Summary of BioRow studies in 2022

Summary of BioRow studies in 2022

2022 was a very productive year for BioRow, several interesting research projects being completed, as well as significant advances in rowing science being produced in the following areas: Oar mechanics and efficiency (RBN 2022/01-03, 06); Rigging optimisation (RBN 2022/04-05); Performance analysis (RBN 2022/07, 09); Practical biomechanics on water and on erg (RBN 2022/08, 10), video-analysis of technique of the World best rowers (RBN 2022/11).

A significant research project on oar mechanics has been completed, thanks to support of Concept2 Inc. New types of sensors were developed (4D handle force sensor), which allowed us to obtain new data: magnitude and position of the blade force, axial handle and blade forces, absolute handle force and its twisting torque. The system for a single was able to measure 13 forces from one oar/gate, and total 64 channels.

Before, the common theory considered only one component of propulsive efficiency in rowing: the blade slippage, which wastes energy on water displacement instead of moving the rower-boat system. In our studies, two new components were discovered and evaluated numerically: axial forces at the blade and its rotation in the water. Both these factors decrease blade efficiency, so they play a negative role and must be minimised.


Our case studies on the rigging were a good illustration on how optimal oar and boat settings may help to improve rowing performance.

In the performance analysis area, we continued our regular studies of long-term trends in World rowing using data of the main regatta of the year – World Champs in Račice. For the first time, we analysed results of U19 and U23 World Rowing Championships in Varese, and discovered that rowing speed of younger rowers is growing faster than in the elite category and margins between them are getting smaller.

For the first time ever, video Analysis of the World best rowers has been performed on a large data set using automated method (in collaboration with RowerUp).

Thank you to all readers for their continuous interest and support of our research, and for their questions and ideas, which help us to continue our studies for the benefits of the whole rowing community.

Best wishes for the New 2023 Year!

©2022 Dr. Valery Kleshnev