(apologies to Oscar Wilde; thanks to Stephen Hawking)
The universe may seem a world away from a rowing boat but when you reach for the oars, you have a chance of reaching for the stars too.
Let’s start with some Physics.
- Boats move because momentum is transferred to the water by the rowers and their oars, causing the boat to move forwards; a process complicated by the motion of the rowers within the boat itself http://eodg.atm.ox.ac.uk/user/dudhia/rowing/physics/rowing.pdf
- The main component is water resistance against the hull of the boat. This can be called skin drag and will account for approximately 80% of the slowing force. To double the boat speed you need to supply proportionately eight times more energy/power. https://www.row2k.com/features/896/the-physics-of-rowing-in-layman%E2%80%99s-terms–part-1-/ (Charlotte Hollings)
- Some physiologists say rowing in a 2,000-meter race requires the same level of work as playing two basketball games back-to-back https://www.ez-dock.com/blog/rowing-.
- Off the start line, individuals in the crew will complete up to 48 strokes a minute. https://www.menshealth.com/uk/fitness/a757565/how-fit-are-the-oxford-boat-race-crew/ We place an emphasis on mind to muscle connection and coordination. At the peak of our training schedule, I can be consuming up to 6000-7000 calories a day. (Joshua Bugaski – previous Oxford crew)
Sounds a little daunting? Fear not – as respected Physics heavyweight, Stephen Hawking discovered – Rowing can be for everyone. ‘I took up coxing and rowing. I was not Boat Race standard but I got by at the level of inter-College competition’. https://heartheboatsing.com/2018/03/14/stephen-hawking-remembering-the-cox-with-his-head-in-the-stars/ – an inspiration for all those following in his intellectual galaxy but also wanting to pursue a worthwhile and enjoyable sport.
Oxford University Boatman, Norman Dix, recalls ‘he was sitting in the stern of the boat with his head in the stars, working out mathematical formulae.’ Norman Dix College Boatman.
Now, more and more schools, colleges and businesses are recognising that Rowing is a superb all-round sport, offering so many benefits in so many ways to such a diverse range of people of all ages and abilities. Plus, the extra joy of being able to take their skills and goals onto the water or keep them in the gym. It is now an all-year sport for everyone.
What started as a means of transport in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, developed into a sport in England in the 17th century, rose to fame with the 1828 inauguration of the Oxford-Cambridge boat race – is now rapidly gaining ground throughout sport in education.
Using 85% of your body’s muscles, the indoor rowing machine is the perfect low-impact, time-efficient cardio workout to help you make the most out of your exercise…Rowing engages all the major muscle groups and builds cardiovascular fitness.
British Rowing has teamed up with education experts to create the ‘Go Row Indoor’ schools programme, helping schools with everything they need to support more young people access the sport. The fact is: anyone can do it; it gives a total body workout; the movement is great for core strength and flexibility; as a low impact activity, it avoids damage to joints; the ability to control intensity and speed making it perfect for those new to exercise, as well as the super stars of the future.