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Scott Durant rows for victory by training indoors with Skillrow

I started rowing at school when I was 14 years old and at first, I was pretty poor. But I improved quickly and now I love this sport and everything about it. SCOTT DURANT
Lagoa Rodrigo de Freias, Rio De Janeiro. A crystal clear lagoon dominated by the imposing statue of Christ the Redeemer. A unique setting where Scott Durant, together with his teammates from the English national rowing team, won the most important race of his life, the final of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
A race dominated from beginning to end, the best way to win in the rowing: go out front and drive from the first shot. In fact, explains Scott Durant in an interview with an English magazine, It was about focusing to ensure the performance that I knew I could deliver.

The most important thing about a sportsman: don't focus on winning, but on your performance. Scott Durant

English rower Scott Durant, who has been actively involved in the development of Skillrow, tells Newsroom how his passion for the sport came about, how he worked on the development of Skillrow and with what role, and how thanks to the invaluable help of rowing champions like him, we were able to achieve collaboration with Technogym and which are the features that he most appreciates for indoor training.

Scott Durant: a career made of continuous improvements

Although he started at 14 and despite the initial difficulties.  Scott Durant became passionate about water and rowing very quickly. I started rowing at school when I was 14 and was pretty bad at it at first, but I soon grew to love the sport and everything about it. I loved the teamwork element and achieving something with others.

I love the element of teamwork, reaching a goal together with others. Scott Durant

The university experience and youth selections for the national team were highly formative from a sporting point of view for Scott Durant. First in the under-23, then in the British national rowing team, just after the London Olympics.  Scott Durant was selected to row for Great Britain as an U23 at the U23 world championships and then joined the senior national team in 2012, after the London Olympics. I raced in a variety of boats over the next few years. I did the four, the coxed pair and ultimately was selected for the eight in Rio where we won Olympic gold.
The victories on the race course and the experience gained by Scott Durant over the years in training are fundamental to the development of the Skillrow.

Scott Durant and Technogym: a long-lasting partnership

Interview by Benedict Tufnell - Row360° editor
Contacted by Technogym a few months after the Rio Olympics, Scott Durant immediately became passionate about the rowing project. Technogym got in touch with me a couple of months after the Rio Olympics and told me they were developing a rowing machine. I was interested right away - I knew a lot of people had come along and tried to produce rowing machines in the past to rival the biggest in the market and had failed. So I was interested to hear what Technogym were planning.
Ride on Skillrow safely

Despite some initial perplexities, the innovations envisaged by the Skillrow convinced him to support what seemed to be the future of indoor rowing. I was probably a bit skeptical to begin with, but after hearing about the machine and the different features and seeing the amount of technology and research that had gone into it, I felt like it represented the future of indoor rowing. Everything they had done with both hardware and software I was impressed by so I got involved in November 2016 after the Olympics. I have had a good relationship with Technogym ever since.
The role of Scott Durant, like that of the other champions involved in the Skillrow project, was to improve both the hardware and software of the ergometer.They have a huge amount of expertise in bringing machines to market and creating really good products, but, what you need is expertise from somebody who has been in that field at the top of their game to give that input on the machine themselves, because they are going to have the highest expectations of the product. If they can meet those expectations then they know the machine is going to be good enough for everyone else. That’s very much the ethos, to always build the best machine they can build.
The Skillrow App interface is intuitive and easy to use

Scott Durant and Skillrow:  a long lasting story

The victories on the water and the experience gained by Scott Durant over the years in training are fundamental to the development of the project. I was able to bring my experience and what I had learned from being a part of the national team and going to the Olympics, the cumulative experience of all of that hopefully meant my input was invaluable to them.
Rowers off during a rowing session
One of the most commonly used product features, according to Scott Durant, is useful for the indoor training of Multidrive rowing, which guarantees additional magnetic resistance and allows you to work with power strokes on the machine. This is something that you were previously only ever able to do in the gym or with the existence of straps or bungys in a boat. This was simpler and more functional training. You can do power cleans or other weights exercises but nothing simulates the stroke while doing this kind of training like the Skillrow and it’s so easy to operate.


Going fast in rowing means training in team and indoor at an ergometer
But it's the overall rowing sensation that makes the difference on Skillrow especially from a safety point of view. In addition, Scott Durant believes that the integrated interface with the Skillrow app allows you to live an immersive and competitive training experience. It feels more like rowing on the water and it’s less harmful on your back and joints. The user interface was probably the other thing. It’s so easy to connect your phone and have all of the data recorded and put straight on to the cloud where it is quickly and easily accessible for both you and your coach, explains Scott Durant. Technogym seemed to have got the balance just right between innovating and giving people what they actually want and need, rather than creating gimmicks.
Have you enjoyed being involved with this kind of project and will you continue to be involved?
Very much so, explains Scott Durant. The machine was built on huge amount of research that is unparalled in the industry and it really shows in the final product, which is very satisfying to see. Technogym had been thinking about bringing a rowing machine to market for a long time but they waited until they had a product that was truly innovative. They then tested the machine rigorously until we were all confident that it was the best it possibly could be. Now my job is to help communicate that to teams and coaches.

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