UNIVERSITY of PLYMOUTH NOVEMBER 2008
Gavin Rebello is asked to advice and support marine sports science student Sharon Poulter’s dissertation for her honours degree. The Visual performance of marine sports.
We compared the visual performance between advanced (national) and elite(Olympic) sailors to see if there was a difference.
We also looked into whether there were differences between advanced Kayakers and Sailors.
The dissertation, which succeeded in securing a 1st class honours degree for Sharon, conclusively showed a definite performance difference between elite athletes and those performing at an advanced level. This means that if an athlete wants to achieve elite levels they MUST have their vision assessed by a sports-vision specialist. The High Street optician does a great job, but is not necessarily equipped to look, in detail, at how efficiently the eyes are working for the athlete’s particular sport. SAILING was deemed to be visually far more demanding, with little room for inefficiency at high level, than kayaking. In Kayaking, because the eyes are often filled with spray, much of the course is in some degree of blur. Visual advantage does occur with route planning – looking for eddys and water colour and clues for underlying rocks, visual memory and not being sensitive to glare.
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