Rowperfect Newsletter, February 2006


Dear Rowperfect community

The Rowperfect Seminar 2006 is again on Friday 24th March the night before the Eights Head.  Our speaker is the new Cambridge University Chief Coach, Duncan Holland and he will be speaking on Seat Racing for Crew Selection.  Email us to reserve your place.

Have you read Rowing magazine?  They are asking for readers’ letters.  And this fantastic endorsement for the Rowperfect from Murray McLeod Jones, has been sent to Sophie Mackley for publication.  He has kindly allowed us to reproduce it here and also on the website – under Latest News.  We hope to see it in print in a future edition.

We were at the ARA conference in Warwick demonstrating the new Rowperfect MKIV monitor.  A couple of interesting things came about which reassured us that we are on the right track – Paul Thompson emphasized the importance of measuring distance per stroke as a measure of progress and the continued importance of core strength and posture in preventing injury came from a talk by Alison McGregor.

Rowperfect and Coxmate both measure distance per stroke so you are covered both on and off the water.  The new Rowperfect for Windows software has stroke length and distance traveled per stroke in centimeters.  The Coxmate SC reads distance traveled in meters for each stroke.  And, of course, the RP limited tilt seat is great for posture and stability training.

The FISA Sculling DVD has been selling well – every club should have a copy!  Add to this Paul Thompson’s new book “Sculling” and we have a winning combination for every coach and athlete.  Details inside for a combined sale offer.

Happy reading and, Rowperfectly!

Rebecca Caroe and Grant Craies, Rowperfect UK

The Rowperfect Seminar, 2006

Duncan Holland, Chief Coach for Cambridge University Boat Club is speaking on the sometimes contentious
subject of Seat Racing for Crew Selection.

  • The advantages and disadvantages of seat racing within the context of crew selection
  • Common pitfalls, limitations and ways of going wrong while running seat races
  • The context of a selection system using objective and subjective data
  • How to run seat racing and why Duncan chooses to do it his way

Email us to reserve your place.  Price is £5 on the door. Please help us to publicise this by circulating this information to your club coaches and crews.We can send you a poster by email.

FISA DVD and Paul Thompson’s book, “Sculling”

Rowperfect has arranged a winning combination for you – buy these two invaluable reference works for £38, a saving of £3 off the recommended price.  And for the hundred people who have already bought the DVD – get another and give it to your club.  They’ll thank you for years to come!

The book is signed by the author – and we can arrange special inscriptions for you.  For that special birthday, Easter present or anniversary, Paul will write your message into the fly leaf.  Please allow three weeks delivery time for this service.

An extract from the chapter on Sculling Technique

Stroke correction

Sculling technique should be a focus of every sculling outing.  Perfect sculling practice makes perfect sculling.  You need to apply enough concentration to maintain your technical focus for the whole of the outing.  A technically good sculler will have listened, considered, and taken responsibility for implementing sound technique and the changes required to improve sculling.  To achieve a permanent technical change it is important to have a sound understanding of how you are sculling, as well as how you should be sculling.  A good coach can impart this knowledge.

When concentrating on stroke correction, you must be able to feel or see a difference in what you are doing and then make the necessary change to your stroke pattern.  Video feedback and modelling are excellent aids. ….
To make a technical improvement, it is often most effective to isolate that part of the stroke that is to be improved.  Both the coach and the sculler need to break the complete sculling stroke down into its smaller component parts in order to achieve this.  You can correct your stroke by exercises and then by incorporating your improved technical skills into continuous sculling.  Major technical improvements generally occur when it is possible to concentrate fully and you are not excessively fatigued.  Short sculling, or ergometer sessions, and the beginning of workouts are the best times to achieve stroke correction.

Reproduced with permission from Crowood Press

All solid advice, as we are sure you know.  Rowperfect was invited to join the ARA’s round-Britain seminar series on “Applying British Rowing Technique” speaking on how to use drills and exercises in order to apply the technique.  Email us if you would like the handout from the seminar with a list of exercises and progressions for water and land use.

Using the Rowperfect DOS software with Windows XP

An information sheet on how to alter the Bios settings to enable it to work is now available.  Email us for your copy.

Would your club like to trial the Rowperfect and the MKIV touch screen monitor for a fortnight?

We have sent out RPs with MKIV touch screen monitor out to Hereford, Worcester and Ross on Wye rowing clubs to try at present.  We have received interest from Staines, Windsor Boys School, Tees, Derby and Cardiff University.

If your club would like to join the list, you need to first clarify

  • Your club insurance will cover the RP while in your care and you are liable for any damage caused;
  • We will deliver the RP to you, but you will have to take it on to the next club on the list (this will be local or via exchange at a regatta);
  • We may use your club name in publicity.

The Rowperfect Challenge!


A letter to the Editor of Rowing Magazine.

I read with interest the article regarding the Rowperfect in the Nov/Dec 05 Regatta.  I must add my support to the article, as the machine is a brilliant piece of training equipment; I know as I have one myself but have convinced other scullers that this is the equipment to invest in.  When I procured my Rowperfect, a fellow sculler was fairly dismissive about the advantages of training on it.  I challenged him to allow me to prove its worth.  He was a Senior 1 sculler who was now moving over to veteran sculling at the age of 35, and had been rowing and sculling for about 8 years.

The challenge was that he would train on the C2 Ergo every day for two weeks and then do some videoing analysis on the water in his single and conduct a question and answer session about how the boat felt when being sculled, we would then do exactly the same for the next two weeks using my Rowperfect for the training.  The results of the first two weeks training were very interesting, he had trained on a C2 ergo for all his sculling life and from the videoing it was obvious that he had transferred the ergo skill to the boat.  In the question session he stated he felt hurried and crowded at the catch, but thought that he was applying his legs properly and coordinating the stroke correctly.  The videoing did not support this at all.  The sculling was very snatched at the catch with lots of effort in the initial phase of the drive and a burying of the sculls; the legs, body and arms were not properly coordinated and the finish was wrenched through to give a hurried finish.  The recovery was not as coordinated as it could have been and this led to an inconsistent set up of the body for the next stroke.

The results of the Rowperfect training were a revelation to him.  He struggled with the co-ordination of the technique and the firing the correct muscle groups at the right time at first, but with perseverance, coaching by me and the instant feedback the monitor gave him from the power curve; he got the hang of it.  He realized how to apply his legs and coordinate his body correctly for the drive and recovery phases.  The second set of videoing was like watching a different sculler.  The catch was much more coordinated, with a quick entry and smooth application of the legs.  The body was coordinated properly with the body and arms keeping the pressure on to the end of the stroke giving time to execute the finish properly.  The question session was also revealing, with the sculler stating he felt that he was applying power the whole way through the stroke and that he had time at the finish to get his hands away.  The overall stroke flow was better and he felt less ‘cramped up’ at the catch.

I had convinced him but then the Rowperfect had done it really, we also worked out that his overall distance per stroke had improved by 1.79 meters, so he was getting more output for less effort as he was coordinating the power properly and sculling the boat as it should be.  He now trains on a Rowperfect rather than a C2 ergo.  This was not a rigorously conducted scientific experiment, but as anecdotal evidence, it adds to the body of research that highlights the advantages of training on a Rowperfect.

Yours sincerely,
Murray McLeod-Jones

Is there anyone out there who would like to reproduce the “Rowperfect Challenge” as described by Murray above?
We can put you in touch with Rowperfect owners in your area and would like to hear your feedback.

Rowperfect owner and user, Stuart Horth of Yare Boat Club near Norwich has started already.


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