Rowing has been part of history for thousands of years, primarily as a form of transport and more recently as a competitive sport. Rowing began its rise to popularity in the UK in the early 1800’s, with arguably the most famous boat race in the world between Oxford and Cambridge University first contested in 1829 and annually since 1856.
Rowing has been a part of the modern Olympics since 1896, firstly for male athletes and since the 1970’s for both men and women. The standard distance for an Olympic race is 2000m, and most state, national and international regattas are raced over this distance. Other racing formats include longer time trial races, often on rivers over a range of distances, most commonly between 4 and 12km.
“Crews” compete in a range of boat classes and configurations ranging from single sculls, a single rower with to oars to coxed VIII’s with a coxswain steering and eight rowers with a single oar each. Common boat classes include those listed below.
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