One Hundred and Fifty Years of Rowing Faster
Sportscience 10, 12-45 (sportsci.org/2006/ssrowing.htm)
Rowing has been the focus of a great deal of research, with attention devoted mainly to potential limiters and enhancers of performance of well-trained rowers. Inspired by Alejandro Lucia's tutorial lecture on the science of the Tour de France at the 2005 ACSM meeting, I proposed and was accepted to present a tutorial lecture titled 150 years of scientific enquiry into rowing and rowers for the 2006 meeting. In developing the lecture, I soon realized that there were too many isolated research topics and too many possible detours. So, I decided to focus on one central question: what can science tell us about the improvements in rowing performance over time and how they have happened?
I have modified the presentation from the original lecture format, removing a video clip and adding some explanatory notes in green text on some of the slides. The PDF contains the slides in a printer-friendly format.
This wonderful presentation provides an excellent summary of factors influencing rowing performance. I certainly found it very instructive, even though I have been quite closely involved with rowing for more than two decades. The attempt to explain why rowing times have improved so dramatically over the past 150 years provides a clear theme that elegantly links the various items of information presented. Wherever possible, published references are cited, but the author has also shown a willingness to use current knowledge as a basis for informed surmise, and this adds an attractive dimension to the work. Alan Hahn
Published September 2006