Klaus Filter

WinTech Racing shells are designed by the renowned shell designer and naval architect, Klaus Filter, former chairman of the FISA Materials Commission and the Director of Research and Development for East German rowing for the thirty years prior to reunification. No architect’s boats have won more gold medals than those of Klaus Filter. Always the pioneer, Klaus has been working with our builder, The Flying Eagle Boat Company, for the past ten years to bring shell design to a new level. By training Flying Eagle’s technicians to use the most advanced construction techniques and materials, Klaus has created a synergy of Chinese high quality manufacturing ability with Western rowing knowledge and standards. The brilliant result is international caliber rowing equipment at affordable prices. Once you've rowed a Klaus Filter designed shell, you'll appreciate his reputation.



Here are some of Klaus Filter's career highlights:



Started his rowing career in postwar East Germany, at a time when the demand to fix and replace war ravaged shells accelerated. Became an apprentice at the famed Pirsch shell builders in 1949, thus finding the opportunity to both participate in the sport he loved and earn a living.

1950's               Perennial member of German Democratic Republic national team, winning the German national championship in the lightweight single. Recognizing his technical talent, the East German Sports Federation put him in charge of technical development for the sport of rowing.
1960               Developed the world's first composite rowing shell, one of the most significant developments in the sport's history. One of these boats, a coxless pair, finished fourth in the Rome 1960 Olympics and the rowing world took note.
1961               With two colleagues, founded the famed East German FES (Institut fur Forschung und Entwicklung von Sportgeraten). This body was charged with the analysis and continuous improvement of athletic equipment used by the incredibly successful East German Sports Federation.
1965               Earned his degree in naval architecture from the University of Rostock, which was founded in 1419 and is located in the heart of Germany's north coastal shipbuilding country.
1972 and 1976               Klaus twice won the East German National Award for Science and Technique for his work at FES. During this period, The FES expanded, adding canoeing and sailing to rowing, and eventually worked on all equipment-based sports, employing over 250 staff.


His association with FES gave Klaus an unequaled and financially unrestrained opportunity to empirically test every possible material and human factor that might influence the speed and stability of a racing shell. An example of this sophisticated testing was a 285-metre course with a traveling beam suspended overhead. From the beam wires were run to every possible measurable component of the boat, the oars, and the athletes. Thus an eight-oared shell could be extensively tested under full load at all out racing speeds.

During this period, Klaus also measured and documented the effects of every internal and external force that affects speed and stability for each size of shell from singles to eights. He was the only slender hull designer to calculate the human response time in reaction to tipping effects with a shell and use this data to optimize the hull shape and wetted surface of his designs accordingly.

Examples of this immense body of research includes the apportionment of aerodynamic drag by the boat, oars and athletes, as well as tables for the effects in seconds, of winds of differing velocities from differing quarters. Additional analyses show the resistance of differing hull cross sections through the water versus their differing transverse stability. He also has calculated the change in times for each boat size due to different water temperatures. Some of his most fascinating testing surrounded what is termed the efficiency of propulsion. That value measured the effects of different rowing techniques on the boat speed.



Became a founding member of FISA's Materials Commission and served as Head of the Commission from 1990-2000.

Klaus took to heart the Materials Commission's mandate to see the sport grow worldwide, visiting dozens of developing countries, teaching people how to build and repair boats, and planting the seed of the sport's growth. He brought donated shells to start programs, and gave his own designs for programs to build their own, free of charge. (In 2002, Klaus received FISA's Service of Rowing Award, for 20 years of selfless dedication to the proliferation of the sport.)

1993               After 33 years, Klaus ended his duties with FES, but continued his pioneering efforts for the sport and his role with the Materials Commission until his retirement from the latter in 2000.
1994 - present              

Because of their interest in the world wide development of rowing, Klaus decided to work hand in hand with Xiong family at the Flying Eagle Boat Company. For the past ten years he has helped improve the technology and quality of the shells they manufacture.

2004               Now, Klaus Filter, the Flying Eagle Boat Company and Drew Harrison of Drew Harrison Racing Shells have become part of WinTech Racing's Winning Team, which is dedicated to bringing the rowing world a level of quality that meets the sport's highest standards, at pricing that will help to grow the sport in North America. WinTech's director of research and development and chief engineer begin working collaboratively with Klaus Filter and the Xiong family in China. They continue to spend several months each year at Flying Eagle as part of WinTech Racing's ongoing product improvement cycle.
2005               WinTech introduces the first self-bailing racing shell. WinTech introduces possibly the stiffest shell in competition, pre-preg, unidirectional, high modulus carbon fibre cured at 250 degrees.