Bainbridge Island Rowing
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Rowing 101: Your Chance to Clear up Your Crew Confusion

Do you think seat racing is a competition among office workers on wheeled desk chairs? Maybe you secretly wonder if erging is the sound made by a hesitant pirate? Are you worried that your crew illiteracy might embarrass you in front of your rowing offspring? This March you have the opportunity to get schooled on the topic: Rowing 101 will teach you the ins and outs of this competitive sport that dates back ten centuries.

Aimed primarily at parents of novice rowers, Rowing 101—which will be taught by Bruce Beall, Director of Rowing at BIR and the Boys Varsity Coach—is nevertheless open to anyone curious about what is going on each day at practice and before, during, and after races. Grandparents, aunts & uncles, neighbors, and co-workers who read Boys in the Boat are all welcome.

Beall will explain how coaches select crews, why rowers are particularly worked up on “erg test days,” and the importance of ergometer scores. He will also cover the following topics with time for Q&A:

  • What are the physical demands of rowing?
  • Why do rowers train the way they do?
  • What do the terms swing, set, and down to port mean?
  • What the heck is going on during a race?
  • What’s the difference between sculling and sweeping?
  • What’s a quad? Isn’t that the same as a four?
  • What’s the deal with the little boat sprinkler at the end of practice?
  • What does the start look like?
  • How do coaches select crews?
  • How do coaches determine who sits in what seat?
  • What is seat racing?
  • Why doesn’t anyone wear gloves?
  • What do erg scores tell coaches?
  • What does “coxswains are worth their weight in gold” mean?
  • Why does the coach not remember my name after talking with me at a regatta?

Join Beall and other confused fans at Rowing 101 at the BHS Library on Wednesday, March 7, from 7 to 8:15 p.m.