Frequently Asked Questions


Where can I read more basic information about the sport of rowing?
US Rowing has put together a library of sections that include a viewer’s guide, quick facts, a glossary of terms, and much more. Click here to access.

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Do you have to do the Learn to Row to join the team in the Spring?
No. We also teach new people to row in the spring season. It is strongly recommended that you begin with the sport as soon as you are interested.

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What’s the difference between the fall and spring seasons?

FALL

  • We do not make cuts
  • Season starts warm, finishes cold
  • Focus is on technique, team building, overall fitness
  • Varsity and JV are often mixed
  • Races are ~20 minutes long
  • Races are time trials
  • We compete in the Head of the Charles Regatta

SPRING

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What’s the same between the fall and spring seasons?

  • Racing boats are set in both seasons by Ability, Attitude, and Attendance.
  • We put the best in the 1st boat, the next best in the 2nd boat, and so on.
  • We generally row 4+ boats (4 rowers and 1 coxswain).
  • We have Varsity and JV (includes new rowers)
  • Races can take a couple of hours or all day and are usually on the weekends
  • We compete in the Massachusetts Public School Rowing Association

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What’s a practice like?
Most people walk or ride their bike to the boathouse. Generally, you meet with your coach, go over the practice plan for the day, get your boat out of the building, put it into the water, and go rowing. When done, you clean the boat, put it away and go home. However, it’s likely that practice will also include running, an exercise circuit, stretching, running Harvard’s stadium, erging, etc.

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Do you row every day?
Practices are 6 days a week. Only lightning and thunder keep us off the water. On those days, we do workouts on land.

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Does everyone row all the time?
It depends. If you’re on the Varsity, then yes, you row every day and race in every regatta. If you’re on the JV, we try to put everyone on the water each day, but you may not row everyday or race in every regatta.

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Do boys and girls row together?
No, but while we do have separate boys and girls squads, we’re all part of CRLS Crew.

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Can we do other things in addition to crew?
Sure. But do so with the understanding that if you miss practice, you’ll have missed some things and that will make it harder for a coach to put you into a boat when you come back.

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What if I can’t swim?
That’s a big concern and an unavoidable safety hazard. As a novice rower, you may wear a life jacket during practice if you can’t swim, but you will be ineligible for races. It’ll be important for you to learn to swim as soon as possible because the lifejacket limits your range of movement. Varsity/JV rowers are required to know how to swim.

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What about practice clothing and racing uniforms?
Rowers and Coxswains should come to practice wearing running shoes and appropriately dressed to exercise outside. Practice clothing should be form fitting so it doesn’t hang below the seat and get caught in the wheels that the seat rolls on. Basketball style shorts are too baggy. We sell rowing specific shorts for about $25 or you can get something from any sporting good store.

We do have an official racing uniform that should be purchased by all varsity participants. More information on purchasing will be available at the start of each season.

At the start of each season, each student who does not want to buy a uniform will be issued a racing top, a long sleeve lycra shirt, and a wind jacket that they must return at the end of the season. Solid black shorts and long pants are the responsibility of the student. Additional clothing items such as a hat, sweats, etc. are recommended but not required. Clothing may also be purchased from the Friends of Cambridge Athletics who sell generic Cambridge Athletics apparel.

Click here for more information about what to buy and where to buy it.

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