A Lesson In Rowing

Rowing competitions are divided into two categories...

HEAD RACES

Head races usually take place in the fall. These longer races, usually 6,000 meters, help keep the athletes focused until the actual spring season starts. The rowers start the course at staggered times, about 15 seconds apart, and navigate around bends and under bridges. The team who finishes the course in the shortest amount of time wins.

2,000-METER RACES

These spring races are divided into six straight lanes, allowing six boats to compete at one time. Unlike the head races, the boats start at the same time and the team who finishes first wins.

RACE WATCHING

The team that is looking the best is usually working the hardest. These crews make a tough job look easy. Here's what to look for...

Synchronization - Continuous smooth motion of rowers body movements. Rowers look to be in perfect unison with their teammates.

Balanced bladework - When the blades come out of the water, they should all move horizontally at the same height above the water. Clean catches in the water with the blades. The blades are entering the water correctly when little to no splash is visible.

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