The Nexus Point
The nexus point in the stroke cycle is the entry. This is where the blade, the trunk, the arms, the legs and the seat come together. The body swing is so critical in making this occur. The blade is carried about 2-3 inches off the water; kept close for a quick entry. There is no square blade above the water before the entry.
The hands rise slightly followed by a slight rise in the wrists (Frank Cunningham’s whittling movement of the hands). This point occurs when the trunk reaches the armpits of the splayed legs and the seat is touching the end of the slide bed. This is a critical point especially in sweep rowing to insure that you are getting an even leg drive. The legs are at a perpendicular position to the gunwale on the balls of the feet. You keep the weight of the body over the keel line.
The blade is immersed in the water at blade depth. This is a must if you are to achieve the Bernoulli effect with the blade. This is easily demonstrated to the oarsman by using a blade at the dock. The trunk is extended to its fullest reach from the hips. It is a powerful positioning of the body.
This nexus point is perfected with many repeats of stationary drills both in the shell and on the ergometer. The impact of the pulling is initially felt through the shoulder girdle. It is a sudden impact by the quick immersion of the blade.
On row2k.com watching the USA men’s eight practicing today you can see the shell stop at the entry. It is directly attributed to the square blade above the water pause at the entry. Ned Hanlan would have been horrified to see the current state of elite rowing.