TV feedback helping Whitby rowers

Steve Wilson in the new Friendship Rowing Club gym, talking young rowers Jack Kelley, Callum Halley and Owen Grant through their recent row
Steve Wilson in the new Friendship Rowing Club gym, talking young rowers Jack Kelley, Callum Halley and Owen Grant through their recent row

With the first races of the rowing season just round the corner, rowers at Whitby’s Friendship Rowing Club have been fine-tuning their performance with the help of technology.

Having already obtained state of the art ‘cleaver’ oars, officials at the forward-looking club have also embraced modern coaching techniques to assist and enhance performance.

Crews are now filmed on a regular basis, their performances analysed and feedback given using a big screen television in the recently completed gym.

Steve Wilson, the club’s performance director, explained: “A picture paints a thousand words.

“There is nothing better for a crew than to see themselves in action, and with the benefit of slow motion and freeze frame capabilities, we can pinpoint those small areas of technique to be improved that can make all the difference in races.”

One of the first to appreciate this development is ladies’ senior rower Kate Eglon, whose father John is also the club captain.

“It’s really great as for years we have been rowing without any real sense of whether things are being done properly or not,” said Kate.

“With Steve’s help, I have learnt a lot in a short amount of time and my performance has definitely improved”.

At present, filming takes place from fixed locations in the harbour.

As head coach Luke Clarkson explained, the plan is to develop things even further.

“At the moment we are concentrating on whole crews’ performances, as land-based filming only allows short timescales,” he said.

“We hope eventually to use the club’s inflatable rig to follow crews out to sea where more detailed filming of individuals can take place to get things even better.”

Dates for this season:

German Ocean, 19 May.

Pages races, 9 June.

Brewster races, 23 June.

Scarborough Regatta, 6/7 July.

Coronation Cup, 21 July.

Whitby Regatta, 10-12 Aug.