Cambridge Boat Race crews use RP3

A teensy piece of nepotism here – my niece, Eve Caroe, is trialling for the Cambridge University Womens Boat Club crews for the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race.  When she started in the squad, was the first time she had ever used RP3 and so I asked her to write about her experiences.

The selection process is tough – starting in early October with a large group of athletes, they are culled weekly until trial eights which is just before Christmas.  At that point, the squads are usually 10 athletes chasing 8 seats in a crew.  So she has survived 6 weeks…..

Using a rowperfect by Eve Caroe

Apart from the unique experience of moving on a Rowperfect (compared to a stationary erg), the most useful experience for me has been the amount of data given on the screen.

In particular, the force curve and the percentage peak power have given me a new insight into glute activation throughout the drive. Previously, I had a ‘double hump’ in my curve and a low percentage peak, caused by not connecting the second half of the drive properly. Having live data throughout long workouts has helped me experiment with different changes to see what smooths out the curve.

My first change was keeping my hands high as I drive through the second half of the stroke, which has smoothed out the curve and increased the percentage peak power. However, now my peak power is too high, so my next focus is activating my glutes earlier to increase the power around the catch.

In general, the amount of data collected by the RP3 on every stroke gives a very clear picture of my rowing stroke and how the technical changes I make affect my power output. This has helped me identify key areas for improvement in my rowing stroke, which I can take as focusses into the boat.


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