Friday, April 17, 2009

Learn to Row

This Sunday the Prince William Rowing Club is hosting the first of three Learn to Row Days this Sunday at the Oxford Boathouse located in the Lake Ridge Marina. If you ever had a passing interest in what rowing is all about, this is your opportunity and best of all - it's free! The fun starts at 1:00PM and continues until 3:00 PM. You can find directions to the boathouse by following the link for the Lake Ridge Park and Marina above and click on Find Us. We break down your visit into four areas.

The first stop is a tour of the boathouse. We'll show you the shells, which are owned by the local Prince William high schools. We'll explain the sport of rowing, show you the equipment and tell you about the Prince William Rowing Club.

After the boathouse tour, we;ll take you out on one of the docks to learn the basic rowing stroke on an erg. We'll have instructors to show you the basics. The catch, the drive and the recovery. Hint: It's all in the legs.

After the ergs, we'll move you to the barge. The barge has sliding seats just like a racing shell, but provides a much more stable platform to learn on. We'll strap your feet in and give you an oar and you'll practice the rowing stroke you learned on the erg, but with an oar this time. You'll learn to follow the person rowing stroke. The idea is to get your oar in the water at the catch when your stroke does and drive with your legs, then back and finally your arms before exiting the your oar from the water when your stroke does. It's all about learning to row as one. We'll have coaches on the barge to help you out and teach you.

Finally, now that you have all the basics mastered, we'll actually put you in an actual 8 man shell for a short row out into the Occoquan. We will row four guests at a time along with four experienced Prince William Rowing Club members. We'll row by 4s to start out with and depending on how that goes will move up to rowing by 6s and maybe even by all 8.

It's a fun way to spend some time and the weather forecast looks promising (sunny and 70). If you can't make this Sunday, our next Learn to Row Day is on 3 May, which will also start at 1:00 PM.

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