• What can maths tell us about the best way to rig a rowing eight? Does a cox help or hinder a racing boat? How does the speed of a kayak or a canoe depend on the number of paddlers? And what if you fall in – can maths tell us anything about the best way to swim? This video from Professor John Barrow's Maths of Sport lecture series is aimed at a general audience.

  • Is the conventional pattern of rowing blades in a racing four or eight - alternately right-left, right-left as you go from one end of the boat to the other - the best arrangement? John Barrow investigates the appeal of alternative rowing rigs to minimise boat wiggle in this article aimed at general readers and older students.

  • 8 speed/time problems from Olympic athletics, rowing and cycling aimed at GCSE students (Key Stage 4). This activity encourages investigation and research for some parts of the questions, and gives students opportunities to construct and justify approximations and estimates.

  • For this article Plus, our free online maths magazine, interviewed leading researchers in sports technology and engineering to learn more about their work with Olympic and Paralympic athletes in a range of sports. Improvements to equipment or clothing may save only a few hundredths of a second, but that can mean the difference between a silver or gold medal.

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