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What You Don’t See At The Olympics

The technology behind those Olympic starts and what really goes on at the start of a race


30 countries, 45 venues, 4 Olympic Games, 200,000 flawless starts.

Back in 1984 in Budapest, Hungary a small company was starting to produce testing equipment for the manufacturing industry. The business floated along nicely until the late 90’s, when a shift in market conditions led that company, Polaritas, to change their path of travel. They decided to move into the relatively niche world of sports technology.

By 1997 Polaritas had identified a better way of managing the race process for canoeing. This quickly fed into two other watersports – kayaking and rowing. Enter the new Automatic Starting System. Following an intensive year of development, the first-generation Automatic Starting System was successfully deployed at the 1998 ICF World Championships in Szeged, Hungary.

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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, adaptive, college, club, ocean, and more.