Olympic Rowers Develop Composite Pods

06 August 2004

Special carbon fibre 'pods' have been designed for New Zealand Olympic rowers to stop water leaking into boats from expected choppy conditions.

The New Zealand's Olympic rowers will use radical new pods at Athens, where a year ago, at the trial regatta, high winds produced a fierce chop that swamped many of the boats.

The carbon fibre pods are designed to deflect as much water as possible coming over the bow of the boats. The Australian Rowers have also unveiled a similar carbon fibre shield called the “alligator”.

The crews have to prepare for the distinct likelihood of rough water conditions on the notoriously windy Schinias course for the Athens Games.

Rowing New Zealand's High Performance craft, manager Andrew Matheson says it will not improve speed, but will not slow them down.

“They are not designed to give the rowers an advantage, but should prevent any disadvantage, such as extra weight in the boats because of water”, says Matheson.

Men's fours crewman Mahe Drysdale said that ""other countries are preparing for the same so we're expecting some quite radical designs.""

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