>>I am not an East German but have always sculled right over left...
>How peculiar. Did you only ever go out in the single scull, never done
>any crew sculling? And did you always have your own private single
>scull, and adjusted the oarlocks for your right over left style?
>(right oarlock half an inch higher).
>Or do you just now realize why crew sculling never went as smooth as
>single sculling, or why *you* had always scabs on your *left*
Ewoud - Edgar's a lot older than you (even than me), which doesn't ever
come across in his writing so there's no reason for you to know this.
Crew sculling was almost unknown in the UK before about 30 years ago (&
maybe we still have some progress to make).
Long ago most of us started sculling uncoached, & under far less
pressure to perform than today. We worked out what worked best without
undue advice or interference, & sculled with whichever overlap seemed to
suit us best. We rarely, if ever, thought either for orthodoxy or who
we might need to scull with. Even doubles were then rather scarce. It
was the odd sods who sculled (beg pardon, Edgar!) & all the rest rowed
IIRC, the very successful GBR Hart/Ballieu 2x wasn't held back too badly
by having one who preferred L/R & the other who liked R/L.
Dropping rather a large step in standard from those guys:
I learned to scull R/L & changed half-way through my career as an open
sculler (before we had lightweights) when I borrowed a boat plainly
rigged L/R to race (& win) our Boston Marathon. Not too difficult to
do, as I recall, but sometimes in the next few months I'd get a bit
confused. But, then, some things hardly change.
Reverting to the original topic, if I may, the inability to scull
straight in a boat which runs perfectly straight when you are not
sculling is (obviously) due to asymmetrical & asynchronous application
of power with the 2 hands. This problem is exacerbated if the sculler
sculls with large vertical separations of their hands.
We have subjected this problem to instrumented & filmed analysis, which
made the cause strikingly obvious:-
If the hands are more separated vertically at catch & finish than the
difference in rigger height warrants (a 1cm separation of oarlock height
indicates a 15mm separation of hand height at catch) it is hard, even
unsafe, to pull an equally hard finish with the lower hand, because you
then have tilted the boat so much that the lowered pin has far more
outward lateral pitch & the upper pin may even have significant inward
lateral pitch. You can see that this will cause the lower hand's blade
to dig and the upper hand's blade to wash out. It is then a natural but
unsensed reaction to lighten the effort on the lower hand. So the boat
undergoes a twitch towards the side with the lower hand at the finish &
continues in that altered direction (but straight) until the next catch.
You will probably get the reverse effect at the catch, but that is
normally less important than the finish effect, especially when the
pressure is increased.
Carl Douglas Racing Shells -
Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write: The Boathouse, Timsway, Chertsey Lane, Staines TW18 3JY, UK
URLs: www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)