row2k Features
row2k Turned 25 This Weekend
May 9, 2022
Ed Hewitt,

In 1992, after having coached in the EAWRC Women's Sprints league for some years and then stopping coaching to train full-time, I drove up to Danbury CT to go watch the racing on a Sunday off from training.

Racing started very early, and there was a 2F eight at my hotel rowing in the first race whose ride to the course was compromised (can't remember why, maybe a broken van), so we crammed them into my car and I drove them to the course 25 miles north on Lake Waramaug.

It was a dreary, wet Sunday, and we arrived to a wet, nearly empty park, where regatta director Chris Combs (who retired this year) summarily enlisted me as volunteer for any job needed, including announcing the racing solo in a green johnboat that was soon sloshing around with water, the heat sheet turned to mush, and I winged it. I stayed on for the next couple decades.

Five years in, in spring of 1997, I was working on the AOL travel channel and no longer training, and by then was helping in the run-up to racing as well, and not just on race day. Getting to Waramaug is a bit tricky, and I was tasked with giving directions to parents, alums, fans, and anyone who asked. Some of the requests came by email or were posted online.

At the time, the 'general public' was getting online at a very rapid rate via services like Compuserve, Prodigy, and AOL, and it occurred to me it made no sense to send directions one at a time when we could post them to the Internet where most people could now access them.

On May 7 1997, was registered with the Internic (now Network Solutions) with the directions to the EAWRC Women's Sprints, which were to take place on May 18.

Almost immediately, the question was posed 'Thanks for the directions; can you tell me what time my daughter's race is?'

So I posted the schedule.

A week later - "Who won?"

So I posted the results.

Everything was done in html by hand, whew.

Women's rowing had no Internet presence at the time, though men's rowing did, with some college lightweight men posting some stuff, but not hardscrabble info like directions. Some men's coaches saw the site and asked if I could do the same for the Men's Sprints; of course we could, and row2k's core mission of supporting and covering as much rowing racing as we could was established.

Within a couple years, Oli Rosenbladt volunteered to help, and the former English major was soon writing code to make some things easier and faster, and has been doing that ever since; very little of row2k is off the shelf, with nearly all of it coded by Oli.

Since then a heap of awesome people have boosted the effort tremendously, with the folks making a full-time or nearly full-time endeavor including Erik Dresser, Adam Bruce, John Flynn, Janit Gorka, Amanda Cox, Tom Hewitt, Ed Moran (ahem), Aimee Gravelle, tons of great writers and photographers on racecourses around the world braving conditions and rowing politics of every type (each of whom appears in bylines and the 'thanks to' comments on our main gallery page), tons of reader contributors, folks sending us links to news from around the world, regatta folks and refs working with us to make coverage happen, our awesome advertisers (who it is good to remember are in-deep members of the rowing community just like all of us), and our thoughtful and generous supporters - without all of these folks none of this happens.

Here is the oldest version of row2k available on, from June 14 1997; you can see the earliest version of our logo on the next oldest, October 10 1997.

Over time, row2k rode a few wild waves - our infamous message boards of the late 90s, which at one point regularly had over 20,000 simultaneous users posting and reading (peak at any one moment was 27,000 I think), the Internet boom and bust during which a former network TV president interested in purchasing row2k said 'You would be out of your mind to take anything less than $35 million for it," six Olympics, taking right around 2 million photos of all of you taken on six continents, heaps upon heaps of rowing politics, and lots of amazing moments.

We are pretty sure we have attended and covered more races than any org in the history of the sport, and still do so every weekend; see you on the racecourse in a few days as we start our second quadranscentennial - and thank you!

If you enjoy and rely on row2k, we need your help to be able to keep doing all this. Though row2k sometimes looks like a big, outside-funded operation, it mainly runs on enthusiasm and grit. Help us keep it coming, thank you! Learn more.


Log in to comment
John Corelli
05/11/2022  1:16:56 PM
Congratulations on a quarter century in, Ed! In the days right before you launched the site, a lot of us were out on and other related news groups. I was new to the sport then and it was a fairly bare landscape as far as where to get information and such. It's amazing how far things have come both in technology and the connectivity of the rowing community which has your site to thank. Good luck, Ed!

Thomas E. Weil
05/11/2022  9:20:08 AM
3 people like this
For the endangered species of rowing historians, this is simply the Holy Grail of rowing archives. Many thanks, Ed, for all that you and your team do, not only to tell the news as it happens, but, perhaps even more importantly, to preserve it to be re-visited, studied, otherwise recorded, and enjoyed for decades - soon to be generations, I hope - to come.

T Marks
05/09/2022  11:35:58 AM
3 people like this
Ed, Congratulations what an accomplishment turning a labor of love into a vibrant and successful concern. I spend most lunch hours perusing the site and enjoying all sorts of content. Proud to be an occasional donor. Good luck in the next 25 years, you've got this Ed!

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