2018 World Rowing Sports Medicine, Science and Coaches Conference

Nearly 300 rowing coaches, scientists and team managers from many of the world’s best teams converged to share their latest research and scientific findings at the 2018 World Rowing Sports Medicine, Science and Coaches Conference over three days in Berlin during the last week of November.

The focus of the conference was on how to translate basic research into rowing and the applied science of rowing sports medicine. Seminars and workshops encompassed the whole spectrum of the rowing world, from scientists and medical teams to coaches and athletes, diving also into the evolution of the rowing boat.

Rowing consists of many disciplines, among which some are still not recognised by the IOC
The packed timetable of talks saw speakers from USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, UK, and Germany discussing a range of relevant topics, from biomechanics to the efficacy of altitude training for elite rowing teams. Staying up to date with current scientific thinking and training strategies is vital for elite coaches and they listened intently to the information on offer.

FISA, the international rowing federation behind World Rowing, also used the conference to present their vision for the sport as it comes under increasing pressure from the International Olympic Committee to remain relevant and cost effective within the modern Olympic programme.

Most significantly, FISA confirmed that they would be shortly presenting to the IOC a plan to add coastal rowing to the Olympic programme - a first for the sport.

FISA executive director Matt Smith then previewed some of the facilities that will be used in Tokyo at the 2020 games and discussed the development of the rowing venues for the Paris Olympics in 2024 and LA in 2028.

Skillrow, Leading the Race in a Connected World

Alongside the speaking program, a selection of exciting and innovative new products from the sport were on show in Berlin. Of particular interest to coaches and team managers were the new Skillrow rowers from Technogym, which were being demonstrated by some of the team of engineers and scientists that had worked on their development.

National rowing team coaches were particularly eager to test the machine and experience the unique Aquafeel technology, which has been designed to more accurately mimic the stroke profile of on-water rowing.

Skillrow is the indoor rower thought by athletes for users of every level and skill

To explain further, Technogym’s research and innovation managers Giuseppe Fedele and Davide De Remigis were invited to speak at the conference about the research that had been carried out at Technogym’s Health and Research Lab in Italy during Skillrow development.

During their workshop, named “Skillrow, Leading the Race in a Connected World”, Fedele described the development phases leading to Skillrow, starting from the collaboration with Olympic and world’s leading rowers to identify the most pressing needs, to the translation of these needs into concrete engineering at Technogym’s R&D department.

Technogym has worked closely with researchers and athletes worldwide to create Skillrow
The constant liaising between the rowing world, Technogym’ R&D department and researchers at Loughborough University led to the creation of an extremely accurate rowing equipment, which is safe to use for athletes and offers the same sensation as on water rowing.

Looking beyond the technical features of the product, De Remigis also described the state of the art UI features and software connectivity Skillrow has to offer. Skillrow is fully connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ant+ connectivity to both the Skillrow and Skillrow Pro mobile apps, allowing athletes and coaches alike to record rowing data and test their performance on the Skillrow racing technology. This technology is especially useful to measure the combined efforts and synchronization of rowers during the race, as it does not simply add up their individual strengths.

the racing technology allows teams of rowers to test their synchronisation and rowing power
Unsurprisingly, this feature has been of particular interest to the various coaches, who have been able to witness the strategic potential that Skillrow can offer in selecting the most effective team in each competition.

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