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Behind the scenes at NK

“We listen to coaches a lot. What they have always wanted to be able to accurately and instantly measure is power; the raw wattage each rower can apply to each stroke.” ALIX JAMES

Lake Onondaga, New York, the early ‘70s: high schooler Alix James, along with her stepfather Richard Kellerman, are watching the IRA regatta – the US college national championships. Not rowers themselves, they have been invited by longtime family friend and Penn Varsity crew coach Ted Nash.

Back then, rowing technology was in the dark ages. Kellerman, a research scientist for tech firm Xerox at the time, noticed the bizarre array of contraptions used by coxswains. Typically, a stopwatch taped to one leg, a mechanical stroke-counter taped to the other and a cardboard megaphone strapped to the mouth – all while attempting to navigate 64 feet of timber and oarsmen between moving obstacles. A bad collision that day at the IRAs proved inevitable. It got Nash and Kellerman thinking.

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About Row360

Welcome to Row360, the world’s only global, independent rowing magazine. Row360 brings you features from around the world, profiling the best athletes, coaches, and others from the whole rowing community – Olympic, Paralympic, college, club, ocean, and more.