Rowing Technique

This section will provide general news items, links and updates relating specifically to rowing technique.


For starters, check out these articles extrapolated mainly from the Australian Capital Rowing Association and Molesey Boat Club websites:


The Catch

The aim of a good catch is to put the blade(s) into the water at the maximum point of reach and to take up the drive directly without “missing water”, and without disturbing the run of the boat. The catch is the last thing you do on the way forward. A good catch drops vertically and directly into the water at the end of the slide forward. The hands reach forward and up and almost let go as the blades drop straight down. This is the quickest entry the blades can have.


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The Drive

The aim of the drive is to impart maximum work (force times distance) to the boat in the direction of travel while minimising any forces that may retard the run of the boat (i.e. maximum total force with minimal disturbance). The drive involves the legs, body and arms working together in an overlapping sequence (in that order). The drive should be in tune with the speed of the boat. The bigger the boat the faster the initial leg drive and quicker the build-up of force should be. Smaller and slower boats such as singles and pairs should be moved with a comparatively lighter catch and slower build-up of maximum force.


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The Release

The aim of an effective release or “finish” is to extract the blades from the water at the completion of the drive with as little disturbance to the run of the boat as possible. A good release should be part of the continuous acceleration of the drive so that the air pocket created behind the blade doesn’t fill in and create a “dirty” finish where there is a lot of water splashed around the blade as it is extracted. A dirty finish will slow the boat down just where it should be accelerating. (The fastest speed that the boat achieves is just after the release and it is important not to disrupt this acceleration.) The power of the finish should derive mainly from a strong leg drive with a coordinated opening of the body and arm draw to add to the total force applied.


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