Adaptive rowing

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Oksana Masters & Rob Jones of the USA in the mixed sculls (TA 2x) final at the Paralympics, London 2012. The rowers are fixed to the seat.

Adaptive rowing is a special category of rowing race for those with physical disabilities. Under FISA rules there are three categories for adaptive rowers:

LTA - Legs, Trunk, Arms 
Use of at least one leg, trunk and arms. Also for those with visual and intellectual impairments. Rowed with standard boats and sliding seats.
TA - Trunk and Arms 
Only use of trunk muscles. Boat has fixed seat.
AS - Arms and Shoulders 
Limited trunk control. Boat has fixed seat and rower is strapped at upper chest level to only allow shoulder and arm movements.

At FISA events there are 5 boat events (standard nomenclature is used):

  • 4+ Mixed LTA
  • 2x Mixed LTA
  • 2x Mixed TA
  • 1x Men AS
  • 1x Women AS

Racing is held over 1,000 m (rather than the standard 2,000 m). In mixed events half the crew must be male and other half female (coxswain may be of either gender and may be able bodied). Single shells for the Arms and Shoulders category must have stabilising pontoons attached to the riggers.

Adaptive events were added to the World Rowing Championships in 2002 and took place at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, China.

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