|Olympic rowing program cover, 1908 (1)|
All of the rowing contests will take place at Eton College Rowing Center (Dorney Lake), located about "25 miles west of London." Depending on the competition, an individual rower might use either one or two oars. Competitors who use two paddles (one in each hand) are called scullers. The sport demands a lot from its athletes. USRowing notes that rowers not only need to be physically strong, they also must possess, among other things, "aerobic ability, technical talent, exceptional mental discipline … and pain tolerance."
Here is a brief description of each of the 14 rowing events that will take place at the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. The information on weight limits (for boats and rowers) comes from the official website of the International Federation of Rowing Associations (FISA). All other data is from the 2012 London
Men's Single Sculls: An individual competition in which a rower uses two oars to propel his boat, which has to weigh at least 14 kilograms (30.86 pounds).
Women's Single Sculls: The women's event is similar to the men's single sculls.
Women's Double Sculls: Teams consist of two women. Each rower controls two oars. The boats must weigh at least 27 kilograms (59.52 pounds).
Men's Double Sculls: The men's event is similar to the women's double sculls.
Men's Quadruple Sculls: Teams contain four men with two oars each. The boat must weigh at least 52 kilograms (114.64 pounds).
Women's Quadruple Sculls: The rules for the women's event do not differ much from those for the men's quadruple sculls competition.
Women's Lightweight Double Sculls: This event is similar to the women's double sculls, except that competitors cannot weigh more than 59 kilograms (approximately 130 pounds) and the average weight for a two woman team cannot be greater than 57 kilograms (125.66 pounds).
Men's Lightweight Double Sculls: Rowers need to weigh less than 72.5 kilograms (159.83 pounds) if they want to compete in this event. A team's average weight per person cannot exceed 70 kilograms (154.32 pounds).
Men's Pair: Two-person teams compete against each other. As opposed to the men's double sculls, rowers only have one oar apiece, though other requirements, such as boat weight, are similar.
Women's Pair: The women's event is similar to the men's pair.
Men's Four: This event is like the quadruple sculls except that the rowers only have one oar apiece and the minimum boat weight is 50 kilograms (110.23 pounds). There is no women's equivalent for this contest.
Men's Lightweight Four: This event is the same as the men's four, except for the provision that a team's average weight per person must be less than 70 kilograms (154.32 pounds). No individual rower can weigh more than 72.5 kilograms (159.83 pounds).
Women's Eight: Teams consist of eight rowers and a coxswain. The coxswain "typically sits at the stern and is responsible for steering the boat and directing the crew." The boat must weigh at least 96 kilograms (211.64 pounds).
Men's Eight: The rules for this event are almost identical to the ones for the women's eight.
1. Photographer: Wat Bradford?
Date (photo taken): Unknown
Title/Description: Olympic rowing program cover, Henley-on-Thames, July 29, 1908
Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Expired copyright (click on the title or caption to see
the photo, credits, permissions).
-- Anthony Hopper
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