Rowing might seem like the preserve of the British middle classes, from the Oxford and Cambridge boat race to the Henley regatta, but it actually has a far more exotic history. It was recorded as early as 1430 BC on a funeral inscription of the Egyptian warrior Amenhotep and was also mentioned in Virgil’s Aeneid. In the 13th century, Venetian festivals called regata included boat races. So the British really weren’t the first to this sport. Sorry David.