The rowing year
The rowing year starts in September. In the autumn and winter competition takes the form of head races. These are time trials typically run over distances from 2.5km up to 6km, though occasionally shorter courses are available for novice juniors. Head races were originally introduced to motivate winter training for the summer regatta season and despite the popularity of head racing, regattas are still considered to be the main events.
From around Easter time, the focus moves to the more exciting regatta format. Here the racing is done side-by-side in a knock-out format. At local regattas this involves just two crews while the national events are run on 6-lane courses (as you may have seen while watching Olympic rowing). Distances are shorter than in the winter being typically 500m to 1000m for local events and 2000m at national level.
Junior single scullers in position and awaiting the start of a mid-winter head race.