difference: Antiphase rowing makes rowing much faster in theory.

The idea of ​​antiphase rowing is not new at all. “It has been known for 100 years”, says Cuijpers. The first attempts date back to 1930. Problem at that time: Measuring the speed and track the data. No explaination found. So, Cuijpers decided to do research.

They discovered: When rowers row antiphase rowing or row after each other, the boat goes through the water more smoothly. Less dipping. A more constant and continuous speed. “You need someone on both sides of the boat to row the boat,” she explains. “With a boat of eight rowers you could make two groups of four rowers.”

To prevent from bumping into each other, the new technique requires some adjustment to today’s boats. It needs more space. “If you look at the eight, you would need an extra 70 centimeters on an 18-meter boat”, Cuijpers says.

Antiphase rowing  Credit: TV Stadt Groningen

Is this something for FISA >2020?

In the very first test, a difference of 4 seconds was measured. So if rowers are willing to adapt their technique, we could see the antiphase rowing in Tokyo, says Cuijpers. “The boats need to be adjusted. It can all be done within the existing and according to the FISA rules. A boat can not be shorter, but it can be longer then the regulated length of a rowing boat”. Are there any crews giving it a try?  Have you tried it? Let us know your experience.

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