Q:

Why row?

A:

There are many advantages of competitive and recreational rowing compared to other sports. The benefits include:

  • Full body workout using all of the major muscle groups (legs, abdomen, back, arms).

  • Low impact on joints.

  • Wide range of muscle and joint movement for greater flexibility.

  • High calorie burner per unit time and distance for greater efficiency.

  • Simultaneously builds strength and aerobic conditioning.

  • Indoor and outdoor rowing so it’s a versatile sport that can do done year-round.

  • Being part of a team is fun, social and rewarding!


Q:

What do I bring to a regatta?

A:

On the Regatta Calendar page each regatta has a link to a printable “Regatta Letter”. Every letter contains tons of information that will help you prepare for all of the regattas. Regattas are like living, breathing beasts and the details change constantly in the lead up to the actual event. The letters are updated as new information becomes available. Included will be a “LAST UPDATE” denoting when the letter was last updated.


Q:

Do I need to wear a life jacket?

A:

You do not need to wear a life jacket. PFDs can be worn at any time, if the rower or coxswain has a concern.


Q:

Do I need to complete a swim test?

A:

You do not need to complete a swim test, however, you do need to self-certify that you are able to swim when you register for any of CRU’s programs. If you are unsure about you ability, or if you are not a strong swimmer then you should plan to wear a PFD while on the water.


Q:

What can I do to stay safe on the water?

A:

  • Watch the USRowing Water Safety Video.

  • Always listen to your coaches. They know the river, they are watching the weather, and your safety is their first concern.

  • Stay within sight of the safety launch (the boat that the coaches follow you in) and with your group of rowers.

  • No talking while you are rowing. Only designated coxswains or bow-persons of a boat may speak.


Q:

Who owns the boats and oars?

A:

All of the equipment used by the CRU members are the property of Chicago Rowing Union. Occasionally, while at a regatta, we may rent or borrow equipment from another club.


Q:

How much do boats and oars cost?

A:

An eight costs upwards of $20,000. New oars are $250 each. The cost of repairing a boat that becomes punctured can be $2,000+.


Q:

Will someone carry the boat to the water for me?

A:

There is no such thing as a boat valet! Be prepared to do some heavy lifting.


Q:

Is it a good idea to wear gloves so I don’t develop calluses?

A:

Gloves make it difficult to get a real feel for the oar. Calluses toughen up your hands and act like armor. While they may be ugly to look at and rough to the touch calluses actually prevent you from getting blisters. The commonly held belief is that “rowers don’t wear gloves” but that said, it really comes down to your preference.


Q:

Will the coaches rig the boats and load them on the trailer before regattas?

A:

Rigging and loading the trailer is handled by the rowers. Occasionally a coach may be on-hand to supervise, but the process is ultimately the responsibility of the athletes.


Q:

Will the cleaning staff take care of the equipment and boathouse?

A:

If you consider yourself and your teammates to be the cleaning staff then this is true...if you don’t, well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we do nearly all of the maintenance and cleaning. The maxim, “See one, Do one, Teach one” applies here. We all do everything. Usually there is someone who has been around that can show you how to do what needs doing...and when there isn’t, there’s always YouTube.


Q:

Is CRU in compliance with USRowing’s requirement to have a SafeSport policy in place? (SafeSport is a campaign started by USRowing and the United States Olympic Committee aimed at raising awareness, stopping child abuse in sport and creating a safe culture in sports programs across the country.)

A:

We are in compliance. If you need a copy of CRU’s SafeSport Policy please contact the Programs Coordinator.


Q:

It’s my first regatta but what the heck do all those numbers and letters mean? The event and race names don’t make any sense.

A:

Typically, an event race name is made of these parts:

  • gender ⇨ the gender may be spelled out or abbreviated as M (men), W (women), or Mx (mixed)

  • lightweight ⇨ if an event is restricted to lightweight rowers only, you’ll see “Ltwt” in the name

  • boat class ⇨ the boat size is designated by the number of rowing seats in the boat, 1, 2, 4, or 8

  • sculling indicator ⇨ sculling events are designated with an “x” following the boat size

  • coxswain indicator ⇨ if the event includes a coxswain, you’ll see a “+” sign at the end of the event name

    • all singles, doubles, pair, and quad races are without coxswain

    • examples:

      • M4+ ⇨ Men’s 4 with a coxswain

      • Mx4x ⇨ Mixed quad

      • W2x ⇨ Women’s double

      • MLtwt4x ⇨ Men’s lightweight quad

      • Mx8+ ⇨ Mixed with a coxswain