QUESTIONS COMMONLY ASKED BY NOVICE ROWERS
What is Crew? Crew is competitive rowing. It is a sport in which individuals or teams compete by rowing in lightweight racing boats called shells. Rowers face backwards on a sliding seat that enables the legs to be used for power, and use oars that are held in place by oarlocks. There are two forms of rowing: sweep rowing and sculling. Sweep rowing, in which each rower has one oar, can be done with two, four or eight rowers. In sculling, each rower has two oars. Sculling shells are designed for a single, two or four rowers. Most sweep rowing shells and some sculling shells also include a seat for a coxswain, a team member who doesn’t row but who directs the rowers and steers the shell.
Who can participate? Any northeast Florida area student (middle and high school) attending a school that doesn't offer rowing. Home-schooled students are also welcome.
I don't know how to row. I'm a couch potato! Crew will take you from where you are now and help you get in shape to be a successful in competitor.
I know nothing about rowing. That is why you are considered a "novice". Unlike most high school sports, previous experience in not necessary.
How much time is involved? Generally speaking, fall practice is four days a week and spring practice five days a week. Check the Fall Season Schedule for specifics.
Can I do other sports? Spring is the required season. These spring sprint races are usually 1500 meter races. Crew has an optional fall Head Race season with 5000 meter endurance races. Fall sports are great. Consider swimming, football, or volleyball. Check with the coaches. Other sports may conflict with your crew commitment.
Where do we row? Practice is at 645 Cesery Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32211. The boathouse is located between Atlantic Blvd and the Arlington Expressway, on Big Pottsburg Creek.
What equipment do I need? Good running shoes, socks, "boat" shoes (slip-on water shoes, or cheap Teva-style are fine), stretch fabric shorts (spandex - no long baggies!), jump rope, bandana, soft large car wash sponge, water, and a water bottle in an aqua sock (one of those un-matched socks you have!). Here is a quick list for you to download!
Do I have to be big? Depending on individual regatta rules "Lightweight Rowers" (boys under 150 lbs. and girls under 130 lbs.) have their own categories. Coxswains generally weigh less than 115 lbs. "Freshman" and "Novice" categories also allow smaller rowers the ability to compete against other freshmen and novices.
Where, when, and against whom do we compete? There are about 50 youth crews in Florida. And, we also compete against other teams in the southeast. Races are usually on Saturdays. Three to four races are held in the Jacksonville area. Another two or three are out of town, usually in Orlando or Sarasota. National competitions change venues each year. For selected rowers, one of our prestigious fall competitions is the "Head of the Charles", the largest regatta in the world, held each fall in Boston.
QUESTIONS COMMONLY ASKED BY ROWER'S PARENTS
What is a "novice"? Any rower in the first year of competition.
What are the benefits of Crew for my child? Crew is the "original" intercollegiate sport. Colleges recognize the required commitment, which gives rowers an edge in college admissions. A number of colleges offer scholarships to rowers who excel in the sport. Crew provides a total body workout and a total team sport. There is no MVP when nine rowers are working together as one crew. Crew helps students learn to manage their time, promoting healthy minds in healthy bodies. The team building skills and discipline your child learns are life-long lessons that will set them apart.
Why does this sport seem so expensive? Crew receives no support from the Duval County School Board. The Senior Head Coach Advisors volunteer their time to help keep the costs low. The fees primarily cover rower's trip expenses including: transportation, food, lodging, and uniforms.
Is Crew a year-round sport? Crew has seasons like track-and-field or cross country. The Spring Spring Season is the main season, and all rowers participate. Usually, only rowers with some experience compete in the Fall Head Races. Experienced rowers interested in Varsity competition and/or collegiate rowing are strongly encouraged to participate in the Fall Head Race season. Rowers not competing in the fall season may participate in other fall sports or may choose to practice with SRB to hone their skills for the spring season. Rowers are expected to finish the season once the commitment to join has been made. A summer sculling camp is also available.
What is an "erg"? What is and "ergathon"? Ergs are rowing machines that are used on land to help perfect the rowing motion. The erg measures the rower's power. The 12-hour ergathon is an opportunity for the rowers to defray part of their expenses by soliciting donations for distance rowed on the erg, much like a walkathon, while participating in a fun activity.
Can parents go to races? Of course! Your rower needs your support.
Who do I contact with questions? Novice parents and rowers should contact Mike Alton at (904) 613-7961 with any questions.
How can I get involved? In addition to being a Booster, there are numerous ways to help. You may chaperone or provide rower nutrition and sunscreening at the PB&J tent.
SRB also host two regattas, the First Coast Head Race and the SRB Invitational. Parent volunteers are needed to assist with numerous tasks at these races. To check out what is available, please contact the coaches, the President, the Volunteer Coordinator, or a Committee Chairperson to volunteer.