Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Ocean Rowing

Ocean rowing involves crossing entire oceans in a rowboat. Initially, these were historical adventure challenges, achieving a crossing for the first time with simple boats lacking modern technology. The first recorded ocean crossing was by US Norwegian immigrants George Harbo and Gabriel Samuelson, who crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1896, taking 55 days. Nowadays there are ocean rowing races, with multiple boats racing across oceans and other large bodies of water. There are races across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.

The boats can be designed for solo or pairs, fours or more. The boats, usually custom built, need to withstand very rough ocean conditions and be able to store a large amount of supplies for the long journeys. Rowers often have to endure long periods at sea with help often many days if not weeks away. The challenge is especially acute for solo rowers.

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Check out the 800 sports in the Encyclopedia of Every Sport. Well not every sport, as there is a list of unusual sports, extinct sports and newly created sports. How to get on these lists? See What is a sport?

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