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A new world

Rowing

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Rowing, which made its Olympic debut at the Paris 1900 Games, has more than a century of tradition in the waters of Rio de Janeiro. There are eight men’s and six women’s events in boats for one, two, four or nine (including the coxswain) competitors.
Spectator's Guide - Rowing
  • Rowing

Countries

Athletes

Events

69 547 14

Schedule & Results

Schedule & Results

Rowing

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August21
Date Event Status
  • WBWorld Best
  • OBOlympic Best

About

About

Aim of the game

Rowing boats of varying lengths and crew sizes race over a straight 2000m course – the boat that crosses the finish line first wins

Why should you watch this?

Rowing has been on the Olympic programme for over a century, much-loved for its stroke-by-stroke drama and nail-biting finishes, but in 2016 it will be further enhanced by its venue – one of the most beautiful urban settings imaginable: Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas

International Federation

Olympic debut

Paris 1900

Rules
  • Backing

    Backing

    The athlete rows in reverse so that he or she is facing in the direction of travel

  • Bow

    Bow

    Front of the boat, or the name given to the rower nearest the front

  • Stroke

    Stroke

    Rowing rhythm and also the name given to the rower nearest to the back of the boat, who sets the rowing pace for his crew

Impress your friends

  • Rowing for sport began in 1828 with the 1st 'boat race' between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, an annual tradition that continues to this day

    Rowing for sport began in 1828 with the 1st 'boat race' between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, an annual tradition that continues to this day

  • Rowing has featured at every modern Olympic Games with the exception of the first, in Athens 1896, when poor weather forced the cancellation of the event

    Rowing has featured at every modern Olympic Games with the exception of the first, in Athens 1896, when poor weather forced the cancellation of the event

  • Female athletes first competed in Olympic rowing at the Montreal 1976 Games

    Female athletes first competed in Olympic rowing at the Montreal 1976 Games

  • Great Britain's Sir Steve Redgrave, who had retired after the Atlanta 1996 Games, returned for Sydney 2000 and won his fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal

    Great Britain's Sir Steve Redgrave, who had retired after the Atlanta 1996 Games, returned for Sydney 2000 and won his fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal

  • Also in London, New Zealanders Hamish Bond and Eric Murray broke the coxless pairs world record in their first heat, on their way to the gold medal

    Also in London, New Zealanders Hamish Bond and Eric Murray broke the coxless pairs world record in their first heat, on their way to the gold medal

  • An Olympic rower consumes an average of 6,000 calories per day during training, and rows about 10,000km per year

    An Olympic rower consumes an average of 6,000 calories per day during training, and rows about 10,000km per year

  • To avoid excessive weight, the cox tends to be small and light, but a minimum weight has been established: 50kg for women and 55kg for male

    To avoid excessive weight, the cox tends to be small and light, but a minimum weight has been established: 50kg for women and 55kg for male

  • The cox once used a megaphone to shout orders, but now there are small speakers distributed along the boat so that all the rowers can hear their instructions

    The cox once used a megaphone to shout orders, but now there are small speakers distributed along the boat so that all the rowers can hear their instructions

  • At Paris 1900, a French boy was plucked from the crowd to act as cox for Dutch rowers François Antoine Brandt and Roelof Klein – and he won an Olympic gold medal

    At Paris 1900, a French boy was plucked from the crowd to act as cox for Dutch rowers François Antoine Brandt and Roelof Klein – and he won an Olympic gold medal

  • Romania's Elisabeta Lipa won 8 Olympic medals (5 golds) and holds the record for Olympic longevity, with 20 years between her victories at 1984 and 2004

    Romania's Elisabeta Lipa won 8 Olympic medals (5 golds) and holds the record for Olympic longevity, with 20 years between her victories at 1984 and 2004

  • USA rower John Kelly, who took gold at Antwerp 1920 and won 126 consecutive single skull races, was the father of world-famous actress Grace Kelly

    USA rower John Kelly, who took gold at Antwerp 1920 and won 126 consecutive single skull races, was the father of world-famous actress Grace Kelly

Course

The course is 2km long, wide enough for up to six boats to compete in a race – the one that crosses the finish line first wins. Markers are positioned every 250m alongside the course and let rowers know the distance covered. Each boat has its own lane, 13.5m wide.

Boats

The boat is made of lightweight carbon fibre, aerodynamically shaped to cut smoothly through the water. The seat is mounted on wheels that allow it to move backwards and forwards on rails, allowing rowers to use their leg strength to help pull the oar and propel the boat forward. The foorest provides leverage for the rower to push against. All boats must have a rubber bow ball, 4cm in diameter, to minimise damage in the event of a collision.

Sculling

Athletes use two oars, one in each hand:

SINGLE SCULL (1X)
Weight of boat: 14kg
Length of boat: 8.2m 
Length of oars: up to 2.92m long

DOUBLE SCULL (2X)
Weight of boat: 27kg
Length of boat: 10.4m
Length of oars: up to 2.92m long

QUADRUPLE SCULL (4X)      
Weight of boat: 52 kg
Length of boat: 13.4m          
Length of oars: up to 2.92m long

Sweep

Athletes use a single oar with both hands:  

COXLESS PAIR (2-)    
Weight of boat: 27kg
Length of boat: 10.4m
Length of oar: up to 3.78m long

COXLESS FOUR (4-)
Weight of boat: 50kg
Length of boat: 13.4m          
Length of oar: up to 3.78m long

COXED EIGHT (8+)    
Weight of boat: 96kg
Length of boat: 19.9m          
Length of oar: up to 3.78m long

Coxswain

The cox, as they are known for short, is responsible for steering the boat and also acts as a kind of on-board coach – motivating the crew, giving tactical advice and telling them how their opponents are doing.

Athletes

Athletes & Teams

Gender

Gender
Woman 39
Men 61
Women
Men

Age Range

Age Range
Under 15 0
16 - 20 5
21 - 25 36
26 - 30 41
31 - 40 18
Over 40 1
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