Boat Test: Part 2

This is an entry that will lack the final summary of how the testing went. The reason for this is that early next week the data will be pulled together and analysed. So before then with out being unfair to any of the equipment I thought that giving a quick update might be useful.

Out of the three boats two of them have very similar qualities when it comes to how the boat responds. The third boat was certainly different and my personal thoughts were that it didn’t suit our style of rowing. We like to row long and probably focus more on the leg drive than other elements of the rowing stroke.

The testing was great to do and with the time frame I think we gather a great deal of useful information. The weather conditions did effect performance as the gusty wind was noticeable went it hit. With out going too much into detail we aim to check speeds during rate steps, race rate and max. Other measure included blood lactate, heart rate and our subjectivity.

Let me focus on the subjectivity, as this may seem like a variable that potential can shape the overall outcome when considered dramatically. Duncan and I sat with Chris after each test and he asked us a number of questions. The range of the question and points of discussion included, responsiveness, comfort, weather influences, the quality of our movement, our fatigue, energy levels, consistency and intention.

Why is the subjective view of the athlete important?
We trust ourselves to give an open, honest and un-bias account of what we feel, think, see and do. This is not to say it has no potential to be lacking in awareness, but rather we and when I say we that is the three of us understand the value of this type of communication and believe in our sense of perception, movement, relationship and optimisation. So the interior world of the experience needs to be acknowledged in a process like this.

Why are we testing boats?
This is important to understand as well for our current boat from Sykes racing is a great boat. It’s fast and responsive, we have had great results in it, but the question needs to be asked. Can we find a better boat or can we create a faster boat? A quote I heard recently while consulting has really struck me. It was during a session with Toyota Australia and one of the founding principles is, ‘Continual Improvement’. I love this principle particularly relating to performance. We are testing boats because although we have enjoyed success in our Sykes boat we believe that we can work with a boat builder to create a faster boat. At the moment we are testing to find the best boat that is currently on the market and the once we have clarity and confirmation on that the time will come to make some decisions about what can be done to improve.

Everything in our training is designed to enable us to find ways to improve and the spark gained from finding new ways to improve is energising. Our abilities, our attitudes, our motivation, our team, our families, our work, our methods, our measures, our connection, our equipment and our belief have to expand and continue to develop. These things are essential and none can be ignored.

Once we have the data in I will work out a way to share some of the findings. For now I think that this is the start of a process to ensure we have the best boat and I know that we will continue to test until we are satisfied that we have done our best and found what will suit us going forward, or backward if you know what I mean.

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