There are many different disciplines of rowing, such as:
The fine boat, also known as the Olympic class boat, is the familiar racing shell that you will see rowed or sculled at inland competitions. In 'sweep' boats each rower has one oar (or blade). In 'sculling' boats the oarsmen use two oars. The fine boats in common usage have 1,2,4, or 8 seats. The eights always have a coxswain (cox) to steer and direct the crew.
Indoor rowing is taking off across the country as an individual sport, as well as continuing to be a training aid for water based rowing and other sports. Indoor rowing has its own competitions and events and is easily accessible with machines often being seen in gyms, sports centres and rowing clubs across the country.
Adaptive rowing is about removing barriers to participation in the sport for individuals with learning, physical and sensory impairments. There are a number of clubs that offer or are dedicated to adaptive rowing. The advances in the equipment available for adaptive athletes and the ever-increasing number of accessible rowing venues has meant that rowing is truly becoming a sport for all.
The clubs and associations practising ‘sliding seat coastal rowing’ are mainly found along the south coast of the UK and the Channel Islands. Coastal boats are specially designed for the rougher conditions found on the seas and estuaries and coastal racing is not just about speed and skill, but also about handling the potentially tricky water and weather conditions.
Recreational rowing boats are more stable than the fine racing boats, making it easier to learn basic technique and less likely that you will fall in. Recreational rowing is open to all and there are several clubs across the country offering both recreational rowing and the opportunity to try your hand at long distance or touring rowing.
Veteran rowing is a popular and highly competitive category, with ARA veteran rowers ranging in age from 31 to over 80. Internationally veteran rowing is known as "Masters" and FISA rules accept veteran rowers from the age of 27 in events run under these rules.
Surf rowing is mainly found along the coast of Cornwall and South Wales and was imported to UK in 1965 from the surf life-saving clubs in Sydney, Australia. Racing is fast and furious, it begins on the beach, with the crews battling out through the surf and back. Four rowers are steered by the 'Sweep'.
Ocean rowing is seen as a highly challenging and exciting adventure for many. There are now organised races across the seas, this has seen it popularity increase over the last two decades.
The fixed-seat rowing skiffs and watermen's cutters are mainly Thames based. Many rowers take part purely for the pleasure of messing around in these traditional wooden boats. Others train more seriously for endurance events such as the London to Paris and the Great River Race.
For more information or to find a club please see the link opposite