The Rowing Stroke

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The rowing stroke comprises two reference points that form the fundamental basis of the stroke. These reference points are extraction and catch.

Extraction can be described as that reference point where the removal of the oar blade is ensured by the rower from water. It is also known by the name of release or finish. Catch can be described as the reference point which actually occurs before the rower has placed the oar blade in water. Thus, after ensuring the placement of the oar blade in the water, the rower then focuses on applying pressure to the oar. In order to ensure the same, the rower will generally extend his legs and he will push the seat in the direction of the bow present in the boat. In order to ensure the complete stroke, the rower ensures a pulling force on his arms in the direction of his chest.

Once the stroke comes to an end and when the blade is still inside the water, the rower ensures to now unload the oar. This is done in order to ensure that the spring energy can be transferred to the boat. This spring energy was initially stored in oar bend. The energy which is so transferred facilitates the removal of the oar from the water. The transferred spring energy will ensure to reduce the amount of energy that will get wasted when the water is lifted above its surface or during the process of splashing. Till this stage, the first phase of stroke gets accomplished and it is termed as ‘drive’ of stroke.

The next phase of stroke is the ‘recover’ phase. In this phase, the rower will ensure the removal of the oar from the water. He will also make effort to coordinate the movement of the body in the manner such that the oar is moved to the catch.

At the finish, there is a beginning of a body movement in a coordinated manner. As a part of this coordinated movement, there is a push exerted by the rower on the oar handle. The objective of the rower in this case is to ensure that blade can be lifted in fast manner at the extraction. After the extraction reference point, the rotation of the oar is speedily ensured by the rower. This leads to the oar blade becoming parallel to the water. The name that has been given to this process is ‘feathering the blade’.

Once the process of feathering has been accomplished and after the rower has also extended his arms, the rower will now ensure the rotation of his body in the forward direction. In order to ensure that the seat can be moved towards the stern of the boat, the rower now tends to compress his legs in a slow manner. Since, some time duration is involved in the process, thus rower gets some time to ensure recovery. This leads to the smooth gliding of the boat through the water. The squaring of the blade is ensured by the rower and then the stroke is repeated once again by the rower.

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