Drills for the Double

By Marlene Royle

Meghan O'Leary and Ellen Tomek at the 2016 Olympics. Photo by Peter Spurrier.

Doubles are an enigmatic boat class. Doubles are an enigmatic boat class. Some doubles fly. Others don’t go anywhere. One of the keys to moving the double is blending styles with your partner and syncing up your timing, swing, and power application. Start by focusing on your release. Line up the angles of the oars and set your foot stretchers so the blades exit together. Use a 30-degree angle as a reference or row for a while with square blades to feel the release point. Then match your follow-through and setting your body angle. This will allow you to maintain momentum from the drive through to the point the slides starts. For your initial technique sessions, warm up alternating 20 strokes stroke seat, 20 strokes bow seat, 20 strokes together. You can row one series of each starting at quarter slide building to half-, three-quarter, and full slide. Then row for 10 minutes with your feet out of the shoes to focus on releasing simultaneously and keeping the handle speed moving through the transition. Spend 40 minutes rowing four minutes at an 18 and one minute pausing arms and body away. Let your knees rise to your chest as you compress. Keep the handles moving around the swivel and time the entry together.