> Hello All,
> Actually, hello to all you experienced scullers and especially those sage
> exponents of the single scull.
> Within the next few weeks I intend to jump back into a single (fine boat)
> for the first time in around .... well, let's just say it's been many years
> and leave it at that! :)
> It's a bit of a personal challenge to me, so I would really appreciate any
> words of wisdom from those out there that have spent many an hour refining
> their art that might help me reacquaint myself with the delights and demands
> of the single.
> I know there are plenty of text books out there that will no doubt offer
> various exercises etc, but what I'm seeking is something perhaps more
> personally arrived at that might assist me with my first hour back in a
From previous conversations you are getting back into the boat having had earlier experience - and presumably trust that you have re-mastered much of the body movement to feel confident on the water.
If you are going in where I think you are, then ideally pick a low-ish tide condition so that our lovely mother Thames can treat you with some care, and that you can put your feet on gravel river bed when you are getting in and out!
That will have sorted out the nerves and anxieties about getting in and out (apart from the steep ramp!)
Once on the water your old habits should still be there - nothing should encourage you to let go of the blades, and if you never let go of the blades it is unlikely anything untowards will happen.
So having guessed that all that aspect is ok, I can only say that your first hour should be spent pottering about.
It may seem basic, but I would start you with dips - lifting the left and the right hand alternatively - to remind you how supremely good you are at making sure the boat stays where it should be.
Before you head off, I would practice some confident maneuvering. the river is in a strong state of flow at the moment, and it is important to know how to spin and control your spin without panic. So I would practice having one blade (your left/bow/green side) in Square, and tap round with the right/stroke/red blade.
if you are facing into the stream you will feel your bows immediately pull you round and if you carry on tapping with the right then you will swing in a large arc into the river. With a good lookout do this exercise.
Then mix it up a bit and spin again, but this time alternatively rowing on with the right hand and backing down with the left. (I call this fork and spoon, not sure why!) but you will turn in a much smaller, tighter circle.
The last thing I would practice then is emergency stopping. First if you are moving slowly by feathering the blades into the water at with your arms in the safety position. And then if you are going to get faster you should learn an emergency stop by reverse feathering the blades into the water to bring you to a sudden stop.
Once you have all these in place, discuss with your lookout what language they are going to use to let you know where they want you and you are off!
The single most useful exercise I find - for all sorts of things - is a roll up. Backstops flat on the water, tap down, hands away, rock over, draw the boat to you up the slide, calm at the catch and slap the blades on the water.
Once this works a few times I would refine the slap to a place. Once that works I would go square to square - i.e.in and square backstops, out, feather, thorough the movements, square early and place the blade in.
i think this is really useful to check that you are confdently getting the blades off the water, and that you are comfy at front-stops.
Once you are taking larger strides I think the KEY KEY KEY thing is to do as Carl says - do as little to slow the boat down as possible.
If you are going to row up to PTRC give me a should and I will come out for an outing!