Rowing and motorsports equipment icons team to custom-design racing shells

Resolute Racing Shells' (Bristol, R.I.) new partner, Crawford High Performance Composites (Denver, N.C.), is expected to bring its proprietary aerospace composite technology to bear in the fabrication of stiffer, more durable world-class rowing shells.

Resolute Racing Shells (Bristol, R.I.), a global leader in elite racing-shell manufacturing, has partnered with Crawford High Performance Composites, known for its expertise in the motorsports industry, to create custom racing shells. The all-new Crawford/Resolute Design shells will benefit from "proprietary aerospace composite technology" that will, according to Resolute, ensure world-class performance and light weight combined with "legendary stiffness and three times the durability" of previous shells  The March 7 announcement noted that a prototype shell will be available in May of this year and will be introduced at the Men’s Eastern Sprints and the Women’s NCAA tournament. To date, several Crawford/Resolute Design shells have been presold.

“For the past 25 years, the name ‘Crawford’ has been linked to some of auto racing’s fastest and most successful cars,” says Misha Joukowsky, president and CEO of Crawford High Performance Composites. “We are delighted to partner with Resolute Racing to create an unparalleled shell, ideal for international competition as well as elite-level collegiate and junior programs.”

For more than 40 years, Max Crawford has been a driving force in auto racing. His customers include teams from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, Izod INDYCAR, Sports Car Club of America, World of Outlaws, Grand American Road Racing Assn., American Le Mans Series, Vintage Racing and the World Endurance Championship. Crawford pioneered the introduction of autoclaved composite laminates for the American race industry and his company was the first American, privately owned, nonaerospace company to build a complete carbon fiber composite car body in 1990, the Mazda RX7-92P for competition in the IMSA series. All manufacturing is performed on site in Denver, N.C., supported by Crawford’s design, aero and mechanical engineering teams.

For the past 19 years, Resolute Racing Shells has constructed boats for medal-winning collegiate rowing crews including Brown, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cal and numerous others. In fact, the company’s shells have been used by the NCAA Division I women’s championship winners 10 times since the program’s inception 17 years ago. In 1999, a Cal team set a world’s best time in a Resolute at the IRA’s of 5:23.6 that eclipsed all Olympic records to that point and still stands as one of the fastest collegiate times ever.

On the international scene, teams using Resolute Racing Shells also have medaled, winning the Oxford/Cambridge Women’s Lightweight race, in the U.K., 12 out of the past 18 years, and placing first in two categories during the 130th Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, in 2012.

Resolute Racing says it got its start when its founders combined their knowledge of America’s Cup racing hulls, hydrodynamics and prepregged carbon fiber to completely reshape the exterior of the hull, dramatically increasing stiffness and decreasing drag-inducing wetted surface without sacrificing the balance essential for reliable rowability. This discovery was then engineered into a monocoque hull that eliminated the need for secondary bonded parts. This modification further increased the hull’s durability and rigidity. This new “Z” hull, according to Resolute Racing, instantly advanced to the sport’s cutting edge, where it began "a complete revolution in shell technology and transformed the sport of rowing." Notably, the first boat Resolute Racing built won the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in its first outing and is still being raced and winning medals.

Resolute Racing continues to make advancements in shell design and supplies parts and provides regular and emergency maintenance/repair services on all brands of boats.

For more information, contact Resolute Racing Shells, Tel.: (401) 253-7384; Web stie:

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