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Rowers power towards gold with carbon fibre technology

shore school coxed 8 wins gold

Drawing on carbon fibre technology used in the most recent America’s Cup, Croker Oars has developed a new generation of high performance rowing and sculling oars.

Aptly called ‘Arrows’, the small diameter shafts are made from high modulus carbon using multiple layers of thin carbon plies at various angles, to achieve a balance of strength and torsional stiffness. The oars are also very light in weight.

“The thin shafts have less aerodynamic drag than normal shafts and, because they weigh less, they have less rotational inertia,” says Managing Director, Howard Croker.

“But we have to be careful to make sure the shafts are not too stiff. Shaft stiffness is an important factor and the oars are matched to the rower like golf clubs or archery bows.”

The rowing and sculling blades, designed to fit on the smaller shafts, feature thin edges, low wind resistance, 3D curvature and hydrodynamic efficiency, which gives good lockup in the water but is still clean on entry and exit, according to Mr Croker.

“Our blades have been known for cleanliness and lack of splash and these new blades take it one step further.”

“Using a heavy duty router built to our specifications by an Australian manufacturer, we now machine our models and tools, moving from a design to a finished tool in one week, which is very helpful for the production of prototypes.”

Based on the mid-NSW coast, the company makes over 10,000 oars a year. Sporting the distinctive Croker branding of black with pink trim, the Arrows have been put to the test in this year’s state and national championships, with several crews taking out Gold.