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Ideal boat order for mixed crew

May 1 2010 at 12:25 AM

Let's hear your ideal setup for a mixed crew. e.g. seat position of females, overall weight distribution...

Would it change for 250m vs 500m?

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Re: Ideal boat order for mixed crew

May 1 2010, 1:39 PM 

Chinese put the men in front , women behind.


Re: Ideal boat order for mixed crew

May 2 2010, 7:34 PM 

This is just ridiculous. How can you have an ideal that applies to everyone.

For starters Champion boats require you to put extra weight to the back to trim it correctly where as BUK's require more weight to the front as the nose tends to rise very easily under acceleration and with the speed of any decent mixed / opens crew.

You then have to factor in some girls in a mixed crew can weigh as much as a guy in the same crew (i.e 65/70kg's) and it then becomes a question of technique / style and best fits into each row.

In general you will want to put slightly more weight forward for the 200/250m event as the boat will be under greater speed the majority of the race and as such the boat will run nose high unless you push weight forward (not alot - probably only 20/30kg).

Power Demon

Re: Ideal boat order for mixed crew

May 3 2010, 2:38 PM 

Depends on many factors.

1. First and foremost is the crews ability level. For novice crews its all about timing up front, and moving the worst technical/timing paddlers as far back as you can get away with. Even for intermediate crews - figure out who puts their head down during the race and mucks up the boat and get them as far back as possible. It's all about damage control!

For advanced boats the opposite can be true - get paddlers with good feel in the back where they are able to find resistance in fast moving water. Ideally guys or gals with lots of experience paddling but might not be super impressive in the gym usually work out great back there. You want paddlers with lots of raw strength as far up the boat as size reasonably permits where the water is nice and "heavy". Up front in the strokes you want someone with experience, the right rhythem, who the crew respects, and can execute your race plan while being cool and collected. The worst person to have up their is a type A who can't control themselves during a race - rather someone who responds to the drummer but in a controlled manner.

You might also want to "thread the boat" during practice - for crew development, but maybe not your final lineup for race day. Try to sandwhich people that need to improve between those who are doing what you like. Boat order can make a big difference for the speed in which a paddler and by extension crew develops - then finalize the boat order as you approach your race.

I also like to integrate men and women instead of all women up front, or in back, or a combination of the two. It seems to motivate paddlers better as the women try to out paddle the men and vice versa. Seems silly but it works and helps to get rid of "hiding" in the boat where people aren't putting in their full effort.

2. Wind direction - headwind = weight up front, tailwind = weight in the back. Otherwise I agree with the posted who said slight forward lean when not paddling. A well balanced boat should feel like it is plaining (i.e. riding up on a wave) when paddling in deep water.

3. Size- Tallest in 6, biggest in the middle, make sure you have strong paddlers in 3-4, flexibility up front, narrow bums in the back, happy.gif


Re: Ideal boat order for mixed crew

May 3 2010, 9:12 PM 

That's a good post, Power Demon!


Re: Ideal boat order for mixed crew

May 4 2010, 12:37 AM 

I dont understand why wind direction will have any effect on how you weight your boat in any way. The only variables that effect the plaining (nose high or nose low etc) for a dragon boat are weight, depth of course and speed of the dragon boat.


Re: Ideal boat order for mixed crew

May 4 2010, 11:38 AM 

In theory, a headwind will tend to lift the bow of the boat. You want the boat to stay level. So more weight forward in the boat during a strong headwind can make sense.


Re: Ideal boat order for mixed crew

May 4 2010, 3:19 PM 

The headwind / tailwind thing has more to do with steering, think of the boat acting like a weather vane. It's not as drastic as a weather vane but on the same spectrum:

In the case of a head wind, the heavy people up front act as the pin, and the front of the boat keeps "planted" and the rest of the boat aligns itself, pointing in the direction of the wind.

If you weight it heavy to the back in a head wind, the steer has to do alot more work, keeping the light end pointed into the wind, scrubbing speed in the process.


Re: Ideal boat order for mixed crew

May 4 2010, 7:52 PM 

THe difference between front and back heavy is generally no more than +/-50 -60kg at most, anymore than that would be entirely detrimental as TOO back or TOO nose heavy.

When you consider a full Opens crew + boat + sweep + drummer + drum + Sweep oar weighs in most cases more than 2000kg there is no way that shifting 50 or 60kg either towards the back or front will allow a wind to take hold of the back or front and push it to any great degree.

When you also consider the forward momentum of the boat at 15km/h in any decent crew there is next to no chance that weight in the boat has any material impact regardless of which way the wind is blowing.

You'd have to be paddling in a cyclone (which you never would in a DB) before it had any effect.

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