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Set Up, Shove Off


Having to share boats is a fact life at most rowing clubs. To minimize the time you need to adjust before a row, your club should first agree on the settings for fixed points of rigging, such as the oarlock pitch, oar lengths, and inboards.

Tracks can be set so that the front stops are two centimeters to the stern of the pin, which should give most rowers enough room to compress. Oarlock height and the position of your feet are easy to adjust.

For sweep boats, have your coach mark a set release point on the gunwale so that each athlete adjusts their foot stretcher with the back of the seat level with the tape.

In sculling boats, set the foot stretcher with a fist’s width between the tips of your handles and about a thumb’s length in front of your torso.

To quickly customize your oarlock height, make sure that all of your club boats have speed washers that clip on and off by hand. Aim for the handle to arrive at your body’s center of gravity. If you were doing a tug of war with a rope, your center of gravity is the point you would be pulling into.

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