ORC (Orlando Rowing Club)
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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When I was covering the Duanwu/Dragon Boat Race Festival on June 4, 2016 at Lake Fairview Park, ORC (Orlando Rowing Club), I came across Denise at ORC (2200 Lee Rd., Fairview Shores of Lake Fairview Park, Orlando, FL), in the midst of putting a boat together for ORC’s summer program for middle school age group rowers.
Denise is a level II certified instructor for rowing at ORC. ORC has activities for adult, children, youth alike, in single, double, group rowers. Orlando Rowing Club (ORC) is a nonprofit organization promoting the sport of rowing and paddling to the Central Florida community. ORC offers competitive and recreational rowing at all levels, learn to row programs, dragon boating, and team-building events. So, if you are interested in rowing or paddling for fitness, check out ORC and various organizations (such as C.H.A.R.G.E. meetup group) associated with it. ORC offers classes in:
- Sweep Rowing: each rower has one oar (blade), held with both hands.
Sweep rowing is usually done in pairs, fours, and eights where the crew typically includes a coxswain who directs the rowers. Each rower takes one side and is referred to as a port (oar extends to the right side of the boat) or starboard (oar extends to the left side of the boat). Below, in italics, is wikipedia’s contribution on Sweep Rowing: Sweep or single oar rowing has a long history and was the means of propulsion for Greek triremes and Viking longboats. These boats were wide enough for the pairs of rowers to sit alongside each other. Boats can go faster, the narrower they are, because a smaller cross-sectional area reduces drag and wave drag and gives a sharper angle to the bow. The hulls can be kept narrower by attaching riggers to the gunwales, so that the oarlocks can be placed farther out to carry longer oars. A narrower hull means the rowers can not sit side by side and so they sit one behind another. The riggers are staggered alternately along the boat so that the forces apply asymmetrically to each side of the boat. This means a sweep oared racing shell has to be stiffer in order to handle the unmatched forces, and so requires more bracing, which means it has to be heavier and slower than an equivalent sculling boat.
- Sculling: each rower has tow oars (or sculls), one in each hand. Sculling is usually done in quads (4x), doubles (2x), or singles (1x), generally refers to a method of using oars to propel watercraft in a desired direction by moving the oar or oars through the water on both the port and starboard sides of the craft, or over the stern. By extension, the oars themselves are often referred to as sculls when used in this manner, and the boat itself may be referred to as a scull. The oar in the sculler’s right hand extends to port and the oar in the left hand extends to starboard. Sculling is typically done without a coxswain, with steering done with varying amount of pull on each side. Below, in italics, is the contribution from wikipedia on single-oar and two-oar sculling: Single-oar sculling is the process of propelling a watercraft by moving a single, stern-mounted oar from side to side while changing the angle of the blade so as to generate forward thrust on both strokes. The technique is very old and its origin uncertain, though it was it is thought to have been discovered independently by different peoples of different locations and times. It is known to have been used in ancient China, and on the Great Lakes of North America by pre-Columbian Americans.In single-oar sculling, the oar pivots on the boat’s stern, and the inboard end is pushed to one side with the blade turned so that it generates forward thrust; it is then twisted so that when pulled back on the return stroke, the blade also produces forward thrust. Backward thrust can also be generated by twisting the oar in the other direction and rowing. Steering, as in moving coxless sculling shells in crew, is accomplished by directing the thrust. The oar normally pivots in a simple notch cut into—or rowlock mounted on— the stern of the boat, and the sculler must angle the blade, by twisting the inboard end of the oar, to generate the thrust that not only pushes the boat forward but also holds the oar in its pivot. Specifically, the operation of the single sculling (oar) is unique as turning the blade of the oar in figure 8 motions operates them. It is not hoisted in and out of the water like any other traditional oars. The objective is to minimize the movement of the operator’s hands, and the side-to-side movement of the boat, so the boat moves through the water slowly and steadily.
This minimal rotation keeps the water moving over the top of the blade and results in forces that transfer to the multi directional row-lock, or pivoting mount, on the side of the hull thus pushing the boat forward. Steering the boat is just a matter of rotating the oar to produce more thrust on a push or pull of the oar, depending upon which way the operator wants to go.
Two-oared sculling is a form of rowing in which a boat is propelled by one or more rowers, each of whom operates two oars, one held in the fingers and upper palm of each hand. This contrasts with the other common method of rowing,sweep rowing, in which each rower may use both hands to operate a single oar on either the port or starboard side of the boat. Two-oared sculling can either be competitive or recreational, but the watercraft used will vary between the two as the racing shells of competitive rowing are built for speed rather than stability. Racing shells are also far more expensive and fragile than what is suitable for the recreational rower; a typical racing shell sells for thousands of dollars while an inflatable sculling watercraft can be purchased for under fifty.
The physical movement of sculling is split into two main parts: the drive and the recovery. These two parts are separated by what is called the “catch“ and the “finish“. The drive is the section of the rowing stroke where the face of the oars, also known as blades, are firmly placed in the water and the rower is propelling the boat forwards by pulling against the anchor the oars provide. The recovery is the section where the rower’s blades are not in the water, but instead gliding above it as the rower prepares for the next stroke. The catch is the moment the blades are dropped into the water at the end of the recovery and the start of the drive while the finish is when the blades are slipping out after the drive is done and the recovery is beginning. In order for easier balancing on the recover, the blades are feathered at the finish and squared at the catch. These motions simply depict whether the blade is parallel (feathered) or perpendicular (squared) to the surface of the water.
A key (and often overlooked) technical difference between sculling and sweeping in crew is that the sculling oar handles overlap twice during the stroke, while sweep oar handles never overlap during normal rowing (because each sweeper usually holds only one oar). The overlap occurs at the midpoint of the drive and again during the recovery; because of this, scullers must hold one hand (conventionally the left hand) higher than the other at the point of overlap. To prevent this from impacting the balance of the boat, one oarlock (conventionally the port one) is rigged higher than the other prior to rowing. This prevents the oar handles from colliding with one another and causing a crab or other problems.
- Dragon Boating: the paddlers face forward (unlike in sweep rowing or sculling), and use a specific type of paddle. The typical dragon boat complement consists of 20 paddlers in pairs, 1 drummer or caller at the bow facing toward the paddlers, and 1 steer or tiller who controls the dragon boat with a sweep oar rigged at the rear of the boat. For more videos on technique of dragon boating, please refer to: http://windermeresun.com/2016/05/25/duanwu-aka-dragon-boat-race-festival-june-4-2016-at-lake-fairview-park/
Be sure to register online for these rowing classes! It’s a great way to absorb some sunshine while giving your muscles a great work out and learn to team-work!
Our next post will be specifically on the coverage of Dragon Boat Race/Duanwu Festival of June 4, 2016, at Lake Fairview Park of Orlando, FL
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