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Rowing Explained...


1) There are two styles of rowing.

 "Sweep" and "Sculling."  Sweep boats have rowers using one oar controlled by both hands.  Sculling boats have rowers controlling two oars, one in each hand.  

North Orlando Rowing  coaches and races both styles of rowing.

2) Boat types and rowing arrangements.

The boat types are singles, two-man, four-man, or eight-man boats. 

Some boats are made to have coxswains. Eight-man shells always have a coxswain, so they technically sit nine people, but we call them 8+'s because there are eight bodies rowing. The "+" sign means the boat has a coxswain, a +1, sitting in the boat acting as both the coach and helmsman. A "4+" means four rowers plus a coxswain, said "coxed four." A "4-" means four rowers, no coxswain, or "coxless four."

If you see an "x", like "4x," this means the rowers are sculling. The most common sculling boats are singles, doubles, and quads. A quad is also a four-man shell, but rowers use "quad" to signify sculling and "four" to signify sweeping.

This chart lists the most common boat configurations:

1x "single" One-man shell sculling
2x "double" Two-man shell sculling
2- "pair" Two-man shell sweeping
4x “quad” Four-man shell sculling
4- “coxless four” Four-man shell sweeping no cox
4+ “coxed four” Four-man shell sweeping with cox
8+ “eight” Eight-man shell with cox


3) The seats move.

Rowing  involves heavy use of the leg's quads and hamstrings to push off a footplate secured to the boat.  Seats are designed to move on tracks in the boats. 

4) The boats are long and very thin

An 8+  can reach over 55 feet in length, depending on the manufacturer. At their widest, they are about 20-22 inches and weigh around 200 pounds.  Singles are over 24 feet,  weigh 25-40 pounds, and it can be as narrow as 10 inches at its widest point.

5) There are two rowing "seasons."

In rowing, there are two main times of year--Head race season and Sprint Season.

Head races occur during the Fall. They are usually around 5000 meters, depending on the course, and often occur in rivers. These races are measured in a time-trial format, where boats start at staggered 10-30 second intervals. The boat with the fastest time wins. 

Sprint Season is in the Spring and continues into the summer. These races are on a straight, buoyed course with several lanes. The competing boats will begin at the same time and race each other side-by-side to the finish. These races range from 1000-2000 meters. 

6) rowing machines or ergs.

These are used as a part of training or when the weather is not cooperating.  They provide digital feedback and help rowers work on form and fitness.

7) You don't need experience to row.

North Orlando teaches Middle School students, High School students and adults how to row.  We have 'Learn to row' programs in Summer, hold clinics on Sculling, and even offer a two week free trial for anyone interested in trying the sport out.  


Click on the appropriate box below to register today!

The Registration "Parent Portal" is not currently available.

The Registration "Parent Portal" is not currently available.


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