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No penalty drops were needed for two Ladies European Tour professionals who landed themselves in the water ahead of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships. They had a go at rowing after SAS, the Official Analytics Partner of British Rowing, organised for the elite golfers to trade places with GB Rowing Team athletes for a day.

Athletes in both rowing and golf make use of data to ensure they are constantly able to improve performance and technique. In rowing, SAS, the leader in analytics software and services has been working closely with British Rowing and its high-performance arm, the GB Rowing Team since 2015. The partnership’s aim is to help ensure GB Rowing Team’s boats go faster in a bid to secure medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, particularly after it topped the table at London 2012 and Rio 2016.

With both sports being represented at the inaugural European Championships, taking place 2-12 August 2018, British golfers Amy Boulden and Annabel Dimmock changed from a golf to a rowing stroke with athletes from the GB Rowing Team – Tom George, Alan Sinclair, and Will Fletcher – showing them the ropes.

After splitting into teams – Amy with Tom, and Annabel with Alan – fierce competition ensued as each pair battled it out in double scull boats over 160m down the River Thames in Marlow.

Soon, the (golf) shoes were on the other foot, and the rowers were dispatched to a three-hole pitch & putt course at SAS’ UK HQ in Marlow for a series of golf challenges.

Speaking about the job swap, Tom George said: “SAS’ data analytics has been extremely important for the GB Rowing Team, as we work alongside them to make the boats go faster, but also helping to identify future talent. Taking part in the job swap with Amy and Annabel has given us greater insight into the extent of data use in other sports, and the scope of its use in the future, particularly in the lead up to the inaugural European Championships.”

Annabel Dimmock commented: “I was a little bit nervous, as I hadn’t ever rowed before, but it was great to get out on the water and try something new. It surprised me how much rowing is a full body workout – arms, core, legs and coordination. It was great to see the guys play golf and to put them in a similar position to what they put us in! In golf you might not know what the weaknesses of your game are until you get off the course and see your stats. Usually, they’re completely different to what you emotionally felt on the course, which is why it’s so important to be able to see the facts.”

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Find out more information about the partnership between SAS and British Rowing.