Women’s events have been included in the programme since the 1976 Games in Montreal.
The races are divided into sculling and sweep oar. Sculling events use two oars, whilst in sweep the rower holds one. The eight-person crews have a coxswain, who steers the boat and directs the crew, but in all other boats one rower steers by controlling a small rudder with a foot pedal.
Lightweight events were introduced in Atlanta in 1976 and the current programme include the following events:
COXLESS PAIR – MEN & WOMEN
DOUBLE SCULLS - MEN & WOMEN
EIGHT WITH COXSWAIN - MEN & WOMEN
LIGHTWEIGHT DOUBLE SCULLS – MEN & WOMEN
SINGLE SCULLS – MEN & WOMEN
QUADRUPLE SCULLS WITHOUT COXSWAIN – MEN & WOMEN
FOUR WITHOUT COXSWAIN - MEN
Ireland first participated at the 1948 Olympics when a men's eight represented Ireland. The 2016 Games in Rio games were the most successful with three crews participating and Gary O'Donovan and Paul O'Donovan winning Ireland’s first Olympic rowing medal - silver in the LM2x. Claire Lambe and Sinead Jennings became the first women's crew to make an Olympic final where they finished in sixth position.