Many years back leading into the Athens 2004 Olympic rowing program it was identified that the regatta course had the potential to get rough due to the coastal winds.

We identified that a solution to taking on water during the race would be required. Many options were discussed including fitting pumps etc. The preferable solution ended up making fittings to attach to the boats that would reduce the chance of water coming onboard in the first place.

Water deflecting shields were made from carbon fibre that achieved this outcome.

As it turned out, the water conditions were not a problem and the parts were not required, however it really is better to be prepared.

Channel 7 and ABC news did a story on it leading into the games. The video quality is not that great but you can get the idea.