Rowing at the 1908 Summer Olympics

The 1908 Olympic rowing events were held at Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, long the site of the famous Henley Royal Regatta. Henley would also serve as the site of the 1948 Olympic rowing competition. Because of the set-up of the Henley course, only two crews or sculls usually competed at any one time, although in a few cases in 1948, three crews competed in one race. The rowers started at either Berks (Berkshire) Station or Bucks (Buckinghamshire) Station, referring to whether the boat began on the Berkshire (south) or Buckinghamshire (north) side of Temple Island, an island just downstream (north) of Henley-on-Thames. The 2012 Olympic rowing competition could not be held at Henley because FISA (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron) now requires the rowing events to be held on a still-water lake, with no current, and able to accommodate a field of six boats at one time.

There were only four rowing events in 1908 – single sculls, coxless pairs, coxless fours, and coxed eights. Eight nations competed but Great Britain won all four events, and won 8 of the 16 available medals.


Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Single Sculls, Men Olympic 28 – 31 July 1908 9 6
Coxless Pairs, Men Olympic 28 – 31 July 1908 8 3
Coxless Fours, Men Olympic 28 – 31 July 1908 16 3
Coxed Eights, Men Olympic 29 – 31 July 1908 54 5
81 (81/0) 8 (8/0)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Single Sculls, Men Harry BlackstaffeGBR Alexander McCullochGBR Károly Levitzky
Bernhard von Gaza
Coxless Pairs, Men Leander Club #1GBR Leander Club #2GBR Argonaut Rowing Club
Berliner Ruderclub
Coxless Fours, Men Magdalen College Boat ClubGBR Leander ClubGBR Argonaut Rowing Club
Amstel Amsterdam
Coxed Eights, Men Leander ClubGBR Royal Club Nautique de GandBEL Toronto Argonauts
Cambridge University Boat Club

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Great Britain GBR 4 3 1 8
Belgium BEL 0 1 0 1
Canada CAN 0 0 3 3
Germany GER 0 0 2 2
Hungary HUN 0 0 1 1
Netherlands NED 0 0 1 1