While the American shells and oars are being packed, provisions also will be made to transport cereal, peanut butter, potato chips, honey and junk foods to Moscow for the 1980 Olympics.

Peter Lippett, Olympic Committee chairman for women's rowing, is planning carefully to reduce the "culture shock" for Americans.

Once on the water, the U.S. rowers should fall victim to the more experience Europeans, who regularly compete on an international level while the Americans toil in the classroom or on the job.

According to Lippett, "we're the last of the amateur sports. We're a classic example of the American way" with college educations and jobs requiring the full attention of American rowers. "We're competing against people who do it for a living."

Lippett looks for the women to lead the American effort amid the chop and the wind which define the Russian racing course.

"I would say, in the men's event it would be a miraculous thing if they did (win any gold medals)," Lippett said. "In the women's event I think we have a good chance. The women have won medals consistently (in recent World Championships).

In the 1976 Montreal Olympics, East Germany won four women's gold medals and Bulgaria the remaining two. East German men captured five golds with the Soviet Union, Finland and Norway each taking one.

Julian Wolf, chairman of the Olympic Selection and Development Committee for rowing, acknowledges the women are in the lead in the United States but foresees surprises by the American men.

"Our women are coming along beautifully - they've medaled well recently," Wolf said. "I'd guess - this is just a guess - I'm inclined to believe (the men) will do better (in this year's World Championships) than last year and we'll even do better a year from now."

Wolf said the best chances for the men to win medals would be the eight and the quadruple scull, which likely will be manned by Harvard graduates Al Shealy, Christopher Wood, Greg Stone and Chris Alsop.

The last American gold medal in rowing was won by the men's eight in Tokyo in 1964.

The Olympic picture will become a lot more clear this summer. Trials for the 1979 World Games - the U.S. Nationals - will be held July 12-13 in Worcester, Mass., only days after the completion of the Pan American Games rowing in Puerto Rico. The two-week World Games will commence during the last week of August in Bled, Yugoslavia.