Rowing at the 1900 Summer Olympics

The in the French capital Paris as part of the World's Fair ( Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Paris) discharged International competitions for Physical Education and Sport ( Concours Internationaux d' Exercices Physiques et de Sports ) included competitions in rowing, which is part of the Olympic Summer Games 1900 ( Games of the II Olympiad ) were.

The competitions in rowing passed the remainder of several competitions, which are not considered by olympic idea of ​​Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, and in accordance with the International Olympic Committee (IOC ). An Olympic competition should be freely accessible for each athlete, so do not bound to the person of the participant restrictions, such as with regard to his age. The rowing competitions that were advertised exclusively for beginners, juniors and seniors, so found the IOC in 1912, when they undertook some decisions about the allocation of various sports and competitions on the Olympic program for the analysis of the history of the first five Olympics, no consideration.

The IOC assigns five competitions in rowing to the Olympic program of the Games of the II Olympiad. Actually there were only 4 competitions, but in the boot class " four with coxswain " there was a scandal that led to two separately evaluated finals.

The competitions in rowing were, as well as the team competitions at that time, generally advertised as contests between club or association teams. These represented generally at international competitions each country in which the club or federation was established. The participants were a total of 108 rowers from 8 nations. 99 of them were known by name at the 9 unknown athletes, it was consistently to control men. This can be explained by the fact that there were no detailed rules for the participation of the helmsmen. They were regarded as marginal and usually had only the task of displaying a direction correction. For this reason, we used like a little boy, still mostly children. Their origin and their name was unimportant, even a club membership was not required. In addition, it was possible to replace the tax man for every race. This led to one of the strangest and most legendary events of the Olympic story (see pairs with coxswain ).

The competitions should be held over two days, 25 and 26 August, but were extended by one day because of various protests. The rowing course was the section of the Seine between the Pont Bineau and the location of Asnières- sur -Seine. The length was 1750 m, where the Seine makes a slight curve in this section. The lanes were not marked. The lack of clear rules and sloppy organization led to some strange decisions.


Date: 25.08. and 26.08.

There were 4 heats from which the respective first and second of two semi-finals qualified. Of these, the respective first and second for the final was provided.

Already in the run there was the first scandal, as Saint George Ashe rammed the boat the Frenchman Benoit and the race was restarted. Ashe had on reboot actually grounding, nevertheless came to, won and was still not disqualified.

In his semi-final run Ashe protested from non- reconstructable reasons against the validity third behind Barrelet and Gaudin. This would not accept the protest and threatened with a boycott of the finale. Finally they settled still swayed and the organization had five boats participated in the finals.

In the final, there was a new incident, when Louis Prével capsized by alleged disability. His protest was not upheld.

Two with coxswain

Date: 25.08. and 26.08.

There were two heats with three or four boats from which the respective first and second qualified for the final.

In the boat, the Dutchman of Amsterdam Minerva sat on the forward stroke of the helmsman Hermanus Brockmann, who weighed about 60 kg. You only qualified, because the third boat had to give up in the flow. For the finale, they wanted to reduce the weight and therefore moved from the tax man, because there was no precise rules for the participation of the helmsmen. Origin or association membership were completely unimportant. In the final, eventually sat in the boat, the Dutchman a boy, about whom there is speculation across age and nationality to the present. According to sports historians, it is most likely that there had been a French street boys 7-12 years of age. Generally, this boy is regarded as the youngest participant in the history of the Olympic Games.

Four with coxswain

The fact that two finals were held in this class of boat is a testament to the poor organization coupled with a lack of assertiveness. The inclusion of both finals in the winners' list of the IOC is a sign of the difficult work-up in connection with the circumstances under which the Summer Olympics took place in 1900.

From eight participating boats should be divided into three heats 4 boats qualify for the finals, namely the respective winner and the second fastest of the three heats. In the first heat it was the boat of the Ludwigshafen Ruderverein things slowly because the opponent's boat from Spain was not a strong competitor. This meant that the boats of the Union Nautique de Lyon and the RC Favorite Hammonia Hamburg in the following heats, although they had not actually qualified, could undercut the time of the Ludwigshafen. The organization decided that the final with six boats unsubscribe.

For a race with six boats but the course was not suitable. This was recognized by those responsible and, therefore, arranged two intermediate runs with three boats, which were to be held before the final run on the same day and of which only the winner should qualify for the final. Against appealed the four originally qualified boats, from the Ludwigshafen, of the Germania RC Hamburg, Minerva Amsterdam and the Cercle de l' Aviron de Roubaix protest. The intermediate runs were therefore invalid, and they took back the first thoughts on the final with six boats. With the exception of the other Roubaix three protesters were also against this arrangement. For originally scheduled final run, therefore, only the boats from Roubaix, Lyon and RC Favorite from Hamburg published. The race was counted anyway and should be the final result.

There was a general lack of understanding on the ground that the protesting teams were skipped so, especially since it was the winners of their respective heats in all three boats. The resentment even among French observers showed its effect, and the organizers prompted for the following day another final run for the three protesters. This final run was also evaluated and considered equal, and so it was that this race was received with double winners and runners-up in the Olympic history.

First final run

Date: 25.08. and 26.08.

Second final run

Date: 25.08. and 27.08.


Date: 25.08. and 26.08.

From five participating boats should qualify in two heats of four boats for the finals. The only boat that was eliminated, was a French boat that had given up in the flow. Thus, all three boats of the second forward travel were practically already qualified.

The Dutch rowers and small fire had recently with coxswain won the race of Zweiers why the rollercoaster with these two weakened went on board the race. Officially listed as helmsman of the Dutch boat Hermanus Brockmann. However Written records of observers of the race lead to the assumption that it is actually involved in the final at the helm by the same boy who was already seated in the Dutch boat with coxswain at the two.

The German boat RC Germania Hamburg had also made ​​the final exchange of the helmsman. They had the helmsman of the junior boats of the Union Nautique de Bruxelles borrowed. While this meant a considerable reduction in weight, but on the one hand the boat got a different focus, and on the other hand, there was a certain loss of confidence, which eventually the race was lost.

No one had thought in the early days of the Olympic Games to a national ranking or a medal. This means that you separately evaluates a number of teams with athletes of different nationalities nowadays as mixed teams. The list includes the winning boat is one in two with coxswain. The involvement of the French boys as helmsman with two Dutch oarsmen the IOC has prompted attributable to the placement of the mixed teams and not only the Netherlands. There are quite publications in which this is viewed differently. Accordingly, changed face often also the statistics and medal table dar.