Journal of Marine Science and Technology

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 1105–1118 | Cite as

Validation of CFD simulations of the flow around a full-scale rowing blade with realistic kinematics

  • Yoann Robert
  • Alban LeroyerEmail author
  • Sophie Barré
  • Patrick Queutey
  • Michel Visonneau
Original article


This article deals with the validation of the modelling and numerical simulation of a rowing stroke, by means of CFD. Simplified but realistic strokes were performed in a towing tank with a rotating arm and a real flexible oar. Those laboratory conditions are better controlled than those of in situ trials. An FSI procedure is developed to take into account the oar bending, which is essential in the physics of this flow. The results show that this numerical framework is able to reproduce qualitatively the real flow including the breaking of the free surface around the blade and the transport of the air cavity behind it. The profiles of forces are well reproduced, with propulsive forces overestimated by 5–12% for their maxima. The study also focuses on the computation of the uncertainties. It is highlighted that, even for this well-controlled experimental equipment, the uncertainties on the quantities of interest are of about 11%. In other words, the experimental uncertainty covers the numerical errors. So, this numerical modelling is validated and can be used for design and optimisation of blades and oars, or to contribute to the better understanding of the boat–oar–rower system and its dynamics.


Computational fluid dynamics Fluid–structure interaction Rowing Validation 



This work was granted access to the HPC resources of GENCI (Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif) under the allocation A0022A00129 and was supported by a grant from the Région Pays de la Loire through the project ANOPACy.


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Copyright information

© JASNAOE 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LHEEA Lab.UMR-CNRS 6598, Centrale NantesNantesFrance
  2. 2.CREPS des Pays de la LoireNantesFrance

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