The Different Kinds of Rowing Events – Part 1

There are many types of rowing events all over the world, in the last Olympic Games in 2016 there were fourteen events held.

Men: Single sculls, Double sculls, Quadruple sculls, Coxless pair, Coxless four.

Lightweight Men: Double sculls, Coxless four.

Women: Single sculls, Double sculls, Quadruple sculls, Coxless pair, Eight.

Lightweight Women: Double sculls.

But Olympic Rowing Events are not the only way that people can enjoy rowing either as a competitive event or as fun local competitions. In this blog we explore the different types of rowing events held around the world.


Regattas are probably the best-known rowing events, and normally they take place in the summer of their respective countries around the world. Regattas encompass just about every style of rowing event you can possibly think of, from local town regattas to international competitions. Different forms of regattas can be: Multi-Lane, Side-by-Side, Surf, Beach Sprints, Coastal, Off-Shore & Fixed Seat.


Multi-Lane regattas are probably the most famous of all, as they are the most televised being regular events in international and Olympic events. Most of the multi-land regattas take place over a distance of 2,000 meters in six lanes.




Side-by-Side is a really great event to watch, as it pits one boat against another on a narrow stretch of water. Examples of this type of event are the great university boat races, such as Oxford versus Cambridge that is held on the river Thames in London. These type of rowing events have been taking place for hundreds of years, long before the Olympics had introduced rowing into the  games. The distances the crews race on, and the type of water that the events are held on differ greatly. The distances that the events take place on can vary greatly from as short as four hundred meters right up to over two thousand meters and over. The famous Henley Regatta take place over two thousand, one hundred and twelve meters. A great many of the side-by-side regattas are open to all to enter. But there are some that are private, such as one rowing club versus another.

Surf Regattas

As it sounds surf regattas are held on the coast, the crews start in shallow water on the beach then head off into the sea to round a buoy and return back to the beach. The buoy can be any distance from the shoreline but is normally a minimum of five hundred meters, when the boat returns one crew member has to jump out and run across a finish line onshore. Similar to surf regattas a new style of event that is similar but uses FISA Coastal Boats. The events feature the crew starting on the beach then running to their boats, rounding a buoy and returning back to the beach to run to the finish line. The event was created for nations that do not have access to calm water, and therefore it was impossible to start the race in shallow water. In part two we look into even more events that rowing features around the world.