During recent years, GB Rowing has experienced many exciting developments; nurturing the careers of rowing greats such as Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent, the growth of GB Rowing’s reputation worldwide, and the exciting evolution of technology which has led to greatly improved rowing technique analysis for the GB squad.
People in the know understand that different people learn things in different ways. In the rowing world, it is frequently found that the best way for a rower to learn is to watch themselves row, and then see someone else doing it correctly to analyse where they were going wrong.
Thirty years ago, the Cine film’s grainy picture was used to analyse rowers’ technique during training sessions. Today, the coaches at GB Rowing are able to appreciate just how far Panasonic’s camcorders have evolved in their efficiency.
“The Panasonic HDC-SD60 camcorder is just so easy to use. I can film the rowers throughout a session and simply take the SD card up to the clubhouse where the squad can review the footage straight onto the large TV screen within minutes of coming off the water” explains Christian Felkel, High Performance Coach for the Men’s Eight squad.
Panasonic’s support of GB Rowing helps to facilitate the demanding training sessions that the rowers endure to become the best in the world. The action of a rowing stroke needs to be clean, precise and synchronised to cut smoothly through the water and propel the boat forward. If the thought of accurately scrutinising the technique of two blades simultaneously with the naked eye sounds difficult, attempting to analyse the sixteen blades from an eight-man boat is near impossible...
Christian Felkel describes how he manages to keep an eye on these sixteen blades during the Men’s Eight squad training; “The Panasonic HDC-SD60 camcorder has a fantastic slow-motion feature where I can watch the footage back frame-by-frame. This allows me to notice the smallest error in technique – and in a boat with so many people, even the smallest fault can change a winning outcome to a losing one.”
The anti-shake feature on the HDC-SD60 camcorder is especially useful to the rowing coaches, as due to the nature of the sport it is not always practical to film the rowers when stood on the river bank.
“The anti-shake on the Panasonic HD camcorder is outstanding” explains Ade Roberts, High Performance Coach for the Women’s Quadruple Skull squad. “I film my squad two to three times a week and I am normally either sat in a small boat alongside them, or cycling along the towpath keeping up with them as they row along the lake. Even though I am constantly being rocked or bumped, the footage on playback is still clear and sharp.”
The compact design of the HDC-SD60 camcorder means that the coaches can easily take it with them when travelling to major competitions all over the world.
“Wherever we are racing it is very useful to be able to have the camcorder with me as we like to record different sections of the race course,” reveals Ade. “We can then use this to analyse the rowers’ form and how their technique changes throughout the race as they grow tired. This knowledge is essential to prepare our squad for the ultimate competition in less than two years time – the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.”
Considered to be one of Britain’s most successful Olympic sports, the results speak for themselves. GB Rowing contributed to over one-fifth of Team GB’s total medal tally at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, with a ten medal haul, and they are hoping to top that at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Results like these don’t come over night; years of dedication, hard work, and hours of training and analysis has made GB Rowing such a dominant force in the rowing world today.
Panasonic is proud to support one of the most exciting squads as they develop and prepare themselves for the London 2012 Olympic Games.