Rowing – Videos


Rowing – Equipment & Rules

Racing boats (often called shells) are long, narrow, and broadly semi-circular in cross-section in order to reduce drag to a minimum. Originally made from wood, shells are now almost always made from a composite material (usually a double skin of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic with a sandwich of honeycomb material) for strength and weight advantages. FISA rules specify minimum weights for each class of boat so that no individual will gain a great advantage from the use of expensive materials or technology. Many adjustments can be made to the equipment to accommodate the physiques of the crew. Collectively these adjustments are known as the boat’s rigging. Single and double sculls are usually steered by the scullers pulling harder on one side or the other. In other boats there is a rudder, controlled by the coxswain, if present, or by one of the crew. On international courses landmarks for steersmen, consisting of two aligned poles, are provided. Oars are used to propel the boat. They are long (sculling: 250–300 cm; rowing 340–360 cm) poles with one flat end about 50 cm long and 25 cm wide, called the blade.

There are many differing sets of rules governing racing and these are generally defined by the governing body of the sport in a particular country. In international competition the rules are set out by the world governing body FISA. The rules may vary slightly but are generally very similar. The main notable difference between British Rowing rules and FISA rules is that coxes are not required to wear buoyancy aids in international events governed by FISA, whereas they are required to wear one at all times under the British Rowing rules.

Rowing – Types of Competition

Rowers may take part in the sport for their leisure or they may row competitively. There are different types of competition in the sport of rowing. Rowing is unusual in the demands it places on competitors. The standard world championship race distance of 2,000 meters is long enough to have a large endurance element, but short enough (typically 5.5 to 7.5 minutes) to feel like a sprint.Most races that are held in the spring and summer feature side by side racing also called a regatta. The regatta season begins in April and is much more rewarding for spectators. All the boats start at the same time from a stationary position and the winner is the boat that crosses the finish line first. The number of boats in a race typically varies between two (which is sometimes referred to as a dual race) to six, but any number of boats can start together if the course is wide enough. There are often several heats in what can be a long day’s racing. A heat might be first thing in the morning and if successful the final may not be until late afternoon. Regattas taking place on rivers will probably only have two or three racing lanes. The river course is unlikely to be straight and there will be other challenges to negotiate such as the bank.

Head races are time trial / processional races that take place from autumn (fall) to early spring (depending on local conditions). Boats begin with a rolling start at intervals of 10 – 20 seconds, and are timed over a set distance. Head courses usually vary in length from 2,000 m to 12,000 m, though there are longer races such as the Boston Rowing Marathon and shorter such as Pairs Head. Competitors will be divided into racing categories which might be determined by age, gender, experience. As a spectator you are unlikely to know who has won until the results are published on the race organiser’s website. Heads are raced over a longer course than regattas, with the younger rowers sometimes rowing a ‘short course’.

A third type of race is the bumps race, In these races, crews start lined up along the river at set intervals, and all start at the same time. The aim is to catch up with the boat in front, and avoid being caught by the boat behind. If a crew overtakes or makes physical contact with the crew ahead, a bump is awarded. As a result damage to boats and equipment is common during bumps racing. To avoid damage the cox of the crew being bumped may concede the bump before contact is actually made. The next day, the bumping crew will start ahead of any crews that have been bumped. Bumps races take place over several days, and the positions at the end of the last race are used to set the positions on the first day of the races the next year.

The stake format was often used in early American races. Competitors line up at the start, race to a stake, moored boat, or buoy some distance away, and return. The 180° turn requires mastery of steering. These races are popular with spectators because one may watch both the start and finish. Usually only two boats would race at once to avoid collision.

Forms of Rowing

While rowing, the athlete sits in the boat facing backwards (towards the stern), and uses the oars which are held in place by the oarlocks to propel the boat forward (towards the bow). All forms of rowing force the large muscles of your upper body to work rhythmically for a continuous period.

Sweep Rowing is the most recognizable of competitive rowing forms. Sweep or sweep-oar rowing is a type of rowing when a rower has one oar, usually held with both hands. In the UK the term is less used as the term rowing generally refers to sweep oar. The term pulling was also used historically. Each rower in a sweep boat is referred to as being on stroke side (port) or bow side (starboard), depending on which side of the boat the rower’s oar extends.
Stationary Rowing, or using the rowing machine in the gym, may be the most familiar version of this workout. ame powerful technique sweep rowers use on the rowing machine in the gym; in fact, the rowing machine, sometimes also called a rowing ergometer, or erg for short, originated as an off-season or dry-land training tool for sweep rowers. Start with a powerful leg drive, pushing yourself back from the seat.
Sculling technique is similar to sweep rowing and stationary rowing technique, but each rowing has two shorter sculling oars instead of one long sweep oar. Scullers are usually fielded as singles, doubles or quads; sculling boats are usually uncoxed. The bow-seat sculler acts as the on-water coach instead, calling strategy and glancing backward to spot the boat’s direction.

Traditional or Fixed-Seat Rowing is practiced as a competitive sport in England, but fixed-seat rowboats are also used as recreational craft or transportation in many countries. Fixed-seat rowers usually sit on a bench, with two oars fixed in oarlocks to either side of the boat

Rowing – Debut in Olympics

Rowing entered the Olympic Games 1896 in Athens, but the competition rowers in the capital of Greece, then to have failed. Because of bad weather, or rather, too much wind. Rowing at the Summer Olympics has been part of the competition since the 1900 in Paris on the River Seine near the bridge Asner. The first champion in singles races was a Frenchman Henri Barrle. In twos with steering gold won the Dutch Brandt, Klein, and Brockmann, in eight Americans took priority, and in fours with the steering – the Germans. Qualifying for the rowing events is under the jurisdiction of the International Rowing Federation (or FISA, its French acronym). FISA predates the modern Olympics and was the first international sport federation to join the modern Olympic movement. Only men were allowed to compete until the women’s events were introduced at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. Lightweight rowing events (which have weight-limited crews) were introduced to the games in 1996. The lightweight events were threatened in 2002 when the Programme Commission of the IOC recommended that, outside of combat sports and weightlifting, there should not be weight-category events. The Executive Board overturned this recommendation and the lightweight rowing has been continued.
Today all races are raced over a 2000 m course, but this did not become standard before the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. Before this it was raced over various distances. Women’s races were raced over 1,000 meters until 1988 when they were changed to 2,000 meters. Early games featured match races between two or three boats. The modern six boat side-by-side format was first adopted at the 1936 Olympic Games, and has been the standard since the 1956 Olympic Games. There is a limited number of crews permitted to race, so the International Rowing Federation holds qualification events in order to determine who competes at the Olympic Games. At the Olympic Games, each National Olympic Committee can only have one boat per event. The main qualification comes from the previous year’s World Rowing Championships.

Rowing – History

Even since the earliest recorded references to rowing, the sporting element has been present. An Egyptian funerary inscription of 1430 BC records that the warrior Amenhotep (Amenophis) II was also renowned for his feats of oarsmanship. In the Aeneid, Virgil mentions rowing forming part of the funeral games arranged by Aeneas in honour of his father. In the 13th century, Venetian festivals called regata included boat races among others. The first known “modern” rowing races began from competition among the professional watermen that provided ferry and taxi service on the River Thames in London. The oldest surviving such race, Doggett’s Coat and Badge was first contested in 1715 and is still held annually from London Bridge to Chelsea. During the 19th century these races were to become numerous and popular, attracting large crowds. In America, the earliest known race dates back to 1756 in New York, when a pettiauger defeated a Cape Cod whaleboat in a race. The first five mile rowing race from one inn to another took place on the Thames in 1716. In 1829, the first eight-seater boat races involving Oxford and Cambridge universities were held; this date signifies the beginning of rowing as an official sport. The rowing champion, Ned Hanlan of Canada, is famous for becoming the first world champion in all branches of the sport. As a result of the increasing popularity of this sport, more had to be done to make boats move faster. Founded in 1818, Leander Club is the world’s oldest public rowing club. The second oldest club which still exists is the Der Hamburger und Germania Ruder Club which was founded 1836 and marked the beginning of rowing as an organized sport in Germany.

FISA, the “Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron” in French (or the English equivalent International Federation of Rowing Associations) was founded by representatives from France, Switzerland, Belgium, Adriatica (now a part of Italy) and Italy in Turin on 25 June 1892. It is the oldest international sports federation in the Olympic movement. For most of its history, rowing has been a male dominated sport. Although rowing’s roots as a sport in the modern Olympics can be traced back to the original 1896 games in Athens, it was not until the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal that women were allowed to participate – well after their fellow athletes in similar sports such as swimming, athletics, cycling, and canoeing.