Rowing Club

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Thursday, 15 Apr 2021

Cambois RC

Hopefully you can find answers to many of your questions here, but if not please contact us

Q. Whats the difference between rowing and sculling ?

A. Rowing is done with one oar, out to either the left (bow side) or right (stroke side) of you. The smallest boat you can row in would be a pair, with two rowers but it's much more likely to be in a four or an eight with a cox to worry about where you are going. Sculling is where you have two blades and can be in singles, doubles or quads. Most people will start with sculling, especially juniors who are not allowed to row until they are 14 or 15, because the blades are bigger and heavier and more twisting of the body is involved. Historically, and from here on in this FAQ, we tend to call people 'rowers' and the activity 'rowing' even though the majority of the time they are scullers, sculling !

Q. Is rowing safe ?

A. Yes. Our first concern is always to ensure everyone is safe. We run our club according to British Rowing guidelines at all times to ensure that we make the sport as safe as possible. All cox's must wear lifejackets and no one is allowed on the water wearing unsuitable clothing. We have a designated safety officer in the club and he has the final word on all safety matters.

Q. Do I need to be able to swim ?

A. Yes, we do ask on our membership form that you can swim. You don't have to be the worlds best swimmer though. It's more that people who can swim, even a little way, tend not to panic if you fall in. If the worst happens and the boat does capsize we tell people to hang on to the boat. The boats are fitted with bouyancy devices or sealed air compartments that mean it will float even upside down. Once you're clinging on to the boat you can easily kick your legs and the boat will glide to the side. The majority of the river is shallow enough to just stand up in.

Q. Will I get wet ?

A. Rowing is a water sport, so yes you might get splashed from time to time. It's usually very minor though and is sort of like having a small water fight - fun, rather than being soaked through. Unlike canoeing we're not expecting a boat to capsize whenever we go off on the water. Our intention is to stay dry !

Q. How often do people fall in ?

A. Capsizes are quite rare, but we do on average get one or two every year. These tend to be people who have been coming down for a while and are getting a bit more confident. It is very unlikely for a new beginner to fall in, as we use either stable beginner boats or they go in crews with experienced rowers.

Q. How old do you have to be to start ?

A. Rowing is a great sport thats suitable for all. Girls and boys in school year 8, so around 11 or 12, are about the youngest that are strong enough not to struggle with the physical side of rowing. This is an ideal time for juniors to start, but we have people starting at all ages.

Q. I'm not very fit. Will rowing help ?

A. Yes definately ! The fantastic thing about rowing is that your weight is suspended, so it's very low impact on your body. There's no jarring of the knees or ankles. The rowing action works the legs, arms and stomach muscles whilst at the same time being very good for cardio. You'll be amazed how much easier it is after a short time to walk up a couple of flights of stairs.

Q. What are people's first impressions of going out on the water ?

A. One of the great things about coaching is hearing people who come off the water for the first time. The usual comment is 'That was fantastic ! When can I do it again ?'.

Q. How often can I come down ?

A. As often as you like ! The membership is a fixed charge for a year, or you can pay the daily rate if you can't get down as often. The more you come the quicker you see improvements.

Q. When can I come along ?

A. The individual coaches often have their performance crews coming down on different evenings. From the end of March until the end of October you'll always find someone down on a Monday to Thursday from 5pm until 7ish or later. In addition we are there at 9am on Saturdays and Sundays. The regatta season is mainly during May and June so we're quite often away competing on Saturdays so Sunday is often the best day to come down for the first time.

Q. What should I wear ?

A. Usual sports equipment is fine - anything that lets you exercise freely. Light clothing in summer and lots of layers for winter. Nothing baggy that will catch the blade handles and no jeans (they soak up water and restrict movement). A spare change of clothes is always handy - on the basis that if you've got it you'll never hopefully need it.

Q. Does everyone need to compete in races ?

A. No. Whilst our juniors are normally training with the eye to competing which they do at the highest levels nationally with great success, we have quite a lot of people who come down just for fun. Sunday is the best day for casual rowers and don't be suprised if you're in a boat with a 13 year old girl, one of our coaches and a retired veteran world champion ! Wednesday evening we also have some older girls who meet up and enjoy the summer warmth out on the water.

Q. Is it expensive ? Are there any extra costs ?

A. If you're just wanting to get a bit fitter or rowing for fun then after paying for your membership that's about all you'll need. There is no extra to pay and no equipment needed - we supply everything else.

If you want to compete in races then there are a couple of extra costs to consider. Firstly, you have to have a British Rowing gold membership. This allows you to race and provides extensive insurance cover. For Juniors this is free in their first year of competing (and less than £20 per year after that), and normally it would take at least 6 months or more of training before they are ready to race. Your coaches will let you know when you'll need to apply for this. It's all done online on the British Rowing website and doesn't take long.

In addition to the BR Gold membership, the club holding the regatta normally charge per seat for each event you've entered. This varies from club to club but is between £5 and £10. Coxes are normally free.

Q. I've paid my membership .. can I come and use the gym equipment ?

A. Yes, no problem. As long as there is someone to let you in you're welcome to come and use the rowing machines, cycles or various weights machines and free weights. We do recommend if you're doing weights to do so in pairs at least - that way someone is there to help at all times. Juniors are not allowed to use weights unsupervised by a coach.

Q. What's the best part of going rowing ?

A. Quite simply, rowing is a very sociable activity. Unlike going to a gym, which can sometimes be a little cold in that you might recognize some faces but don't know anyones name, in a boat you'll be on first name terms with everyone. I'm Ian and I hope to be seeing you soon :)