Modern competitive rowing began in the 1700s on the River Thames in London with professional watermen competing for prizes. Over the century, the sport was taken up by more amateur boatclubs and schools, such as the University of Oxford.
Rowing boats can come in many different shapes and sizes with various amounts of people occupying the boats. In any situation, there can be either 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, or 9 people in a boat. There are also two main types of rowing - sweep-rowing, and sculling. Sweep-rowing is when each rower holds one oar with both hands. Sculling is when a rower uses two slightly smaller and lighter oars, one in each hand. Sculling is more symmetrical and allows one to row on their own due to the ability to control the drive on both sides of the boat. A coxswain (or cox for short) can also sit in rowing boats to regulate pressure and timing as well as handle direction of the boat. Boats come in the following sizes:
- Single - Exclusively for sculling, this has just one rower.
- Pair and Double - A pair is a sweep rowing boat with two people rowing (and can have a cox as well). A double scull is the same concept but with the rowers sculling.
- Four and Quad - A four is similar to a pair, except there are a total of four athletes rowing. A quad is the same but with the rowers sculling.
- Eight and Octuple Scull - An eight has 8 sweep rowers and always has a cox. An octuple scull has 8 scullers and also has a cox.
At De Montfort University
DMU Rowing takes place at the River Soar, which journeys through and near the center of Leicester. The main stretch where the majority of rowing takes place is approximately 900 meters long, which is long enough to accommodate the standard Varsity Race distance or 750m. DMU shares the river and boathouse with The University of Leicester Boat Club (ULBC) and the Leicester Rowing Club (LRC), the former is not connected to any university. DMURC takes part in many different races throughout the year, for different boats and age groups, which take place in two different seasons - the winter rowing season, and the summer regatta season.
De Montfort has its own rowing team that competes in various races in the UK (See DMU Rowing Club).
British Rowing - The national governing body for rowing in the UK.