Rowing - The most popular water sport-

Rowing is a sport in which athletes race against each other on river, lakes or on the ocean, depending upon the type of race and the discipline. The boats are propelled by the reaction forces on the oar blades as they are pushed against the water. The sport can be both recreational, focusing on learning the techniques required, and competitive where overall fitness plays a large role. It is also one of the oldest Olympic sports. In the United States, Australia and Canada, high school and collegiate rowing is sometimes referred to as crew.

While rowing, the athlete sits in the boat facing backwards (towards the stern), and uses the oars which are held in place by the oarlocks to propel the boat forward (towards the bow). This may be done on a river, lake, sea, or other large body of water. It is a demanding sport requiring strong core balance as well as physical strength and cardiovascular endurance.
Whilst the action of rowing and equipment used remains fairly consistent throughout the world, there are many different types of competition. These include endurance races, time trials, stake racing, bumps racing, and the side-by-side format used in the Olympic games. The many different formats are a result of the long history of the sport, its development in different regions of the world, and specific local requirements and restrictions.

There are two forms of rowing. In Sweep or Sweep-oar rowing, each rower has one oar, held in both hands. This is done in pairs, fours and eights. Each rower in a sweep boat is referred to either as "port" or "starboard", depending on which side of the boat the rower's oar extends to. In areas such as the UK, the port side is usually referred to as stroke side, and the starboard side as bow side; this applies even if the stroke oarsman is rowing on bow side and/or the bow oarsman on stroke side.

In sculling each rower has two oars (or sculls), one in each hand. Sculling is usually done without a coxswain, in quadruples, doubles or singles. The oar in the sculler's right hand extends to port (stroke side), and the oar in the left hand extends to starboard (bow side).
source: (retrieved April 10, 2008)


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