Sculling and Sweep Rowing

Athletes with two oars, one in each hand, are scullers. There are three sculling events: the single (1x - one person), the double (2x - two people), and the quad (4x - four people).

Athletes with only one oar are sweep rowers. Sweep boats may or may not carry a coxswain (pronounced cox'n) to steer and be the on-the-water coach. In boats without coxswains, one of the rowers steers by moving the rudder with his or her foot. There are five sweep events: the pair with coxswain (2+ - two rowers and one coxswain), the pair without (2- - two rowers), the four with coxswain (4+ - four rowers and one coxswain), the four without (4- - four rowers), and the eight (8+ - eight rowers and one coxswain). The eight is the fastest boat on the water. An elite level men's 8+ is capable of speeds approaching 14 miles per hour.

Athletes are identified by their seat number in the boat. The athlete in the bow is seat #1. The person in front of the bow is #2, then #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, and #8 (the stroke). The stroke of the boat must be a strong rower with excellent technique, since they set the rhythm and stroke rating the rest of the crew must follow.

Sculling and Sweep Rowing
The Equipment
The Stroke
The Race
Rowing Terms
Rowing Lingo
Race Watching Tips
Top 10 List