Blades, otherwise known as oars to amateurs or non rowers, are used to propel the boat. They are long (sculling: 250–300 cm; sweep oar: 340–360 cm) poles with one flat end about 50 cm long and 25 cm wide, called the blade. Classic blades were made out of wood, but modern blades are made from more expensive and durable synthetic material, the most common being carbon fiber.
The International Rowing Federation (French: Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Aviron, abbreviated FISA), responsible for international governance of rowing, was founded in 1892 to provide regulation at a time when the sport was gaining popularity. Across six continents, 150 countries now have rowing federations that participate in the sport.
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WaterRower (UK) Ltd was formed in 1991 to market and distribute the WaterRower throughout Europe under license to WaterRower Inc. Initially with offices in Fulham, London, a 1993 agreement provided WaterRower (UK) Ltd with the additional right to manufacture the WaterRower for Europe. Workshops were established in the idyllic stately home of the Earl and Countess of Sandwich, Mapperton Manor
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