World Rowing Championships

The World Rowing Championships is an international rowing regatta organized by FISA (the International Rowing Federation). 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.

World Rowing Championships
GenreRowing World championship
Inaugurated1962 (1962)
Most recent2019
Next event2020
Organised byFISA


The first event was held in Lucerne, Switzerland, in 1962.[1][2] The event then was held every four years until 1974, when it became an annual competition. Also in 1974, Men's lightweight and Women's open weight events were added to the championships.

Initially, Men's events were 2000 metres long and Women's events 1000 metres. At the 1984 World Championships in Montreal, Canada, Women's lightweight demonstration events were raced over a 2000-metre course for the first time. In 1985, Women's lightweight events were officially added to the schedule and all Men's and Women's events were contested over a 2000-metre course.

Since 1996, during (Summer) Olympic years, the World Rowing Junior Championships are held at the same time.

In 2002 adaptive rowing events were introduced for the following classes of disability: LTA (legs, trunk and arms), TA (trunk, arms), and A (arms-only). In 2009 the A category was replaced by AS (arms and shoulders), and an ID (intellectually disabled) category was added (but then removed after the 2011 Championships). From 2017 the designations AS, TA, and LTA have been changed to PR1, PR2, and PR3.[3]


Rowing takes place in 21 different boat classes, apart from during Olympic years when only non-Olympic boat classes race. National teams generally take less interest in the non-Olympic events, as the Olympic events are considered the "premier" events.

The table below shows the boat classes, "O" indicates the boat races at both the Olympics and World Championships. "WC" indicates this is only a World Championship event. After 2007, the coxed fours (4+) no longer runs as a world championship event. Similarly after 2011 the women's coxless four was no longer included, but it was reintroduced in 2013. Lightweight men's eight was removed after 2015.

As a result of the IOC's aim for gender parity, it has been agreed that for 2020 onwards the lightweight men's coxless four will be removed from the Olympics and replaced by women's coxless four.[4]

At the 2017 FISA Ordinary Congress there were further revisions, removing M2+ and LM4- from the World Championships, and reinstating LW2-.[5]

Boat Men Lwt Men Women Lwt Women
1x Single sculls O WC O WC
2x Double sculls O O O O
2- Coxless pairs O WC O WC
2+ Coxed pairs
4x Quad sculls O WC O WC
4- Coxless fours O O
4+ Coxed fours
8+ Eights O O


Edition Year Host City Country Events
11962Lucerne  Switzerland7
21966Bled Yugoslavia7
31970St. Catharines Canada7
41974Lucerne  Switzerland17
51975Nottingham Great Britain17
61976Villach Austria3
71977Amsterdam Netherlands17
81978Copenhagen Denmark4
81978Cambridge New Zealand14
91979Bled Yugoslavia18
101980Hazewinkel Belgium4
111981Munich West Germany18
121982Lucerne  Switzerland18
131983Duisburg West Germany18
141984Montreal Canada8
151985Hazewinkel Belgium21
161986Nottingham Great Britain21
171987Copenhagen Denmark21
181988Milan Italy7
191989Bled Yugoslavia22
201990Tasmania Australia22
211991Vienna Austria22
221992Montreal Canada8
231993Račice Czech Republic23
241994Indianapolis United States23
251995Tampere Finland24
261996Motherwell Great Britain10
271997Aiguebelette France24
281998Cologne Germany24
291999St. Catharines Canada24
302000Zagreb Croatia10
Edition Year Host City Country Events
312001Lucerne  Switzerland24
322002Seville Spain24+2
332003Milan Italy24+4
342004Banyoles Spain9+3
352005Kaizu Japan23+3
362006Dorney Great Britain23+4
372007Munich Germany23+4
382008Ottensheim Austria8
392009Poznań Poland22+5
402010Cambridge New Zealand22+5
412011Bled Slovenia22+5
422012Plovdiv Bulgaria7
432013Chungju South Korea22+5
442014Amsterdam Netherlands22+5
452015Aiguebelette France22+4
462016Rotterdam Netherlands7+1
472017Sarasota United States21+5
482018Plovdiv Bulgaria20+9
492019Ottensheim Austria20+9
502020Bled Slovenia
512021Shanghai China
522022Račice Czech Republic

Multiple editions

Times hosted Host country
4 Switzerland, Canada, Great Britain, Germany
3 Yugoslavia, Austria, Netherlands
2 New Zealand, Belgium, Italy, Spain, France, Bulgaria, United States
1 South Korea, Denmark, Australia, Czech Republic, Finland, Croatia, Japan, Poland, Slovenia

All-time medal table

  • 1962–2019 (not including para-rowing, for which some records dating back to 2002 are not available)[6]
1 East Germany944525164
2 Italy856752204
3 Germany827270224
4 Great Britain667259197
5 United States657388226
6 New Zealand503126107
7 Australia474441132
8 Soviet Union354429108
9 Romania344344121
10 Denmark34273394
11 France304426100
12 Canada283444106
13 West Germany24232572
14 Netherlands184043101
15 China1692247
16  Switzerland15151545
17 Norway1471233
18 Poland12211548
19 Ireland128727
20 Belarus1161027
21 Bulgaria9121435
22 Austria861024
23 Czech Republic7151133
24 Greece7101027
25 Croatia75517
26 Spain671629
27 Slovenia45514
28 Hungary44614
29 Ukraine36514
30 Finland34411
31 Lithuania3227
32 Belgium27817
33 Sweden24612
34 South Africa2248
35 Russia18918
36 Chile1315
37 Japan1214
38 Argentina1157
39 Serbia and Montenegro1113
40 Brazil1023
41 Czechoslovakia0111122
42 Cuba0213
43 Estonia0167
44 Serbia0156
45 Yugoslavia0145
46 Slovakia0123
47 Turkey0022
48 Portugal0011
Totals (49 nations)8458468442535

Multiple medallists

Athlete Nation Born Tot.
Daniele Gilardoni  Italy1976111113
Matthew Pinsent  Great Britain1970100212
Steve Redgrave  Great Britain196292112
Franco Sancassani  Italy197492112
Francesco Esposito  Italy195591111
Giuseppe Di Capua  Italy195883112
Andrea Re  Italy196381211

Scull and Sweep medalists

incomplete list

  Scull and Sweep World Champions
# of
# of
# of
Michiel Bartman34 11 23 M4xM4+, M8+
Karolien Florijn22 11 11 W4xW4-
Ronald Florijn34 11 12 M2xM4-, M8+
Daniele Gilardoni213 112 11 LM4xLM8+
Mario Gyr22 11 11 LM2xLM4-
Katherine Grainger58 36 22 W1x, W2x, W4xW2-, W8+
Kathleen Heddle45 23 22 W2x, W4xW2-, W8+
Elisabeta Lipă513 39 24 W1x, W2x, W4xW2-, W8+
Marnie McBean57 23 34 W2x, W4xW2-, W4-, W8+
Nico Rienks24 12 12 M2x M8+
Franco Sancassani312 110 22 LM4xLM2-, LM8+
Simon Schürch22 11 11 LM2xLM4-
Greg Searle47 11 36 M1xM2+, M4-, M8+
Diederik Simon22 11 11 M4xM8+
Martin Sinković37 25 12 M2x, M4xM2-
Valent Sinković37 25 12 M2x, M4xM2-
Olivia van Rooijen23 13 11 W4xW8-
Henk-Jan Zwolle23 11 12 M2xM8+


  1. The Origins of the Championships, Rowing History, Australia.
  2. Previous Venues Archived 11 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine, 2010 World Rowing Championships, New Zealand.
  3. "Summary of proposed changes to the FISA Rules of Racing, related Bye-Laws and Event Regulations" (PDF). FISA. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  4. "2017 FISA Extraordinary Congress concludes". FISA. 11 February 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  5. "Rule 36 – World Rowing Championship Programmes" (PDF). FISA. 2 October 2017. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  6. Medal table
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