Pulling on the paddles
The company - the world’s leading manufacturer of rowing machines and high performance rowing blades, has signed a new four year deal with Team GBR which will take the partnership up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
As part of the new deal, Concept 2 will provide up to 20 brand new Indoor Rowers and two Concept 2 Dyno strength training machines. Some machines will be on loan to the top sailors to help them train at home and some will be based at the newly opened Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Centre (WPNSA), where most of the RYA Olympic training camps are held.
A number of machines will also be utilised by the RYA’s Sports Science Team - based at University College Chichester - for fitness testing purposes.
“Many people don’t realise we have an excellent relationship with Concept 2 that actually dates back ten years, so this great new deal is really an extension of what is an excellent working relationship,” explained Dr Pete Cunningham, who leads the RYA Sports Science Team.
“We have extended fitness testing of elite sailors to include every RYA national squad sailor starting from the grass roots Optimist level where the sailors are as young as 11, right up to the top Olympic sailors, such as Ben Ainslie, Ian Percy and Shirley Robertson.
The fitness levels of the top 35 Olympic sailors that form the elite World Class Performance Squad are tested in Chichester approximately every four months. But, due to the sheer size of the RYA’s Junior and Youth squads, which approximately total 260 youngsters, fitness monitoring normally takes place at regular intervals in the sailing centres and various sports centres across the UK.
“The versatility, ease of transport and the user-friendly nature of the Indoor Rower make it a natural choice when deciding how to test these youngsters and the majority of the senior Olympic Team,” added Dr Cunningham. “Many now also choose the Indoor Rower as their preferred method of testing and training. It’s suitable for testing across the whole spectrum of sailors from the youngest Optimist sailor right up to the super fit elite sailors such as Ben Ainslie.”