Classifications - By Skill
From the USRowing Rules of Rowing:
4-105: Classification by Skill
(a) A competitor's classification by skill shall be determined separately with respect to sweep events and sculling events. Except for the provisions of subsection (b)(2) below (Elite status affecting scull or sweep status), a competitor's classification in one category shall not affect his or her classification in the other. A competitor's classification by skill shall not be determined separately with respect to open events and lightweight events, and thus a competitor's status as Elite, Senior or Intermediate is applicable regardless of weight class.
(b) Competitors shall be classified according to skill by the following criteria:
(1) Intermediate: A competitor is an Intermediate who has not advanced to the status of Senior or Elite.
(2) Senior: A competitor is a Senior who has won any intermediate or senior event over 2000 meters at the USRowing National Club Championships or at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, and who has not advanced to the status of Elite. A competitor who is an Elite as a sweep rower shall also be advanced to Senior for all sculling events, and a competitor who is an Elite as a scull rower shall be advanced to Senior for all sweep events.
(3) Elite: A competitor is an Elite who has won one 2,000-meter event classified as Elite at the USRowing National Championship Regatta, an Open 2,000-meter event at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, or any 2,000-meter event other than a Junior or Masters event at a USRowing Open or Lightweight National Team Trials' regatta. A competitor also becomes an Elite if he or she has won any two 2,000-meter events classified as Senior at the USRowing National Club Championships or equivalent level at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta; or who has been a member of a USRowing National Team as a competitor (including as a spare) in the category at issue, other than in a Junior or Masters event.
(c) All trials events to select the National Team, except those for Junior or Masters events, shall be classified as Elite events.
(d) Junior or Masters races do not effect a competitor's classification by skill under this Rule.
(e) All changes in classification by skill shall take effect on January 1 following the year of competition.
(f) Any other provision of these Rules notwithstanding, a competitor who is not an amateur shall be deemed an Elite for all events, whether sweep or sculling, open or lightweight.