I was on a bridge overlooking the Charente river when I saw them coming along; I crossed the bridge and choose a place where I should be just over them. Luckly, I had the right lens on the camera body to frame them with the motor boat.
I practised this sport for 10 years, in competition, depending of the number of rowers and their level, the speed can reach 15 to 20 kilometers per hours for a run of 2000 meters.
As Kath says, the image is well framed, also pin-sharp. You really are a street photographer, always looking for and finding a composition and fit as well! I got a chuckle out of your comment about galley slaves. Amit́es, Patricia
Oh you did rowing competition. I find this sport very attractive (looking), I love watching them gliding elegantly over the water. No doubt the thin boats make wonderful images. I like the red power boat beside them, it sort of underlines "competition, fast" etc. sort of showing them the "red flag". Not hard to imagine that it needs a lot of energy to move the boat forward, it has a slave aspect :-)