The hard-won victory by the Dark Blues of Oxford in the Cancer Research UK University Boat Race marks the official start of The 2017 Social Season. This calendar of quintessentially ‘must-attend’ British events may be associated with high society, but it’s surprising how often load cells are helping make these elegant society events happen!
The University Boat Race (April)
Just one glance at the sleek, modern boats zipping through the (often) choppy waters of the River Thames marks this event as fuelled less by tradition than by tech. The student crews train at the highest standards all year round, and load cells are monitoring their efforts both on the water and off. Take the oarlock, the ring that contains the oar as it is twisted and turned. One company uses load cells to ensure their adapted oarlock can measure sweep angle, driving force, oar height, oar depth, stroke timings and oar pitch. Load cells are also used in the foot stretcher to measure the rower’s performance as this is, “Where the majority of the forces generated by the rower constantly pass through.”
Royal Windsor Horse Show (May)
Held in the private grounds of Windsor Castle, the RWHS is a feast of equine activity from international jumping and dressage to Pony Club games. Yet every rider depends on one single piece of equipment to keep their mount’s saddle in place, a girth. This band encircles the horse and has to be at the optimum tension to ensure the saddle stays in place without affecting the horse’s performance or welfare. A research paper by Sue Wright noted that “The tension applied to the girth is usually based on an individual’s experience rather than by scientific measurement or procedure.” She and her team used in-line load cells to accurately measure and record girth tension both at rest and during exercise.
Wimbledon Championship Tennis Tournament (June)
The world-famous Championships are a busy time for the in-house stringing team. They string on average over 2,000 racquets, using up to 40 miles of string. A championship-standard tennis racquet is a complex, lightweight mix of composite materials, capable of withstanding the impact of serving shots at 140mph. Load cells are used to test all aspects of string performance, including tensile strength, elongation, and knot strength. Load cells have also been used to examine the response of the string-bed on impact with the ball.
The Season continues through to September, so keep an eye out for our second blog on how load cells contribute to more of the ‘must-do events in the UK in 2017.
At The Load Cell Shop, we can design and manufacture load cells for any testing, research or monitoring application you require. From our manufacturing base in Reading, we can ship quickly and easily to all UK destinations. Call us with your requirements, or buy direct from our online load cell shop.