Rowing Best Times

I have yet to find a conclusive response to the question often asked as to: ”what is the top speed of a rowing shell?”

A few years ago I saw a video post of an 8 men crew pulling up a water skier for some distance.

The average speed of current world best Rowing Times recognized by FISA is 22.5 Km/Hour or about 14 MPH for the Men’s 8+; 5:19:35 over the 2000m course.

There were supposedly burst of over 24KM/Hour on that race. The men’s 8+ is the overall fastest Rowing craft.

Because environmental conditions affect the rowing speed, FISA Rowing governing body recognizes Best Times and not world records.

Below are the current recognized best Rowing Times as posted in Wikipedia.


Boat Time Crew Nation Date Meet Location Ref
Single sculls
6:33.35 Mahé Drysdale New Zealand 2009 Poznań, Poland
Coxless pairs
6:08.50 Hamish Bond
Eric Murray
New Zealand 2012 Summer Olympics Eton Dorney, England [2]
Coxed pairs
6:42.16 Igor Boraska
Tihomir Franković
Milan Razov (coxswain)
Croatia 1994 Indianapolis, United States
Double sculls
6:03.25 Adrien Hardy
Jean-Baptiste Macquet
France 2006 Poznań, Poland
Coxless four
5:37.86 Andrew Triggs-Hodge
Tom James
Pete Reed
Alex Gregory
Great Britain 2012 Lucerne, Switzerland
Coxed four
5:58.96 Matthias Ungemach
Armin Eichholz
Armin Weyrauch
Bahne Rabe
Joerg Dederding (coxswain)
Germany 1991 Vienna, Austria
Quad sculls
5:33.15 Vladislav Ryabcev
Alexey Svirin
Nikita Morgachev
Sergei Fedorovtsev
Russia 2012 Lucerne,Switzerland
5:19.35 Gabriel Bergen
Douglas Csima
Robert Gibson
Conlin McCabe
Malcolm Howard
Andrew Byrnes
Jeremiah Brown
Will Crothers
Brian Price (coxswain)
Canada 2012 Lucerne, Switzerland
Lightweight single sculls
6:46.93 Jeremie Azou France 2011 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Lightweight coxless pairs
6:26.21 Tony O’Connor
Neville Maxwell
Ireland 1994 Paris, France
Lightweight double sculls
6:10.02 Mads Rasmussen
Rasmus Quist
Denmark 2007 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Lightweight coxless four
5:45.60 Thomas Poulsen
Thomas Ebert
Eskild Ebbesen
Victor Feddersen
Denmark 1999 Lucerne, Switzerland
Lightweight quad sculls
5:45.18 Francesco Esposito
Massimo Lana
Michelangelo Crispi
Massimo Guglielmi
Italy 1992 Montreal, Canada
Lightweight eight
5:30.24 Klaus Altena
Christian Dahlke
Thomas Melges
Bernhard Stomporowski
Michael Kobor
Uwe Maerz
Michael Buchheit
Kai von Warburg
Olaf Kaska (coxswain)
Germany 1992 Montreal, Canada

Indoor Records

Category Time Split Nation Year Name
Open Men 5:36.6 1:24.1 New Zealand 2008 Rob Waddell
Lightweight Men 5:56.7 1:29.175 Denmark 2013 Henrik Stephansen
Open Women 6:28.4 1:37.1 France 2005 Sophie Balmary
Lightweight Women 6:54.7 1:43.7 United States 2010 Ursula Grobler
  • Lwt Men: 75 kg (170 lb) maximum weight
  • Lwt Women: 61.5 kg (136 lb) maximum weight [3]

John M. Duarte

One thought on “Rowing Best Times

  1. Pingback: The speed record that is surprisingly hard to break – Mark Piesing

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