International Rowing Federation
|Founded||June 25, 1892|
The Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Aviron (FISA) is the International Rowing Federation which is the governing body for international rowing. Its current president is Jean-Christophe Rolland who succeeded Denis Oswald at a ceremony held in Lucerne in July 2014.
It was founded by rowing representatives from France, Switzerland, Belgium, Adriatica, and Italy on June 25, 1892 in Turin 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 and was held in 1893 in Orta, Italy. It only had 10 entries in 3 events and no professional participants. By 1925, the 27th European Championships, held in Prague, included 24 entries in 10 different events.
FISA was the first international sports federation to join the Olympic movement. It has been on the Olympic program since the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens. (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 151) have overall control of what FISA does.
At the 2017 Extraordinary Congress FISA admitted its 151st member.
FISA organises a large number of international rowing events throughout the year.
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
Held since 1973, this event is for rowers 27 years of age or over. Men and women compete in age categories ranging from "A" (27 to 35) to "K" (85 and older). The largest annual international regatta, in 2013 it attracted approximately 3500 competitors who competed in 440 races over four days. 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, 2011 in Poznan Poland, 2012 in Duisburg Germany, 2013 in Varese Italy, 2014 in Ballarat Australia, 2015 in Hazewinkel Belgium, and 2016 in Copenhagen Denmark. The 2017 regatta will be in Bled Slovenia, 2018 in Sarasota USA, and 2019 in Lake Valence Hungary.
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 in Hyde Park, London and was sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. Crews from Great Britain, United States, Germany, and the Netherlands took part in the 500 m race. Famous rowing champions raced, including Matthew Pinsent, James Cracknell, and Marcel Hacker.
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.
- Thomas Keller, former President of FISA
- Thomas Keller Medal, awarded annually by FISA to a rower(s) with an outstanding international career