Rowing is one of the oldest sports in the world. It began as a means of transportation and warfare, then eventually became a sport with a very wide following.
Since the earliest recorded references to rowing, the sportsmanship aspect has been present. As early as 1430 BC, Egyptian funerary inscriptions show records of Amenhotep II (the seventh Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt) as being renowned for his feats of oarsmanship.
In 13th century Venice, festivals called regata included boat races. Today, rowing competitions are still called regattas and enjoyed both as an amateur sport and an Olympic event. Once of the most famous Olympic rowing races was in 1936 at the Berlin games where the American crew edged out a spectacular victory. The exciting race is well documented in Daniel James Brown’s book The Boys In The Boat. It’s excellent non-ficition reading.
My own interest in rowing began in the mid 1990s when I lived overseas. On an early morning walk along the city lakefront, I spotted a lone person in a long and narrow boat. Then I spotted another and another. Soon larger boats with four people and then eight people came gliding over the water through the earlier marooning mist. The strength and elegance enticed me and I soon began lessons. Twenty years later I still get on the water as often as I can with fellow rowers for a bit of impromptu racing.
Here are a few rowing related pieces I recently created.
If you are interested in taking up rowing, head over to US Rowing for more info.