The Olympic Games happens every four years and includes rowing. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) sets a quota of 550 athletes competing in the 14 boat classes. This quota means that the World Rowing Federation carries out qualification regattas. The main qualification regatta is the World Rowing Championships that is held in the year prior to the Olympic Games. There is also continental qualification regattas for Africa, Asia/Oceania, Latin America and European. A final qualification regatta is held about three months before the Olympic Games.
The Olympic regatta follows a progression system of heats through to finals and is held over eight days in the first week of the Olympic Games.