UVRF offers a complete progression of sweep rowing classes. Many of our competitive team began rowing in UVRF learn-to-row classes! We also have members who choose not to compete but who sweep row every year in our club rowing program. Rowing is a team sport from the first day of class. An 8 is both a very heavy and a very fragile boat. Without all 8 boat members listening and responding to the coxswain or coach, the boat cannot move safely from the rack, to the dock, to the water, and back up again at the end of practice. Those students who are new to the sport may notice a distinct difference from the straightforward 'fee-for-service' which you might find when you engage a personal trainer, or sign up for tennis lessons. Even at a beginner's level, the sport of sweep rowing functions as a team, rather than as a class.
Rowing an 8 person shell requires 8 rowers! While an unanticipated absence may occasionally warrant an 8 launching with 7 rowers, we do our best to make sure that the class has sufficient rowers signed up to allow some flexibility due to normal summer scheduling issues. Each rower is responsible for informing his coach about any absences, whether anticipated or last minute. In order to assure 16 rowers, we enroll 18-20 students per class. On occasion, your coach may ask you to ride in the launch for part of a practice. This is a common practice in every rowing club, and an excellent learning opportunity as well. Your coach will keep track of who rides in the launch so that the opportunity is shared amongst the class.
We do row in the rain (honestly, you don't notice it after a few minutes!), but we do NOT launch in lightning, and we may delay or scrub a launch due to high winds, heavy fog, or other adverse weather conditions. Unfortunately, we do not refund for bad weather or pro-rate for vacations, since we still pay our instructors and coxswains on those occasions.
All students must be members of UVRF, which includes a yearly membership fee, liability waiver, and swim test. We recommend that all students watch the US Rowing safety video before rowing each season. While rowing can be a sport suited for all ages and abilities, on rare occasion it may become evident to an instructor that a student is unable to participate without compromising the safety of either himself or others. Should this situation occur, the student will receive a complete refund. For additional information on safety guidelines for the sport of rowing, please refer to USRowing Safety Guidelines.
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