Rowing FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions about BCS Crew

What is rowing like?

While Crew appears to be an easy sport to master, it truly is one of the more difficult sports in which to become proficient. It requires laser-like focus, immense physical endurance, strength demands, sheer dedication, and an unfailing commitment and willingness to master the art of rowing.

Practices concentrate on intense aerobic and anaerobic workouts on the water, and many include the use of weights, circuit work, ergs, and stretching.

How many students can be on the team?

While our goal is to allow as many students as have an interest  rowing to participate, our program has both become highly competitive (we win medals at the national level) and doubled in size in the last couple of years.  Therefore, some candidates who tryout will not make the team, but many times we have very successful team members who did not make it on the first try, but came out again a season, or year later.

How do I join?

Contact Coach Craig Redinger at

Tryouts are held at the Beaver Creek Boathouse in August for the Fall season and in February for the Spring season. Wear a tight fitting shirt and spandex shorts. Bring gloves, sunglasses and lots of water. *You must have a physical on file in the WAHS Athletic Office to participate.* Coaches will take a look at the erg times of returning and incoming rowers and decide on the best team combinations. You will be notified personally regarding the coaches’ decision.

Does it cost anything to join?

Yes, non-refundable registration fees are required each fall and spring season. The fees cover the basic operation of the team. In addition to registration dues, the club grows by the generous willingness and families’ passion for the sport. Rowers are expected to help out with fundraising activities, regatta tasks, and to donate sweat equity on various team jobs like ground clearing or equipment maintenance. BCS Rowing receives no financial sponsorship from the school, VHSL, or Albemarle County. All of our equipment and the new building and dock are donor derived. Volunteers do coaching and equipment maintenance. The team relies on donations, parental support, fees, and funds raised by the BCS rowers. To properly support the functions of the team, including obtaining and maintaining equipment, the team must charge a registration fee. Our goal is to minimize this fee as much as possible by concentrating on fundraising efforts. For the Fall 2017 Season, the non-refundable registration fee is $700. This fee includes your membership fees for the registration, USRowing, VASRA, and EVSRA.

How do I register?

An email will be sent to accepted rowers and parents for a MANDATORY TEAM MEETING during the first week of September regarding the new season. 
All rowers and a parent must be present at the meeting to fill out all registration and forms for the season.

What is the crew season like?

The team is split into two groups, both practicing Monday-Friday, one 4:30 – 6:30pm (often letting out at 7:00 when boats must be cleaned and stored), the other at 6:15am.  On occasion, there will be practice on Saturday.

Regattas are organized boating competitions held on Saturday or Sunday and they are an all day event. Most regattas are held on the Occoquan in Northern Virginia and arrival time is generally 7:00 a.m. with races concluding in the mid-afternoon. After the regatta, rowers and parents are expected to return to the Beaver Creek Boathouse to unload boats. Race-heat schedules often are not released until very close to race day. Rowers will be notified of their race schedule on the day before the event. Transportation to and from regattas is the parent’s responsibility. Rowers need to have their own uniform to participate in a regatta (cost is approx. $75). Uniforms are custom made and take about three weeks to arrive from order date. Parents sign-up to provide food and drinks for the regattas.

What is the winter crew season?

In the winter, all rowers (unless participating in a winter sport) are expected to participate in strength and conditioning practices. These practices include workouts on an ergometer “erg”. Erg scores are an important factor and consideration in seat placement on the team. There are winter erg regattas. Minimum scores are required to be considered for a seat in a boat. Height and weight also come into play as factors. Changes may be announced via mass email notification and/or school announcements.

Do you need volunteers?

This club exists by the grace and hard work of wonderful volunteers. No one receives any compensation. To be involved, simply tell us you want to help. We will gladly match your skill and talents with our many needs and wants. Opportunities to serve are available.

Are there “cuts”, and if so, when do they happen?

Athletes must “make” the team; that is, the tryouts and the coaches’ conclusions about the athlete form the basis on which a decision is made whether an athlete is permitted to join.  For safety reasons, it is essential that all students participating in the program be able to swim, and be physically/academically/emotionally qualified. A student is not allowed to participate if he/she cannot meet these eligibility requirements.  Seats (team membership) are determined by skill level, athleticism, strength, discipline, team spirit, dedication, attitude, endurance, and commitment to the program.

The commitment to the program means attending all practices and regattas. Regattas are full day events (4 – 5 times each season) usually on Saturdays (sometimes on Sundays as well) that require travel and sometimes a Friday overnight stay.

Does the whole team participate in every Regatta?

Our goal is that the entire team will participate in every regatta as long as the athletes are qualified and attend practice regularly. However, there are times when not everyone will get the chance to row at a Regatta. During the course of a regatta, race officials may determine that weather conditions have deteriorated to the point where participation of less experienced boats (typically manned by novice rowers) is not worth the exposure to risk …the safety of our rowers is paramount and not a subject of compromise. Also, we have a set number of seats in the boats to fill and the coaches will determine who has progressed enough in their proficiency to earn a seat. Additionally, if a rower has missed practice due to illness or other reason, the coaches may decide to sit the rower out or place the rower in another boat if that will improve the teams’ chances. Championship regattas, which occur in the latter part of the season, require qualification and/or may not provide events for every category of rower, so these also may limit 100% participation.