A Short History of Rowing

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Most people believe that rowing is a new sport and relate it to rafting and other new extreme sports that have appeared in the recent past. However, rowing is one of the oldest sports in the world. Initially, it was a used as means of transportation and as societies evolved, it was also used in wars. Today it is a sport that has many fans and it is of high importance of the culture of almost all English speaking societies.

The first regattas took place in Thames. The competitors were those that provided ferry services in the river. In other words, professionals of the early form of ferry boat industry were playing a game. Prizes were given to the winners. These prizes came from wealthy families that lived nearby. The races soon became very popular and attracted the crowd that would find it amusing to watch them. People gathered and cheered for their favorite athlete and soon there was a certain route they should follow. There is evidence that even before 1800, universities organized races and also had societies for the athletes known as amateur clubs for gentlemen. The famous Boat Race between the greatest Universities Oxford and Cambridge took place in 1829 and attracted so much interest that Henley started hosting the annual regatta some years after that.

Ports of Boston, Philadelphia and New York in the United States used rowing boats and soon the sport became very popular there as well. Races were attended by a lot of people that liked to watch the sport and bet on an athlete and soon there was a lot of interest to watch it. It became a very popular event and societies and clubs were formed. In 1852 the first regatta between Harvard and Yale took place and it was the first sporting event of this kind. Close to the United States and the United Kingdom there are many countries in Europe that have a history in this sport as well as Australia. In 1892 the sport was so popular the representatives from France, Italy and Belgium founded FISA, the international federation for rowing which is the oldest international federation. The sport has also played an important role and gained a dominant position in the Olympic Games since 1900. There are also races such as the European Rowing Championships and the World Rowing Championships that attract interest for all over the world.

Henry Pearce is one of the earliest and most famous athletes of this sport. He was Australian and won the gold medal at a competition in 1928 at the Amsterdam Olympics. His skills were excellent. It is said that during this competition he stopped his boat to allow a line of ducks that was in front of him to pass and still won gold medal leaving his rivals far behind. There are many stories like this one that show how interesting the sport can be and many memorable moments that can prove it. If you like this sport, you can be sure to witness something exceptional.

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