For more then 1000 years people crossed the waters by rowing. It was only at the beginning of the nineteenth century that rowing became a sport and merely a method of conveyance. Rowing has been part of the Olympic Games since their start in Athens in 1896.
Rowing began as a means of transportation. Galleys, used as war vessels and ships of state, prevailed in ancient Egypt (on the Nile River) and subsequently in the Roman Empire (on the Mediterranean) from at least the 25th century before Christ to the 4th century Anno Domini. Rowing was also an important supplement to sailing for the Anglo-Saxons, Danes, and Norwegians in their waterborne military forays. Rowing in England, of both small boats and barges, began on the River Thames as early as the 13th century and resulted in the accompaniment of watermen who transported passengers up, down, and across the Thames in and near London. Wagering by passengers in different boats by the 16th century led to races, at first impromptu and later organized. By the early 18th century there were more then 40,000 liveried watermen.
Rowing in six- and eight- oar boats began as a club and school activity for amateurs about this time in England and somewhat later in the United States. Organized racing began at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the 1820s, culminated in the Henley Regatta in 1839, and has continued to the present. Rowing as sport developed from the 1830s to the '60s in Australia and Canada and during the same period it became popular throughout Europe and in the United States. Throughout the century professional sculling was a popular sport.
Local and national organizations, amateur and professional, were formed in this period, and in 1892 the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d' Aviron (FISA; International Rowing Federation) was founded. Events in rowing for crews of eight, four, and two and in sculling were established. In races for eights, fours, and some pairs, there is also a coxswain, who sits at the stern, steers, calls the stroke, and generally directs the strategy of the race. Rowing events in the Olympic Games have been held for men since 1900 and for women since 1976. The fist word championship took place in Lucerne on the Rotsee in 1962. World Championships take place every year. In the year 2001 Lucerne will be the venue of the XX Rowing World Championships!! We will present to you more about the Rotsee at the end of this talk.
Rowing and Regattas
Rowing is the propulsion of a displacement boat, with or without coxswain, by means of the muscular strength of one or more rowers, using oars as simple levers of the second order and sitting with their backs to the direction of the movement of the boat.
In a rowing boat, all the load bearing parts, including the axes of moving parts, must be firmly fixed to the body of the boat, but the rower's seat may move along the axis of the boat.
A rowing regatta is a sporting competition consisting of one or more events which are divided, if necessary, into a number of heats, into one or more classes of boats for rowers. They are divided, as a general rule, into different categories of sex, age or weight. According to the FISA rules, all races take place over a 2000 metre straight course on still water, each crew or sculler racing in a separate, buoy- marked lane.
. Shell Bootsschale
. Outrigger Ausleger
. Rigger Auslegerschlüssel
. Sliding seat Rollsitz
. Stretcher Stemmbrett
. Keel Kiel
. Bow, Bow ball Bug, Bugball
. Rudder Steuerruder
. Port Backbord
. Starboard Steuerbord
. Oar- blade Ruderblatt
. Rowlock Dolle
. Handle Griff
There are two different types of oars: Big Blades and Normal Blades
Classes of Boat
The following classes of boat are recognised by FISA:
. Single Sculls (1x)
. Double Sculls (2x)
. Pair-oars without coxswain (2-)
. Pair-oars with coxswain (2+)
. Quadruple Sculls (4x)
. Four-oars without coxswain (4-)
. Four-oars with coxswain (4+)
. Eight-oars with coxswain (8+)
But there are still other constructions of boats: Exempli gratia Triple Sculls or Fivefold Sculls.
The weight of a boat varies from 14 kilograms for a Single Scull to 96 kilograms for an eight-oars
The boat classes are divided into two categories: Lightweights and open
The average weight of men's crew must not exceed 70 kilograms. No individual oarsman must weigh more then 72.5 kilograms. For women the average weight of a crew must not exceed 57 kilograms. No individual oarswoman must weigh more than 59 kilograms.
What Does Rowing Offer?
Rowing is crew but also individual sport:
Rowing is a crew sport which is different from the other crew sports as exempli gratia team sports such as football or ice hockey. Because in rowing all the crew members must perform the same movement of the same time. If the spirit in a team is missing you can do as much as you want but the boat doesn't go fast and regularly. But you don't have to row in a team. If you want to, you can bring your performance by yourself in the Single Scull.
Rowing in an inexpensive sport:
The boats and rowing material are supplied by the rowing clubs. If you compare the membership with other sport clubs which have a similar expenditure of material the memberships of rowing clubs isn't as expensive. The material for rowing is very long-lived if it is maintained properly.
Rowing is a nature and experience sport:
Rowing must be carried out in the free nature. The predicate "nature sport" is very important because more and more indoor kind of sports and disciplines have been established during the last years exempli gratia fitness centres.
Rowing on other rivers and waters, visiting foreign regattas in other environments, the observation of nature and the animal world from an unusual perspective offer special possibilities of experience and adventures for old and young.
Rowing on the Rotsee
The very first World Championships were carried out in the year of 1962 on the Rotsee. And twelve years later oarswomen took part in World Championships for the first time, again on the Rotsee. The world's rowing élite meets annually for the most important regatta prior to the FISA World Cup - on the Rotsee. There is no other rowing basin with such a magic power of attraction. This is due to its unique situation. Embedded between two gentle chains of hills it offers perfectly fair rowing conditions. It is nature's gift to this classic sport. The artificial basins which were built all over the world only emphasize the advantages of Rotsee's natural arena. Here no irritating side- winds sweep over the waters. No wonder that oarsmen express themselves in superlatives only by calling it: "Divine lake"; "a lake like a dream"; "the fairest rowing basin on earth". Results achieved on the Rotsee serve as valid qualifications for the international rowing élite. All this is topped by the peerless atmosphere: Here, rowing this natural sport, is still a competition in rural surroundings, and contact between on-lookers and athletes comes to pass as a matter of course. All this makes the Rotsee not only the fairest, but also the most attractive rowing-basin in the world.