International Rowing Federation
The Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Aviron, or FISA for short, is the International Rowing Federation which is the governing body
Sport governing body
A sport governing body is a sports organization that has a regulatory or sanctioning function. Sport governing bodies come in various forms, and have a variety of regulatory functions. Examples of this can include disciplinary action for rule infractions and deciding on rule changes in the sport...

 for international Rowing
Rowing (sport)
Rowing is a sport in which athletes race against each other on rivers, on lakes or on the ocean, depending upon the type of race and the discipline. The boats are propelled by the reaction forces on the oar blades as they are pushed against the water...

. Its current president is Denis Oswald
Denis Oswald
Denis Oswald is a Swiss rower and sports official. He competed in the 1968 Summer Olympics, in the 1972 Summer Olympics, and in the 1976 Summer Olympics....

. The Rowing World Cup
Rowing World Cup
The World Rowing Cup is an international rowing competition organized by FISA . It first began in 1997 and comprises three regattas held throughout early summer. In each event points are awarded to the top seven finishing boats and an overall winner determined after the last world cup regatta...

, World Rowing Championships
World Rowing Championships
The World Rowing Championships is an international rowing regatta organized by FISA . It is a week long event held at the end of the northern hemisphere summer and in non-Olympic years is the highlight of the international rowing calendar.The first event was held in Lucerne, Switzerland in 1962...

, and other such competitions are overseen by this organization.


It was founded by rowing representatives from France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Adriatica
Adria and Adriatica are parent Swiss Watch Brands specialised in making quality watches at affordable prices for the Eastern European Markets.-Origin:...

, and Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 on June 25, 1892 in Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

 in response to the growing popularity of the sport of rowing, and the consequent need for uniformity of regulations over such matters as race lengths, boat composition, and weight classes. Also, at the time, betting on rowing was very popular, and the rowers or coaches were themselves often taking bets. Amateur status was unknown in the sport, a state of affairs which can lead to corruption, such as thrown races.

The first regatta organised by the newly formed FISA was the European Rowing Championships
European Rowing Championships
The European Rowing Championships is an international Rowing regatta organised by FISA .The first event was held in 1893 and as of 1962 was replaced by the World Rowing Championships, which then became an annual event from 1974...

and was held in 1893 in Orta, Italy
Lake Orta
Lake Orta is a lake in northern Italy west of Lake Maggiore.It has been so named since the 16th century, but was previously called the Lago di San Giulio, after Saint Julius , the patron saint of the region; Cusio is a merely poetical name...

. It only had 10 entries in 3 events and no professional participants. By 1925, the 27th European Championships, held in Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

, included 24 entries in 10 different events.

FISA established its headquarters in Lausanne
Lausanne is a city in Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and is the capital of the canton of Vaud. The seat of the district of Lausanne, the city is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva . It faces the French town of Évian-les-Bains, with the Jura mountains to its north-west...

, Switzerland in 1922.

FISA was the first international sports federation to join the Olympic movement
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

. It has been on the Olympic program since the 1896 Summer Olympics
1896 Summer Olympics
The 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, was a multi-sport event celebrated in Athens, Greece, from April 6 to April 15, 1896. It was the first international Olympic Games held in the Modern era...

 in Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

. (The rowing events at the 1896 games were cancelled because of high winds). Each country that participates in rowing has a federation or governing body which belongs to the FISA Congress. These federations (of which there are currently 118) have overall control of what FISA does.


FISA has been sponsoring the program for rowing events at the Olympic games since the initial Olympic games in 1896 in Athens. It is also responsible for running the qualification program to select the participants for the games.

Rowing World Cup

Started in 1997, the World Cup comprises three regattas held in early Summer.

World Rowing Championships

A week long regatta held every year. During Olympic years, only non-Olympic boat classes race.

Junior World Rowing Championships

Running since 1967, the Junior Championships is for those who are under 18 by the end of the current calendar year. During Olympic years it is held at the same time as the World Rowing Championships.

World Rowing Under 23 Championships

First held in 1976, this regatta is for those too old for the Junior Championships but who do not turn 23 by the end of the current calendar year (previously categorised as Senior B by FISA). The event was originally named the Nations Cup and opposed by FISA. In 2002 the name was changed to the World Rowing U23 Regatta and further changed to World Rowing U23 Championships in 2005.

World Rowing Masters Regatta

For rowers over the age of 27. There are also events for mixed crews - where half the crew is men and half women (excluding cox). The 2010 regatta took place in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, and it will be in Poznan, Poland, in 2011.

World Rowing Sprints

A new idea introduced in 2002 as an attempt to bring rowing to the centre of cities. The first (and only) event took place on the Serpentine Lake
Serpentine (lake)
The Serpentine is a 28-acre recreational lake in Hyde Park, London, England, created in 1730. Although it is common to refer to the entire body of water as the Serpentine, strictly the name refers only to the eastern half of the lake...

 in Hyde Park, London
Hyde Park, London
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London, United Kingdom, and one of the Royal Parks of London, famous for its Speakers' Corner.The park is divided in two by the Serpentine...

 and was sponsored by Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz is a German manufacturer of automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks. Mercedes-Benz is a division of its parent company, Daimler AG...

. Crews from Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, and the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 took part in the 500 m race. Famous rowing champions raced, including Matthew Pinsent
Matthew Pinsent
Sir Matthew Clive Pinsent CBE is an English rower and broadcaster. During his rowing career, he won 10 world championship gold medals and four consecutive Olympic gold medals, of which three were with Steve Redgrave...

, James Cracknell
James Cracknell
James Cracknell, OBE is a British rowing champion and double Olympic gold medalist and adventurer. Cracknell is married to TV and radio presenter Beverley Turner; they have three children. In the New Year Honours List, 2004, he was appointed OBE for services to sport...

, and Marcel Hacker
Marcel Hacker
Marcel Hacker is a German rower. He has won an Olympic bronze medal in 2000 in Sydney and became a world champion in 2002 in Seville.-External links:*...


Each team was made up of 13 rowers (5 women, 7 men, and a cox). Events were held in Women's Single Sculls, Men's Single Sculls, Women's Double Sculls, Men's Pairs, Women's Pairs and Men's Fours. These crews then combined to form Mixed Quad Sculls and Eights.

Great Britain were the eventual winners and crowned the Mercedes-Benz Sprints Champions.

See also

  • Thomas Keller
    Thomas Keller (rowing)
    Thomas Keller also known as Thomi Keller was the president of Féderation Internationale des Sociétés d'Aviron , the governing body of international rowing, from 1958 until his death in 1989...

    , former President of FISA
  • Thomas Keller Medal
    Thomas Keller Medal
    The Thomas Keller Medal is given by the International Rowing Federation for an outstanding international career in the sport of rowing. It is the highest honor in rowing and is awarded to any athlete within five years of his/her retirement from the sport...

    , Awarded annually by FISA to a rower(s) with an outstanding international career

External links

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