After two successful editions of the International University Rowing Championships staged by CUSI and the city of Milan in 1980 and 1982, FISU undertook this sport on a world scale. It was Italy that put up its candidature for staging of the first World University Rowing Championship in 1984 in Milan. This first edition had a great success, welcoming 177 male and female rowers from 14 countries. The contest was led by Italy, Poland and the Netherlands. Traditionally strong in this discipline, the Polish distinguished themselves on several occasions, and finally staged the edition on their home ground in Poznan in 1992, which proved another magnificent success in terms of spectator support. This sport is often included in the Summer Universiade programme. Indeed, in 1987, 1989, 1993 and 2009, it featured as an optional sport in the Summer Universiades in Zagreb, Duisburg, Buffalo and Belgrade respectively. Rowing is a university sport par excellence. Everyone is familiar with the legendary Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race held on the River Thames. But we must not forget that nearly 50 percent of rowers taking part in civil events are university students or are associated with university. This is why some people consider it paradoxical that the sport is not included in the compulsory Summer Universiade programme.
In 1989, the city of Zagreb staged the WUC at Jarun, a very nice site where the 1987 Summer Universiade had been held. In this championship 217 male and 74 female rowers from 23 countries took part. This strong participation level demonstrated how booming this sport was within FISU. In 2000, a rowing regatta was organised in the Polish city of Poznan, where 294 participants were present. The new millennium almost doubled the number of participating athletes and in 2006 in Trakai (LTU), 259 male and 99 female rowers achieved their best results.
(Photo by nzrowing.wordpress.com)