A new kind of rowing stroke

A few months ago I got an idea for a different kind of sport Rowing stroke. I don’t remember the exact train of thought, but it had to do with swimming. Anyway, …

The physics of rowing and dynamics of the water are very complex. My idea is that you want to move the water past the boat faster, reduce the amount of oars in the water, and increase the glide of the boat. Thus, instead of all the rowers rowing at the same pace, the rowing is staggered.

At the beginning of the race, the traditional rowing stroke is used. We want the maximum power to accelerate the boat quickly.

In the middle of the race, a staggered stroke is used. Here the front rower begins the stroke and at the end of the “drive’ phase of the stroke, while the blade is still in the water, the second rower begins their stroke. This is repeated for each rower in turn.

Toward the end of the race, the traditional synchronized power stroke is resumed.

In essence the effect, if done smoothly, is the strokes become just one long stroke. As if only one person “drove” a very long stroke from bow to stern. Like birds in flight, the water becomes part of solution, a slipstream.

Advantages? I’m only guessing here.
– Rowers get more rest, and more energy available toward end.
– The glide of the boat is increased.
– Water is moved faster, velocity of boat.
– Less oars in the water so less friction.

— Josef

Further reading

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