Foursome (rowing)

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Four is the generic term in rowing for all rowing boats in which four athletes row. Helmsmen are not counted. As a crew boat, the four, like the eight, belongs to the large boats, while the single and double are referred to as small boats.

The quad can be built and rowed in very different configurations (boat classes), resulting in different typical usage scenarios.

Racing rowing

Double quad with the helmsman in front
Foursome without a helmsman
Foursome with a helmsman

In regatta rowing , racing rowing boats without a helmsman are predominantly used today. Many boat classes are also common as lightweight classes . The following are particularly important in the Olympic program and at world rowing championships :

  • Sculls (4x): International extended Skull -Bootsklasse; after the eighth the second fastest boat class in rowing.
  • Quadruple scull with helmsman (4x +): In the 1970s and 1980s, international boat class for women. Today it is mainly used as a training boat in the children's (up to 14 years) and junior B area (15- / 16-year-olds) and in school rowing.
  • Coxless also quad without called (4): International extended belt -Bootsklasse; since there is no helmsman on board, the boat is maneuvered by one of the rowers using a foot control .
  • Lightweight four without a helmsman (L4-): Also used internationally in the men's area; The boat itself is identical to the four-man without a helmsman , but the crew members must also comply with the provisions on lightweight rowing.
  • Four-man with helmsman , also called four-man (4+): Formerly Olympic oar boat class; Today still significant in the youth and U23 area as well as in para rowing .

Touring rowing

For recreational and touring rowing , boat speed is less of a focus, which is why racing boats are used less often or not at all. Instead, due to their design, giant rowing boats are easier to row, more robust in handling, more practical in use and usually also a little cheaper to get.

  • Gig double quad with helmsman (G4x +) and Gig quad with helmsman (G4 +): Sturdy and robust boats that can also be occupied by inexperienced rowers and have storage space for luggage and food. The same types of boats are also used in rowing training.

Rowing training

When training beginners, the stability of the boat plays an important role in order to avoid capsizing . For this reason, only gigantic rowing boats (as four) are used here initially .

  • Gig double quad with helmsman (G4x +): Stable scull training boat class; The helmsman's seat is in the stern of the boat so that he can see and guide the rowers. Often the helmsman can also stand in his place while rowing and thus better observe the rowing movement of the crew members.
  • Gig quad with helmsman (G4 +): Like the gig double quad, but as a belt boat class. This boat class is suitable for learning the belt technique after having mastered the scull technique.


  • Theodor Körner, Peter Schwanitz: Rowing . 2nd, edited edition. Sportverlag, Berlin (GDR) 1987, ISBN 3-328-00027-5 .
  • Wolfgang Fritsch: The big book on racing rowing . 2nd, revised edition. Meyer & Meyer Verlag, Aachen 2005, ISBN 3-89899-034-6 .
  • Wolfgang Fritsch: manual for rowing: training - stamina - free time . 4th, revised edition. Meyer & Meyer Verlag, Aachen 2006, ISBN 978-3-89899-111-7 .