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Rowing Frequently Asked Questions

What is practice like?

Every day, athletes gather in the boathouse to warm up as a team. The coaches announce line-ups and everyone heads down to the boatyard. Athletes then bring out the coaches’ launches and walk their boats and oars down to the dock. Each athlete is responsible for ensuring their oar is brought down to the dock and the equipment at their seat has been properly tightened. Once the boats are on the water, athletes will warm up with some technical drills and then complete that day’s workout. At the end of practice, the boats, coaches’ launches, and oars are all brought back to the yard. When everything is put away, the groups meet with their respective coaches and discuss the practice. Most days athletes will have time at the end of practice to stretch, reflect on their practice, and chat with their teammates.

Do I need to know how to swim?

While ending up in the water is rare, we require all athletes to be able to tread water and get themselves back to the boat if they do end up in the water.

Am I too short to be a rower?

No! Athletes and rowers come in all shapes and sizes. There are lightweight categories for smaller athletes to participate in. There is also a position called the “coxswain”. This athlete has a vital role on the team. They guide the boat safely down the river or race course, are responsible for executing the race plan, and, with practice, have the ability to greatly impact the results of a race.

What should I wear/bring to practice?

Athletes should wear close-fitting shorts or spandex, a comfortable shirt, a hat/visor (bucket hats are encouraged), sunglasses, socks, and shoes they do not mind getting wet. If it is cold enough for a sweater, try to avoid pockets in the front as your oar handle can get caught, making it difficult to row. You will not need shoes to wear in the boat. You will however want sneakers for land workouts and lightweight shoes that can be easily removed, get dirty, get wet, etc. Crocs or slides are great options. High visibility colors are especially appreciated. Athletes should also have plenty of water and a set of tools including a 7/16” wrench, a 10mm wrench, and an adjustable wrench. As we are outside for practice, please be prepared for the weather (raincoats, layers, spare clothing to put on after practice, etc.). For races, you will need an NRC unisuit. These can be purchased at the boathouse or on the website once the gear store is live.

Do I have to row all four seasons?

No. Some of our athletes choose to row all year and some prefer to row one or two seasons. However, like any sport or skill, the more consistently you practice the faster you will learn.

How do I get to practice and races?

Many of our athletes carpool to and from practice. If you are looking for a ride, reach out to the other athletes in your area. 

Can I row and still participate in other sports?

Yes. Some of our athletes choose to participate in Fall or Spring sports and row during their off-season or vise versa.

Can I Try The Program Before Committing?

Absolutely! All potential athletes are welcome to try the program for a week free of charge. To do this, please register on the website and select the "pay offline" option. Then come down to the boathouse for your first practice. We will reach out to you after your first week to see if you would like to continue the season.

Do athletes race as their school team or as Newport Rowing Club?

Some schools (for ex. Padua and Salesianum) will consider rowing for Newport Rowing Club as participating in a school sport. However, all athletes at Newport Rowing Club, regardless of the school they attend, will race under NRC colors. The boat lineups will be mixed with kids from all over the city and will not be based on the school they attend.

Will rowing make me look like a linebacker?

No! Rowing is a strength-endurance sport. This means the muscles you build will be lean muscle.

Isn’t rowing mostly an upper-body sport?

Actually rowing is a full-body workout with a majority of the effort occurring in the legs. The seats in the boat move back and forth on wheels to allow the rowers to press off with their quads and glutes, the strongest muscle groups in the body.

Where are the races (regattas)?

Newport Rowing Club races all over Delaware, SE Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Most races are on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, PA, the Christina River in Wilmington, DE, and at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, NJ. Depending on performance, there may be opportunities to attend races as far away as Florida or California.

What should I expect as a parent on race day?

Race days for rowing are a lot like race days for cross country. Athletes should be dropped off at the trailer where they will spend the majority of the day. There will be a parent tent at most regattas where parents can relax at during the day. Depending on the course, you may only be able to see  small portion of the race. Check www.regattacentral.com and the NRC website for information on your child’s race times. It is a good idea to bring a camp chair, food, and water to make your experience more comfortable. As most regattas are held at public parks, there will typically be porta-johns near the parent tent area. The coaches ask that parents please refrain from visiting the trailer. There will be lots of boats moving around and it can be a safety hazard for the parents and athletes.