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For rowing as a method of transport or for recreation, see Rowing. For other uses, see Rowing (disambiguation).
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Rowing Rowing boats.jpg
Eight classes of racing boats, six of which are part of the Summer Olympic Games.
Highest governing body International Rowing Federation (FISA)
Team members 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 9 (depending on boat class and whether there is a cox)
Mixed gender Separate competitions
Type Water sport, outdoor
Equipment Racing shell, oars
Venue River, artificial lake, canal, ocean
Olympic 1900 (men only); 1976 (both men and women)
Rowing, often referred to as crew in the United States, is a sport with origins back to Ancient Egyptian times. It is based on propelling a boat (racing shell) on water using oars. By pushing against the water with an oar, a force is generated to move the boat. The sport can be either recreational, where the focus is on learning the technique of rowing, or competitive, where athletes race against each other in boats. There are a number of different boat classes in which athletes compete, ranging from an individual shell (called a single scull) to an eight-
Modern rowing as a competitive sport can be traced to the early 10th century when races were held between professional watermen on the River Thames in London, United Kingdom. Often prizes were offered by the London Guilds and Livery Companies. Amateur competition began towards the end of the 18th century with the arrival of "boat clubs" at the British public schools of Eton College and Westminster School. Similarly, clubs were formed at the University of Oxford, with a race held between Brasenose College and Jesus College in 1815. At the University of Cambridge the first recorded races were in 1827. Public rowing clubs were beginning at the same time; in England Leander Club was founded in 1818, in Germany Der Hamburger und Germania Ruder Club was founded in 1836 and in the United States Narragansett Boat Club was founded in 1838 and Detroit Boat Club was founded in 1839. In 1843, the first American college rowing club was formed at Yale University.
The International Rowing Federation (French: Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Aviron, abbreviated FISA) is responsible for international governance of rowing and was founded in 1892 to provide regulation at a time when the sport was gaining popularity. Across six continents there are now 148 countries with rowing federations that participate in the sport.
Rowing is one of the oldest Olympic sports. It was on the programme for the 1896 games but the rowing did not take place due to bad weather. It has been competed since 1900. Women's rowing was added to the Olympic programme in 1976. Today, only fourteen boat classes are raced at the Olympics, across men and women. [note 2] Each year the World Rowing Championships is held by FISA with 22 boat classes raced. In Olympic years only the non-
Major domestic competitions take place in dominant rowing nations and include The Boat Race and Henley Royal Regatta in the United Kingdom, the Australian Rowing Championships in Australia, the Harvard-
Sculling Boat Abbreviations and Names:
Boat Abbreviation Boat Name
1x Single Scull
2x Double Scull
4x+ Coxed Quadruple Scull ("Coxed Quad")
8x+ Coxed Octuple Scull
Rowing Boat Abbreviations and Names:
Boat Abbreviation Boat Name
2+ Coxed Pair
4+ Coxed Four
8+ Coxed Eight