Event Skills

All you need to know about mastering the skills for the British Rowing Sculling Festival 2018

For a full description of the skills and the criteria required to pass them, scroll down to find the downloadable document.

All competitors will be required to do the Manoeuvrability Test which will be scored according to the time taken to complete the test. In addition, competitors will be assessed on five skills.

  • Competitors in the Beginners’ Event will be assessed on five of the Beginners’ Event Skills detailed below.
  • Competitors in the Main Event will be assessed on five skills selected from the Beginners’ Event and Main Event skills detailed below.
Beginners’ event:

360 Boat Turn

It’s a race against the clock as you use powerful whole body strokes to turn the boat around on the spot as quickly as possible.

Rigger Dips

Seated Rigger Dips

These are the seated rigger dips and you are tested on how many times you can get each rigger into the water in one minute.

Standing Rigger Dips

Now is your chance to try rigger dips whilst standing up, you will be tested the same as the sitting rigger dips – how many times you can get each rigger into the water in one minute.

Tap Down and Feather

This is a test of precision and balance. Tap the handles down and away from “backstops” to arms away. Your left hand needs to lead and the boat should balance. A pass in this test is to complete the task 3 times in 60 seconds. Try and keep your wrists flat!

Hand Off at the Catch

Keep a steady hand here! At “frontstops” take one hand off the handle at at a time. Make sure your hand is right off – you must pause and be still and complete this twice on each side.

Grip Demo

Demonstrate the perfectly gripped stroke one side at a time. Complete 3 full strokes showing the correct grip, squaring and feathering with good control.

Back Down Stop

With square blades, back the boat down to the catch position. From there, stop the boat dead by driving into the footplate, and engaging the glutes. You will need to achieve two good ones from six attempts.

Stakeboat Drill

Essential for races. Starting a boat length away from your coach, back down into your coach’s hands. Once attached, tap your boat 30° to the left, 30° to the right, and then back into the straight position. Try to do this under 45 seconds!

Standing 360 in Boat

Once again against the clock, stand up, turn around 360° in the boat and sit down. Then do this the opposite way around.

Straight Arm 1/2 Slide Suspension

Starting from half slide, drive your feet hard, suspend and drive to the end of the stroke. Make sure you maintain a suspension and keep your arms straight. You only have four attempts to try and achieve two successfully.

Main event:

Roll Ups

Clean and controlled recovery from “backstops” with feathered blades. Aim for three good ones in a minute.


Build the slide from front stops starting with tapping the blades at the catch before driving on the legs. After adding the hips, make the shoulders break the elbows and add the arm pull at the end releasing with light hands at the end. Aim to achieve 5-10 successful strokes for each stage of the sequence.

Flat Hands

Take at least three normal strokes before sculling for at least 250m with completely flat hands as soon as possible after the extraction and feathering. You can keep your thumbs on the ends of your blades. Make sure you close your hand up to square.
TOP TIP: To succeed at this task, make sure you have the correct grip before starting!

Downloadable Documents

Sculling Festival 2018 – Skills Assessment

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