Newcastle Uni comment on German Rowing Force Curves


The article we published on the German Rowing eight and their in-boat force curves has got great comments. And we also got an email from Colin Jones, Emeritus Profession of Newcastle University giving us permission to publish another study.

The article on the German 8 rowing force curves is interesting. However, the forces recorded are not the whole story, even with a Rowperfect.

The influence of momentum forces are not considered. These can/do have a significant influence on boat speed.

You may be interested in a study undertaken at Newcastle University in the late 1990s which included the momentum forces of the rower together with the driving forces. Please see the attached notes.

One of the participants in the study was Ed Coode who won a Gold Medal in the Athens in the 4-. The effectiveness of Ed’s force profile is clearly illustrated in the study.

Colin Jones

C J F P jones
Emeritus Professor
Newcastle University

Download the full article The Mechanics and biomechanics of rowing 2011dd


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. David Harralson

    This is a very interesting article, with some possibly interesting conclusions.

    To parse the text and graphs in a slightly different manner, the stroke has two phases – oar in the water (drive phase) and oar out of the water (recovery phase).

    During the drive phase:

    Positive pressure on the foot stretcher moves the boat to the bow.
    Negative pressure on the foot stretcher moves the boat to the stern.

    While the oar is out of the water (recovery phase):

    Positive pressure on the foot stretcher moves the boat to the stern (checks the boat).
    Negative pressure on the foot stretcher pulls the boat to the bow.

    The momentum change caused by the movement of the crew toward the bow during the drive or to the stern during the recovery superimposes its effect on the actual boat speed on the water.

    Maybe it is too simplistic, but this seems to imply that the oarsman applies pressure to the foot stretcher only while the oar is in the water. At other times, pressure on the foot stretcher is just slowing the boat.

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