One of the parts of the stroke I like to work the most with the Teams I help is on the second part of the stroke. The potential for improvement in that part of the stroke is huge.
Rowers normally lose the connection to the water by the second part of the stroke because they have developed the wrong pattern of coordination. Rowing on the stationary rowing machine develops the wrong coordination.
In this picture you can see these Italian girls working on the second part of the stroke with good connection.
When you hold the finish you achieve a good change of direction of your body mass pulling against the handle supported by your feet to the boat. This way you don’t need to use too much your shoes on the boat to pull your dead weight from the bow like you do on the stationary ergometer.
In this other picture you can see a different second part of the stroke.