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Look at the EVENTS page for up-to-date information on the rower's year.
Fall Program
This fun-filled six-week program is open to beginner rowers of any grade level and runs after school Mondays through Fridays from mid-September through late-October. Weekday transportation between school and the Thompson Boat Center (“TBC”) in Georgetown is provided by chartered bus.  At the conclusion of the program, the rowers demonstrate their skills in an Exhibition Row at TBC.
Bus schedule Mondays through Fridays:
The bus operates in two shifts. The coaches will determine in early September which squad takes which shift.
  • Shift 1:
    2:20 p.m. pick up at Whitman, 5:30 p.m. drop off at Whitman
    Actual practice time: 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
  • Shift 2:
    3:45 p.m. pick up at Whitman, 7:00 p.m. drop off at Whitman
    Actual practice time: 4:30 - 6 p.m.
Coaches may call for a Saturday morning practice, to which all rowers carpool.
Winter Program
The cold winter months provide an excellent opportunity to fine-tune the rowers into superb athletes. The entire team meets every afternoon at school to do core work, endurance training and erg workouts. The program begins around Thanksgiving and continues until the weather permits a return to the river.
Some team members choose to participate in other sports such as the Swim and Diving Team. Most important is that the athletes remain in excellent physical shape so as to be in top form once spring training begins.

Practice schedule Mondays through Fridays:
Varsity women: 2:30 - 5 pm
Varsity men: 2:30 - 5 pm
Novice women: 4:30 - 6:30 pm
Novice men: 4:30 - 6:30 pm

Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints:
The The Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints are hosted every February by T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, VA. This qualifying event for the World Indoor Rowing Championships provides a fantastic opportunity to compare ourselves to teams we will soon be competing against on the water. All Whitman rowers participate in this event.
Spring Program
As soon as the TBC docks are brought out of winter storage, the team heads back to the river. The kids are in superb shape, rowing techniques are fine-tuned, and everyone is excited to participate in the team’s big regatta season.
Bus schedule Mondays through Fridays:
The bus operates in two shifts. The coaches will determine at the end of the Winter Program which squad takes which shift.
  • Shift 1:
    2:20 p.m. pick up at Whitman, 5:45 p.m. drop off at Whitman
    Actual practice time: 3:00 - 5 p.m.
  • Shift 2:
    3:45 p.m. pick up at Whitman, 7:15 p.m. drop off at Whitman
    Actual practice time: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Coaches may call for a weekend practice, to which all rowers carpool.
Spring Break Training
These mandatory, twice-daily practices are the last chance to improve before the beginning of the regatta season. Rowers who do not attend will lose out on a lot of water time and will not have the opportunity to progress along with their teammates. Missing these practices will result in the rower being less likely to be boated in the regattas immediately following Spring Break. Accommodations will be made to get home in time for Passover.
Novice Practices
Practices will take place either at TBC or at the Sandy Run Regional Park [Directions] at the Occoquan Reservoir in Virginia.

Varsity Practices
Varsity rowers will train at Melton Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The coaches will organize travel and accommodations.
Summer Camps
Although Whitman Crew offers no summer program, we are often asked about our rowers’ favorite summer camps.
Craftsbury Sculling Camp - Vermont
Located on a gorgeous private lake, this camp offers intense training in a friendly environment. It teaches sculling, which actually helps a lot with sweep rowing technique. It has both great food and “Pepa” - a strength trainer whose sessions are legendary. The coaches are all excellent.

Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) Camp - Mercer Lake, N.J.
This camp fills out early in the season. Quite competitive, run by Princeton coaches along with other Ivy League coaches, so an excellent way to get noticed if that’s what you are after. Mercer Lake is a top-caliber training and racing location.

Navy Rowing Camp - Annapolis, MD
This camp is held at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, which makes it an easy destination for Whitman rowers. Food does not get a very good review though.

Quaker Rowing Camp - Philadelphia, PA
Run by University of Pennsylvania coaches out of the university’s rowing facilities, this camp is popular with Whitman rowers. It’s competitive and a great way to get noticed by excellent coaches.

Sparks Rowing Camp and Coxswain Development Camp - Middeltown, CT
With a 5:1 rower to coach ratio, this camp offers a lot of one on one time with coaches, including tape reviews of rowing and coxing technique. No AC in rooms, but the food gets good reviews.

TBC Summer Camp and TBC Racing Team - Washington, DC
This 7-week day camp is run by Elliott Lane, who also coaches the Jr. Men. Kirk Shipley coaches the Jr. Women. Many rowers stay only about 5 weeks to accommodate family vacations (in other words, the coaches know and understand that you may not stay for the entire camp). Because TBC cannot have a competitive team, Coach Lane has set up a separate entity called the TBC Racing Team. The expense for the racing team is in addition to the TBC camp fees.

North Country Rowing Camp - Hanover, NH
One of the highlights of this camp is the picturesque, college town setting. Campers row on the Conneticut River and eat and sleep in Dartmouth College dormitories. Rowers and coxswains focus technical and racing skills.
Fall Rowing for Varsity Rowers
Whitman Crew does not offer a fall varsity program, thereby allowing students to participate in other sports. However, varsity wishing to row during the fall participate in the TBC and TBC Racing Team fall camps. Once the TBC camps are over, these rowers have the opportunity to compete in mid-November regattas as part of a Whitman boat.
Bad Weather Policy
Practices will be moved from the river to land if the wind creates dangerous water conditions. If the coaches do not send out an email about a change of venue, you can rest assured that practice will take place at TBC as usual.

Half and Full Day Off Policy
Half days off: Practice as usual
Teacher Professional Days: Practice as usual
State and federal holidays: No practice unless otherwise determined by coaches
The best clothing for rowing is soft, stretchy, breathable, and fairly formfitting. Loose shorts and bulky tops get caught in the boat. Because you will sometimes get wet, bring extra clothes to change into after practice.

Warm Weather
  • TWO pairs of shorts
  • TWO shirts - or as many as you need to rotate through the week. Even though you may start with cotton shirts while the weather is nice, you will find that they are very uncomfortable when wet. T-shirts made of synthetic fabrics that dry quickly are best.
  • Athletic shoes - even though you take your shoes off to row, you will need them for warm-ups and land workouts. Bring two pairs of socks - one that can get wet on the boat, and one to change into before going home.

Cool Weather
  • DO NOT wear cotton.
  • NEVER wear down on the water. When down gets wet, it will clump, get very heavy, and will not keep you warm.
Here are our recommendations:
  • Head: You lose a lot of body heat through your head. On cold days, you MUST wear a stocking hat to keep warm.
  • Body: layer the synthetics! You will get wet from perspiration, rain, and splash. Your needs will change during a practice depending on exertion and changing conditions. Synthetic fabrics such as Polypro, Cool Max, Under Armor and similar fabrics are best because they keep you relatively warm even when wet, and they dry quickly. Layer according to weather conditions.
  • Base layer: Form fitting and intended to wick moisture away from the skin. A long-sleeve Under Armor or similar brand is ideal. Multiple base layers can be worn for added warmth. On colder days, wear tights for leg warmth.
  • Insulation layer: A synthetic fleece garment worn on colder days where extra insulation is needed. Thicker than the base layer, but not bulky. Polartec or Polarfleece clothing products fall within this category. Some insulation layer fabrics also have wind protection built in.
  • Wind block layer: Having a wind block that breathes helps retain warmth while not getting too hot. Base and insulation layers are generally not designed to block the wind. A Gore-Tex Jacket works well as it is form-fitting so it does not interfere with the oars and has ventilation panels on the sides for breathing. Other wind blocking clothing can be worn, but ensure that it breathes and is form-fitting. Note that rowing-specific jackets are longer in the back and shorter in the front: as a rower leans forward the jacket rides up in the back, so a longer back protects the rower from cold air and/or rain, and a shorter front prevents fabric from scrunching up and impeding movement.
  • Waterproof layer: Waterproof clothing is not required for rowing. If you purchase waterproof clothing, make sure that it is highly breathable. Really waterproof clothing tends not to breathe as well, increasing body heat and sweating, and then holding the perspiration within the clothing instead of letting it evaporate. This can result in you getting too hot, taking off the waterproof clothing, and then getting really chilled.
  • Hands: Hands can get cold, especially since you cannot wear gloves as rowing requires a tactile feel of the handle. You can bring gloves onto the water to wear while not actually rowing, or you can put your hands under your armpits to keep them warm.
  • Feet: It’s vital to have warm socks in the winter. Wool and synthetics that dry quickly are preferable. Always keep a pair on land so that you can change into them on the ride home.
Rowing nutritionists emphasize the need to eat and drink at regular intervals during the day, regardless of hunger or thirst. This practice allows the body to get into a comfortable rhythm of digesting and processing food and drink into energy. If you allow yourself to get hungry or thirsty at any time during the day, your body will not be at its optimum for workouts.

Hydrating: Top rowers drink small amounts regularly during the day and then one hour before exercise, which has shown to reduce heart rate and body temperature during workouts. They also drink every 20 minutes during the workout, no exceptions. Drinking right before workout begins is not efficient.

Food: Carbohydrates build strength and stamina and fuel effort. Protein eaten post-exercise speeds muscle recovery. The longer you wait after workout to rehydrate and eat, the greater the risk your muscles won't bounce back in time for the next workout.