Proof of Concept

About two years ago, an e-mail went out in the PE/Athletics department soliciting ideas for capital equipment purchases that would let the department expand its class offerings. I suggested the purchase of some sculling equipment and the addition of a sculling course to the fall semester. I sent the e-mail and didn’t think much of it.

Late last spring we learned we’d received the money, and this summer we purchased enough equipment that we have five pair/doubles and sculling oars for all of them. As we brainstormed uses for these boats I realized one of the greatest values was our ability to have ‘off’ numbers (not perfectly dividable by 8 or 4) and still get people out on the water and get good rows in. My hope is that as we either recruited those with sculling experience or taught up current rowers via the sculling course we can develop a solid group of athletes who are able to keep up with big boats on steady state style rows in doubles. The extra speed and easier steering of a double vs a pair opens this option up to a far larger percentage of the team.

This morning was proof of concept; we had 14 rowers this AM; out went an eight and double, out went a four with some of our new novice. Both of the athletes in the double were in the sculling course this fall. The eight and double were able to work together the whole practice and even do a few short (15-20 stroke) pieces together at pressure. Certainly if the chips were down the eight would win, but it showed that the idea of two years ago is going to pay off in a big way this spring and in the years to come.


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