Friday 3 December 2010

Go Gadget Blades!

Seamus Woods of Fishpond Consulting in Cape Cod got in touch about the BalancePoint oar handles I posted a few days ago. He modelled the handles on computer, and the results are featured on his website:
The idea started when a US National Team rower turned crew coach was trying to figure out why a quad (four rowers racing in a shell, "sculling" with two oars per person) was faster than a four (four rowers, but with one oar per person, rowing "sweep"). He concluded that the dominant factor was that the asymmetrically loaded sweep rower was not able to provide as much thrust as the symmetrically loaded sculler. He came up with a simple and effective oar handle that could be used by sweep rowers to significantly reduce the asymmetric loads and prevent much of the potentially hazardous twisting of the back and shoulders. Sweep rowers could now row faster and more safely.
Stress Map of BalancePoint T-HandleIn order to help make the vision a reality, we helped the inventor design, model, prototype and manufacture his new oar handle. From material selection (carbon fiber, fiberglass, or aluminum?) to part selection, we worked with the inventor to find the best path forward.

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