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History

Rowing first appeared as a competition sport in England in 1716. In 1793 it entered its University era, with its adoption by major colleges. In 1829, the annual traditional rowing regatta between the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford was established, marking the beginning of the sport’s rapid development.

Rowing events for men were first held in the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris, while women’s events were first included in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

The International Rowing Federation (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron - FISA), founded in 1892, is the oldest international sports federation in the Olympic movement. The Federation’s headquarters are situated in Lausanne and its membership totals 115 countries.

 

Olympic History

Rowing was scheduled to appear in Athens in 1896 but bad weather caused its cancellation. It made its Olympic debut in Paris in 1900. The seating configurations of the boats in the Olympic regatta have changed a number of times since then.

Women’s rowing was introduced at the Olympic at Montreal 1976 and lightweight rowing, for men and women, was introduced at Atlanta 1996.

Technical

Olympic rowing features races in 14 different boat classes. There are eight sculling events in which each rower has two oars - one in each hand - and six sweep-oared events in which each rower uses one oar with both hands.

The sculling events are the men’s and women’s single, double and quadruple scull with crews of one, two and four rowers respectively, as well as the lightweight double.

The sweep rowing categories include the men’s and women’s pair, four, lightweight four (men only) and the coxed eight, rowing’s blue riband, and fastest, event.

For the lightweight events (the lightweight women’s double and the lightweight men’s double and four) the average weight of a men’s crew must not exceed 70kg with the maximum weight for crew members being 72.5kg. For women the average weight of a crew must not exceed 57kg with the maximum weight for crew members being 59kg. All races cover a distance of 2,000 metres (2km).

equipment

While traditional rowing boats were wooden, the majority of modern ones are made of fibreglass or plastic. Their width ranges from 59.7 to 62.2 cm, and their length from a minimum of 8.2 m (for the single sculls category) to a maximum of 19.9 m (for the eight with coxswain boats). Their weight ranges from 14 to 96 kg respectively, while the oars have an average length of 2.98 m (in the sculls category), and 3.82 m (for sweep rowing).

rules

Rowing races cover a distance of 2,000m on rivers, canals or lakes at competition venues with six lanes. Crews qualify through predetermined rounds, namely the preliminary round (heats), the repeat round (repechages), the semi-finals and the finals.

The "A" final determines the first six places and the runners-up "B" final determines the next six rankings, namely 7th to 12th positions. The number of rounds per event depends on the number of crews taking part.

The races take place under the supervision of umpires, who are members of the jury for every event. The jury members are placed at various locations on and off the competition course, such as the starting line, where the races begin under the supervision of the aligner and the starter; along the course of the race in the competition lanes under the supervision of umpires; the finishing line with the finish-line umpire; the identity verification stage of the crews before their embarkation onto the boats; the weighing-in of the athletes; the weighing-in of boats; and, in general, in all areas directly related to the competition, the athletes and their equipment.

 

OLYMPIC CATEGORIES OF BOATS

There are two categories of rowing competition boats:

SCULLING

In which the athletes hold one oar in each hand:

  • Single Scull (one rower) (1x)
  • Double Scull (two rowers) (2x)
  • Quadruple Scull (four rowers) (4x)
  • Lightweight Double Scull (L2x)

SWEEP ROWING

In which the athletes use one oar with both hands:

  • Pair (2-)
  • Four (4-)
  • Eight (8+)
  • Lightweight Men’s Four (LM4-)

ATHLETES CATEGORIES

In Rowing there are two categories of athletes:

  • Open: (open to all athletes, regardless of their weight)
  • Lightweight: In this category men cannot weigh more than 72.5kg and women cannot exceed 59kg, while the average weight of the crew cannot exceed 70 and 57kg respectively.

COXSWAINS

The minimum admissible weight of a coxswain, irrespective of boat or event category, is 55kg for men and 50kg for women.

Team HeroesEntire Team

Heather Stanning joined Helen Glover in the women’s pair in 2010 and they won silver at their first World Championships and again in 2011 – both times behind New Zealand – but won all three World Cups this year.

Stanni...

Katherine Grainger joined Anna Watkins in the double in 2010 and they remain unbeaten together, winning the last two world titles and all three World Cups this season. At the GB trials this year, Grainger regained her women’s single scull...

Our Results

Total: 95 medals
  • 48 Gold
  • 25 Silver
  • 22 Bronze
Paris 1900
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
London 1908
  • 4 Gold
  • 4 Silver
  • 3 Bronze
Stockholm 1912
  • 3 Gold
  • 2 Silver
  • 2 Bronze
Antwerp 1920
  • 2 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 2 Bronze
Paris 1924
  • 4 Gold
  • 2 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Amsterdam 1928
  • 5 Gold
  • 1 Silver
  • 2 Bronze
Los Angeles 1932
  • 4 Gold
  • 2 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Berlin 1936
  • 5 Gold
  • 1 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
London 1948
  • 7 Gold
  • 2 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
Helsinki 1952
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Melbourne 1956
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Rome 1960
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Tokyo 1964
  • 0 Gold
  • 1 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Mexico City 1968
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Munich 1972
  • 0 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Montreal 1976
  • 0 Gold
  • 2 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Moscow 1980
  • 0 Gold
  • 1 Silver
  • 2 Bronze
Los Angeles 1984
  • 1 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Seoul 1988
  • 1 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
Barcelona 1992
  • 2 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Atlanta 1996
  • 1 Gold
  • 0 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
Sydney 2000
  • 2 Gold
  • 1 Silver
  • 0 Bronze
Athens 2004
  • 1 Gold
  • 2 Silver
  • 1 Bronze
Beijing 2008
  • 2 Gold
  • 2 Silver
  • 2 Bronze
London 2012
  • 4 Gold
  • 2 Silver
  • 3 Bronze
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