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The Sport of Rowing

Rowing is one of the demanding sports for mind and body. It is not like other sport, you don't get breaks in the middle of your race. Wither it is an 2 kilometer race or a 5 Kilometer race this sport demands a person who is willing to push past boundaries they didn't even know where their in the first place. Rowing is a balance between body and mind. It is easy to get into your head. The want to quiet becomes overwhelming, however great rowers learn to push past that pain and focus on their ultimate goal. Don't be discouraged to try this amazing sport.

The average person begins rowing at the age of 16 and if you are older that's great, you still can do it. Competitively there are master groups which means that anyone over the age of 27 can row in that category. Races for masters might be shorter or they might take some time off your time depending on your age. If you did not want to do rowing competitively it is a great recreational sport!

 

Types of Races

Spring seasons are sprint races also know as a regatta. These races can be around 500m all the way up to 2000m. In the US, high school tends to be 1,500m or 2,000m. In the UK, sprints can be from 500m to 2000m. All boat start side by side in a line and go from being still to starting. A famous race for sprints is the Henley Royal Regatta, which is in England and is 2,112m long.

 

LBRA Spring Regatta Ma
Fall seasons are time trial rowing, these are known as head races. Head races can be 2,000m to 12,000m. Boats start a race by doing a rolling start which is when you start slow and work your way up to full pressure. This type is done by 10-20 second intervals and your clock starts as soon as you cross the start line and finishes once you cross the finish line. A famous head race for the fall is the Head of the Charles in Boston Massachusetts.

Head of the Charles

 

The coxswain

The coxswains job is not as easy as people make it seem. Yes, we tell you to row harder, when to do it, and what you are doing wrong all while we sit there not rowing. However our job is more than just yelling. We make race plans, steer the boat, and keep the boat and the rowers in it safe. Rowers trust us to make adjustments whenever needed so that everyone is working efficiently together and that we are going as fast as we can.

As a coxswain we have to be able to make decisions with in seconds because a hundredth of a second can determine who come in first and in second. I say we because I am a coxswain, and we are the quarterbacks of our teams. We face forward looking at whats ahead, while the rowers are looking what were they have been. We are the mini coaches that sit in the boat and we are in charge of our teams on and off the water.

Coxswains are expected to be mature, reasonable and smart. They are a manager, coach, motivational speaker, and caretaker rolled up into one person. Coxswains control whats going on and that means taking responsibility and credit for everything, good and bad.

Just like any job it is not for anyone. However being a coxswain is one the of most amazing things. Yes, the loses are hard but the wins are everything. Crossing the finish line knowing that you are first makes your heart swell with pride. Knowing your going to be thrown in the water to celebrate the win is something special and it should be considered an honor to get thrown in. Working closely with athletes who have a similar mindset like you not only pushes you to be a better athlete but a better person.

The Rower

The rower is the person who moves the boat forward. Rowers are the muscle of the boat. If it helps, think of it this way. Rowers are the body, while the coxswain is the brain. They bring heart and soul into the boat, without them the boat wouldn't move.

Rowers have a tough job, on top of going through pain for 2000 meters they must learn to stay in sink and keep the boat as balanced. Imagen eight people standing next to each other all ready to take a golfing swing. Now they must all swing and hit their ball at the same time. They must also try to use the same amount of strength as the person next to them. Sounds hard right? This is what rowers are trying to do for eight minutes or less without break while rowing as hard as they can.

This sport is the team sport. You must relay on the person behind you and the person in front of you to do their jobs. The difference from first and second place can be only hundredth of a second so you must give it everything because coming in second like that hurts. Your team becomes your family, you learn things about each other that you wouldn't learning a normal friendship. You endure the pain of the losses together but you also enjoy the wins together.

Rowers are people driven by determination. When most people would quiet they look ahead at push through. They are the ones who get up at five in the morning to head to practice. They do more before eight in the morning then people do in their entire day.

The mindset that they have helps not just on the water. Rowers learn to work together and never leave one of their own behind. They make great friends, co-workers, and employees

Site created by Ash LoConte
May 2019