By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent
Rowing is one of the oldest sports in the Olympic Games.
It has always been part of the Olympic programme, although events have changed several times over the years, with the expansion of the sport to feature women's races and lightweight boats on the water too.
The rowing events at London 2012 will take place between July 28 and August 4 at Eton Dorney, Buckinghamshire - one of a number of locations outside the capital to host Olympic competition.
Boats powered by either one, two, four or eight rowers down a 2,000 metre track, in a range of disciplines in two styles of boat - heavyweight or lightweight, differentiated by rowing styles - sweep - where each competitor uses one oar, or sculling - where both oars are used by each rower.
Women's events were introduced at Montreal 1976, and the female programme has swelled to six events for London 2012.
Historically, Great Britain have been one of the most successful nations in the sport. Team GB have a haul of 54 medals, 24 of which are gold.
Team GB lie third on the all-time medal behind East Germany and the USA, and second in terms of total medals won behind the Americans.
Sir Steve Redgrave is arguably the finest Olympian these islands have ever produced. He won five consecutive gold medals between 1984 and 2000.
His first taste of Olympic glory came in Los Angeles, where he won the coxed four alongside Martin Cross, Andy Holmes, Richard Budgett and cox Adrian Ellison.
He won the pair competition three times - twice with Matthew Pinsent, who was also part of the coxless four which secured Redgrave's historic fifth straight gold in Sydney alongside James Cracknell and Tim Foster.
Immediately after winning gold in Atlanta 1996, he said in an interview if anyone found him near a rowing boat again they could shoot him.
If someone had took his words at face value, we would never have seen one of the defining moments in British sporting history four years later in Sydney.
Leading contenders for glory for the home nation this year include Beijing silver medallist Katherine Grainger and her partner in the women's double, Anna Watkins.
The men's coxless four - Andrew Triggs-Hodge, Tom James, Alex Gregory and Pete Reed will also be contenders, whilst Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter will want to repeat their gold medal from four years ago in the lightweight double.
A competitor eager to emulate even a small part of Redgrave's success is 21-year-old Zak Lee-Green. The Cardiff born rower is aiming to go to the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio in 2016.
"I've been rowing for around five years. Before that, I was a swimmer. It got to a point though where I was going no quicker. I had more friends at the rowing club so that helped me make my mind up that rowing was the sport for me," he said.
Rowing is a very physical sport which works out the whole body, with both the legs and arms moving most of the time. A good general level of fitness is key.
Zak said: "You need good fitness, and flexibility, to be a strong rower. You also need to be mentally switched on, and be able to push yourself to the next level."
If you're fit enough to do all this, the sport can open many doors, with competitions held regularly nationally and out on the continent.
As proof, Zak has not long returned from the Netherlands and will be competing in Lithuania next month.
"It's a great sport to be involved with - it's quite easy to travel all over the place and you can meet a lot of new people."
"Rowing is a new experience for a lot of people. Unless you went to a posh school, a lot of people have never had the chance to try it."
He also believes Team GB can push on and win plenty of medals this summer.
"The team is even stronger now than in Beijing where we topped the medal table. There's lots of good boats out there - we should be guaranteed lots of medals."
Fancy a go? Log onto www.britishrowing.com and use the governing body's club finder - there are clubs in Salford, Sale and Failsworth to name a few.
Follow Steven Oldham on Twitter - @spoldham