Monday, 20 January 2020

High Performance Testing with Ollie Zeidler

I wish to thank World Champion Ollie Zeidler for assisting in high-performance testing of RANDALLfoils. This was the first time we have had the opportunity to work with an athlete like Ollie and to study the performance of the foil under extreme strength and power conditions. We are continuing to learn more about the design and rigging optimisation for the highest elite levels.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Matt Brigham Leeds University BC

Congratulations to Matt Brigham of Leeds University for selection to the GB Olympic squad. Matt and the START program are testing the performance capabilities of the RANDALLfoil. The slow-motion video below shows the lock and hold of the foil during the stroke.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Crossing the Atlantic with RANDALLfoils


Dominic Schaub and Florian Ramp will take part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2019, the "World's Toughest Row." Together, we are Team Atventure (= Atlantic Adventure). On the 12th of December we will start our row on the Canary Islands.

Follow their journey
Track Atventure's progress

Friday, 15 November 2019

Can RANDALLfoils improve head-racing results?

I have been testing RANDALLfoils since the summer of 2018. During this time, I have rowed over 2000 km with the foils and used them in 5 head-race regattas, 4 sprint-race regattas and in one marathon (Boston Rowing Marathon). While I have documented performance gains of the foils in sprint races (, measuring performance gains in longer races has remained elusive until now.

I finally had the chance to test the performance of the foils in my single during the 2019 Head of the Hooch. Between 2015 and 2019, I have competed in the Men's Lightweight 1x (55+) event every year, although the event was shortened in 2018 due to conditions. In all other years, this event is a 5000 m downstream course with variable current and wind conditions. While raw times vary with current and wind, I have had the benefit of competing against 3 of the same competitors every year.

In 2019, I had the second-fastest raw time in this event, which is by far my best finish place in this event since I first rowed the event in 2015 (see Table of results). But did the foils make me faster? To answer this question, I compared my raw times against the three other rowers mentioned above (see chart). Rower A always gets the best raw time; he is one of the best >60 lightweight male scullers in North America. Rower B generally gets the second-best raw time, although this dropped to third (behind me) in 2019; he is an experienced rower and very consistent. In contrast, Rower C improved significantly from 2015 to 2017. Between 2015 and 2017, I was generally 36.8 to 58.0 seconds behind Rower A and 15.0 to 25.1 seconds behind Rower B. In 2017, I was 6.1 seconds behind Rower C. But between 2017 and 2019, I gained between 27.8 and 35.5 seconds on these three rowers. I attribute this 2.4% to 3.0% speed increase almost entirely to the foils. It is certainly not due to an increase in my fitness as my best 5K erg times have remained relatively constant since 2016 (19:12.7 in 2019, 19:17.3 in 2018, 19:19.6 in 2017, 19:19.5 in 2016). Your mileage with foils might vary, but they clearly help me a lot.

Bob Symonds
You can contact Bob to inquire further about his experiences with foils and can purchase directly from him. [email...

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Fire, Ice, and Physics : The Science of Game of Thrones by Dr. Rebecca C. Thompson

[on oars]

"For his war galleys, Stannis chose a different method of propulsion, one no less dependent on shape: rowing. The physics of rowing is pretty straightforward, so the speak. It's a simple lever action. When the rower pulls back on the handle, the oar blade is pushed against the water. Because every action has an equal and opposite reaction, the ship is pushed forward a little bit. When 100 people are doing this simultaneously in choreographed synchrony, the ship can get going quite quickly.

The shape and size of the oar blade is important in getting the most out of each stroke. The larger the blade, the more power it can generate, and that power combined with the force the rower provides to the lever of the oar is what moves the ship forward. This is a tricky balance to maintain, however - you need someone strong enough to generate that kind of power, and you want the largest oar your rowers can handle efficiently. If there's too much surface area, the ship might move quickly for a short time, but the rowers will tire sooner. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

The shape of the oar is also important in getting the maximal speed out of each stroke. Traditional oars, the type that Stannis’s ships would have used, are symmetrical. The blade looks the same on each side of the shaft. In 1991, former Olympic rower Dick Dreissigacker and his brother Pete designed the cleaver oar. A main drawback to the symmetrical, or tulip, oar was the drag caused by the shaft. With a tulip oar it is impossible to get the entire blade in the water without also dunking in a lot of the shaft. The shaft then drags through the water without proving any real forward motion to the ship. With the cleaver oar, the shaft is attached to the top with the entire blade hanging down. This way the blade can go in the water without much of the shaft having to drag though the water. It seemed like an obvious solution after someone else thought of it. 

More recently, an Australian rower named Ian Randall developed yet another oar design: the Randall Foil. This oar adds a small lip to the top of a cleaver oar in the direction of oar movement, allowing the oar to make full contact with the water without having to dip the shaft in. In addition, it catches the water that normally flows over the top of the oar causing turbulence. Independent studies found that these oars can increase a boat’s speed by around 5%. I bet Gendry’s wishing he had a pair of those." (P.221)

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Towards Tokyo 2020

Kanji : Rowing

After the success of Martino Goretti (ITA) at the 2019 World Championships, we have been in discussions with many athletes, coaches and National teams seeking to utilize the performance benefits of the RANDALLfoil.

We wish to offer our assistance to all teams, for the purpose of this design project has always been to progress the sport of rowing.

Five Key Essentials for adopting RANDALLfoils

- Securely attach foils with fiberglass resin or professional grade adhesive.
- Pitch Oarlock at Zero-degrees (pins also set at zero)
- Raise Oarlocks one or two washers to maintain existing hand heights
- Reduce Oar outboard to accommodate athlete strength capacity
- Practice soft catches with direct horizontal force connections

Note : NK Empower and Peach systems are not compatible as they will not accommodate the required pitch adjustments. 

Feel free to make contact with Aram Lemmerer, Ian Randall or your local distributor for further assistance.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Grüner Moselpokal 2019

Congratulations to Berthold Weitkemper for winning the 4k race, rowing with RANDALLfoils.

Race Report : There were strong crosswinds and it was difficult to generate clean strokes. The foils helped me to manage a clean catch every stroke and to find my rhythm quickly. Passing the turning point and during last 2k upstream and headwind I had to work pretty Martino Goretti said in his interview with Aram Lemmerer : "if you want to be faster you´ve to feel it harder". I could overtake one rival and at the end finished with 1:10 difference to my next opponent...17:35...pretty close to some 2X masters B.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

World Masters Champions use RANDALLfoils

Congratulations to Petr Mitas (World Champion - Grade B),  David Harralson and Don Tanhauser (World Champions - Grade J). Extraordinary results from inspiring rowers who will always be World Champions.

Friday, 30 August 2019

"Now I cry" - Martino Goretti (ITA), World Champion ML1X

The words of Martino Goretti after winning the 2019 World Championships Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls – A-Final

“Now I cry. I said before this regatta that this would be my last world champs. Now I am old enough to quit. When the LM4- was canceled I lost my Olympic dream. I thought the sport was no longer for me, then I discovered rowing in the single and realized I could still enjoy it.”

Watch all of Martino's races here

Aram Lemmerer with Martino Goretti

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

It's never easy

Congratulations Martino Goretti (ITA) for the fastest time in the Quarter Finals.

Martino said to the race commentators that he is using RANDALLfoils to get the 'feel' of a solid catch and for that extra hold. The foils really helped him make the change from sweep to sculling giving a similar feel through the water.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Martino Goretti uses the RANDALLfoil at the World Championships

The Italian Olympic single sculler Martino Goretti becomes the first 'elite' to use the RANDALLfoil design at an international regatta. On the first day of the World Championships, Martino came 1st in his heat by 40 meters with the fastest time of the day.

Martino has been training with the design since the European Rowing Championships and gaining Italian national selection using the RANDALLfoil. During the qualifying race, Martino had a clear lead at 500m and held his position with a winning margin of two boat lengths.

"I really don't understand why the rowing world has been so slow to adopt the design? This thing, in my opinion, is really game-changing" Martino Goretti

Like all top athletes, Martino's true performance comes from something deep within himself formed from years of struggle and sacrifice. A strip of plastic can add nothing to this.

Martino Goretti trialing the RANDALLfoil

Martino Goretti winning the Italian qualifying regatta using the RANDALLfoil.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Four Gold at the US Nation Masters for David Harralson

Congratulations to US National Masters Champion David Harralson, 79, winning 4 Gold's last weekend. David continues to row at the highest levels with years of training, experience and service to his club Casitas RC. "Rowing is a life-long endeavor." David has been rowing and racing with RANDALLfoils for over two years now. (Image of David at 2018 Nationals)

You can watch a brief interview with David here

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Rule 40 - "Innovation"

When FISA considered the legality of the RANDALLfoil it needed to consult Rule 40.

Any novel equipment design needs to be submitted to FISA to determine if it conforms to the laws of rowing. If the new design conforms, it is considered NOT to challenging Rule 40 and is declared NOT to be an innovation. According to Rule 40, anything actually considered to be an innovation would NOT be permitted in the sport of rowing.

The use of the word 'innovation' has a particular legal understanding within the context of the FISA Rule Book. There are many unique designs which we would commonly consider to be 'innovative' but as they conform to existing laws they are determined by FISA not to be so. For example, the use of new materials, boat shapes, rigger positioning, blade and shaft designs we do consider to be innovations, however, as they are 'legal' they are not considered innovations by FISA.

If however, the FISA Equipment Committee did declare a novel design to be an "innovation" the design must then go before the full Executive Committee for further scrutiny. If considered to change the nature of the sport, the innovation will not be permitted. However, when a determined innovation is then accepted by the Executive it must then have a full 12 months of commercial availability before use at competitions.

We were thankful, and very relieved, when FISA Equipment Committee gave their determination that the foil design was not considered an innovation.

Long live innovation and those who possess that spirit of enquiry to push the boundaries of design within the rules of our sport.

Thursday, 25 July 2019


The best of luck to all athletes who have been working with Aram Lemmerer and myself in preparing their equipment for the upcoming World Rowing Championships. 

To answer a commonly asked question ... 

RANDALLfoils are officially permitted to be used at the 2019 World Rowing Championships.

1st August 2018, FISA Equipment Commission determined the RANDALLfoil conformed to all current laws of oar design and are permitted for use at all FISA sanctioned events. Click to view FISA ruling

The design was subsequently presented to the rowing community at the FISA Coaching, Sports Science and Medicine Conference, Berlin. 

RANDALLfoils will be made available during the World Championships at the Nelo Racing commercial stand with a fitting service available.

Click to view full documentation

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Good Luck Vero Beach Rowing Club

Vero Beach Rowing Club have begun to adopt RANDALLfoils for their junior rowing training program. I wish them the very best for the U23 World Rowing Championships and look forward to seeing their progress, both now and into the future.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Poor conditions continue to upset elites

Rotterdam, Netherlands, upset many best performances with top scullers like Olli Zeidler missing out on A Final qualification. This is a screenshot at the start of the Men's 1x, Sverri NIELSEN using standard blades nearly capsizes.

RANDALLfoils have been shown to out-perform standard equipment, especially in poor conditions.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

US Masters Rep - Bob Symonds

Karen and Bob Symonds with RANDALLfoil blades at the Boston Marathon
I would like to welcome US Masters rower Bob Symonds to the RANDALLfoil team.

Bob is a sixty-year-old Masters rower who embraces the mantra: faster, stronger, older. He competes both nationally and internationally in a wide variety of races from sprints on up to marathons. He is highly competitive in the single but becomes a powerhouse when joined by his wife, Karen, in the double scull. While he has won over sixty medals, he strives to improve every year, a quest that ultimately led him to join our team.

Bob was one of the first to trial and race with the foil design and he has written many reviews on rowing forums in defense of its performance characteristics. He only started rowing a decade ago, but as a former competitive long-distance runner, he quickly got in shape to row. At the same time, he knew that his on-water performance lagged his fitness. So he used his background as a research geochemist and hydrologist to begin a long journey to row better and faster. His path led him to RANDALLfoil's. It has been a pleasure to work with Bob since the discovery of the foil design and to have such a committed representative of the design on the team is such a bonus.

Bob will be our lead distributor to Masters rowers in the States and will look after the Midwest region (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, and Louisiana).

You can reach Bob by email: 

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Unlike any other

The first couple of strokes with the foils was a remarkable experience. There is such grip and stability in the water it feels like you're in a quad. After a couple minutes your body adapts and you forget they are even there. Your shoulders relax at the catch because you have the confidence the blade will catch and stay planted. It feels like rowing should feel. As soon as the blade drops in the water you are able to notice the boat levering past the blade. Though there is still some slip the send in the second half of the stroke in unlike any other set up I've felt. Where I noticed the biggest difference, however, was when I traveled to a different club, and rowed a different single. I immediately felt a lack of stability, my stroke was less powerful and my posture was tighter. The best compliment I can give is 'try rowing without them, it will never be the same'.

I have also taken a few videos. In reviewing them, I noticed my catches were not as sharp as I like (sorry, it was the end practice) - I'm happy to reshoot them if you would like me to. Or even take a few videos at race pace.

Here are the videos.

One stroke - shows the water loading up on the blade

Same angle but a few strokes

A different angle

Chris Zulinov,
Equipment Manager,
Halifax Rowing Club

Sunday, 7 July 2019

More issues with standard blades at Henley Royal Regatta

Standard blades offer very little vertical control and can easily crab, dive or washout. The reality of racing in the real world is that open water offers no promise of smooth or controlled race conditions and experienced world-class athletes continue to be let down by current oar design.

RANDALLfoil blades offer superior control and performance in all conditions when compared to standard oars. Don't let 'standards' limit your performance!

Henley Commentators ... oar shaft drag

During the final of the Fawley Challenge Cup the commentators were explaining the negative effect of rowers digging oars too deeply. RANDALLfoils were specifically designed to eliminate oar shaft drag to improve oar efficiency and increase boat speed.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Elites taking note

Many thanks to Sean Heaney, Irish International Representative, for his endorsement of RANDALLfoils.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

The need for a design change

Much has been said of what 'elites' are capable of, especially when it comes to technique.

Yet, there are many cases where 'elites' struggle to perform with standard equipment; catching crabs, washing out and nearly capsizing. On one hand, it makes the everyday rower feel alittle better seeing top athletes experiencing difficulties, but it also raises questions about current oar design.

The difficulties that EVERYONE experience with oars warrants a design change. A design improvement will make our sport safer and top performances more achievable.

What has been shown is that the application of a RANDALLfoil to the top edge of a blade eliminates the possibilities of crabbing and unexpected blade movements during the stroke.

Everyone deserves to achieve the results they have been working for.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

How important is STABILITY ?

Watching the World Cup II in Poznań highlighted the importance of stability in rowing. Many 'elite' rowers found the unfavorable conditions greatly affected their performances, especially in small boats.

Standard oars are greatly affected by adverse and changeable water conditions and offer little to no stability, especially when you are trying to apply maximum force to the blade. One rogue wave can knock you completely off your balance and cost significant boat speed.

One of the overwhelming review comments of the RANDALLfoil design is the incredible stability the design offers. Blades with foils are simply not affected by the changing water conditions as wave energy does not disrupt the movement of the blade and loom during the stroke.

Consider how your oars would perform under these race conditions?

Friday, 14 June 2019

27,000km on the clock - In the boat with Bob Symonds

I started rowing in the fall of 2009. Since that time, I have rowed almost 27,000 km combined on the water and the erg. I set my best 2K time (7:12.2) in 2011 and came within one second of matching that this February. In terms of Concept2 rankings, I am best at 5K pieces and worse at 1K pieces and in between on 2K pieces. In summary, my fitness has been relatively constant since 2012 and my physiological strength is head racing rather than sprinting. I am also a lightweight (5'-8", 160 lbs).

Between 2011 and 2017, I have completed 15 1K sprint races in my single. I would rate two of these races as excellent with good starts, good overall speed, and great overall times (e.g. raw time in the low four minute range). However, in the 13 other races, I had various problems that slowed me down. My biggest problem has been very bad starts that alone cost me several seconds and one or more placings in the medals.

So my recent result at Dogwood in the F 1x was a dream, especially since I have not done a sprint race in my single for two years. Sure, I have areas for potential improvement (e.g. gearing) but I am now a real competitor in sprint races. I have never had such confidence with my starts until I started using the RANDALLfoils. I am gaining confidence, getting faster, and getting older. This is a great combination for a 60-year-old masters rower.

Do I have hard numbers comparing results with foils and without foils? No, but who cares. I row with more control, confidence and speed with the foils so that is what matters. The bottom line is that the foils help me do better. race to do my best and win medals so I like that.

[Footage of a 1km practice piece with Bob and Karen]


Thursday, 6 June 2019

Why standard blades need pitch and RANDALLfoils don't?

Standard blades require pitch to create stability during the drive phase of the stroke. Without pitch on the blade the rower has very little control over its depth and can wash-out or deep dive.

Blade pitch, however, reduces the efficiency of the blade as a total horizontal force. Instead of the rowers' energy being translated into horizontal boat speed, some is transferred downward.

While blade pitch makes taking powerful strokes with conventional blades possible, 'elite' crews try to find that sweet spot between crew stability and maximizing blade efficiency, always trying to reduce pitch as much as possible.

With RANDALLfoils, blade pitch can be minimised (some users report 1-degree) without the loss of any stability, but gaining total horizontal blade efficiency. All of the rowers' power is transferred into direct horizontal motion.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Rowing with a Platypus ...

Click to enlarge

I have been surprised by the generosity of people willing to post on rowing web forums and the time they give to crafting arguments and responding to the points of others. One such generous contributor is called 'Platypus' (Yarra, Australia) who has modeled for us best practice when it comes to 'posting.' They have followed up the debate about the efficacy of RANDALLfoils on the popular forum "Rowing Illustrated" with a trial of their own.  Platypus presented a review of the design from a position of actual experience and I thank 'Platypus' for taking the time to test the design and to share the findings with the rowing community.

Re: RandallFoil
by platypus - Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:37am
"To all you doubters and hecklers out there that need scientific evidence before you get on-board with a new product: I've been using Randall Foils with Braca-Sport oars for the past month and are 100% certain that they offer at least one advantage over oars without them. STABILITY.
I don't give a rat about time trials, I know when I feel so much more stable at the catch. The foils have completely transformed the stability of the boat for me, particularly when sculling in boat wash or rough water. Some people might say that the foil creates more wind resistance. Sure that might be true, but the stability and confidence that you gain in rough water to me kills any negative wind drag effect. Furthermore, I've seen novice scullers being able to sit at the catch with blades squared and buried, for the very first time with Randall Foils. Then when they change back to standard blades they look so nervous and unbalanced and can't do that. Therefore, from what I've experienced and seen, Randall Foils definitely offer more boat stability and go a long way to help novices overcome fear of the water. As for scientific time trials for more boat speed: Don't know and DON"T CARE. Sculling well has a lot to do with stability and confidence. Randall Foils offer that.