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Learn to Row Program

September 18 - October 27

Learn to Row will begin on September 18th and will run for approximately six weeks concluding in or around October 28th with a demonstration regatta. Practices run five days a week after school in the afternoons, and transportation to and from Thompson Boat Center (TBC) is provided as part of your registration fee. All participants who register are required to have a current physical, complete the SR8 County Pre-Participation form, and take a Whitman Crew delivered swim test prior to starting the program.

The cost for this year’s Learn to Row Program will be $660 per rower (paid in full either by credit card during registration, or by check received prior to the first day of Learn to Row on 9/18). Click here to register. 


Bad Weather/Day Off 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.

If there is a Half and Full Day Off from school the Whitman Crew Policy for practice is as follows:

Half days off: Practice as usual

Teacher Professional Days: Practice as usual

State and federal holidays: No practice unless otherwise determined by coaches

LEARN TO ROW: What to Expect

The first two days of the program will be land-based at Whitman High School.  Rowers will use ergometers (ergs) to learn how to coordinate the timing of the motion of their legs, arms and torso.  After that,  rowers will be transported by bus to Thompson Boat Center (TBC), weather-permitting, for practices.  Transportation costs between Whitman and TBC are included in your registration fee.  

WHAT TO WEAR:  No uniform is required for Learn to Row.  Remember that it is often 5-10 degrees cooler on the water.  Plan to have a long sleeve shirt for later in the fall.   

Boys - Spandex bottoms (resembling bike shorts) and a wicking shirt / tank top. Very loose shorts and shirts are apt to get caught on oars and sliding seats.  AVOID COTTON.  Once you are on the water, you will get wet - either splashed while on the boat or when you take the boat out of the water.  Wear running shoes in the event you run during practice.

Girls - Spandex bottoms (resembling bike shorts) and a wicking or spandex shirt / tank top. Very loose shorts and shirts are apt to get caught on oars and sliding seats.  AVOID COTTON.  Once you are on the water, you will get wet - either splashed while on the boat or when you take the boat out of the water.  Wear running shoes in the event you run during practice.

WHAT TO BRING:  Change of clothes, including socks (many rowers choose to wear socks on the boat which will get wet).   Large water bottle.  Sunglasses or a hat (or both).  Snacks for the bus ride back.  You'll be starving.  It is also recommended that you have a portable charger for your phone.  Phones notoriously deplete their batteries by the bus ride home.  The bus can be late upon returning to Whitman and it is helpful to have enough power to alert family about your ETA.

WEATHER: Students will row rain or shine, unless the river is too rough or there is lightening.  Practice is seldom cancelled in the fall.  In the event conditions on the river don't permit rowing, practice will be held at Whitman.  Coaches typically make this decision by lunchtime.  Rowers and those registered with Sports Engine will be notified by email.    

ATTENDANCE:  ALWAYS discuss expected absences with your coach.  Your attendance can impact your teammates.  If there are not enough students to fill a boat, 7 other rowers and a coxswain may be unable to practice.  During the spring season, your attendance may impact coaching decisions at regattas.  Please be respectful of coaches and teammates by communicating early and clearly with your coaches.    

2017 Spring Season Accomplishments

The Spring 2017 Crew Season was a memorable one for Whitman Crew. The team collectively turned in their strongest results across all boats in the history of the program. Here's a synopsis of their accomplishments:


2017 WMIRA Championship Women's Team Overall Points Trophy Winners
2017 WMIRA Championship Women's 1st Varsity 8 Gold Medal- 1st Place Finish
2017 WMIRA Championship Freshman Women's 8 Gold Medal- 1st Place Finish
2017 WMIRA Championship Women's 2nd Varsity 8 Silver Medal- 2nd Place Finish
2017 WMIRA Championship Men's 1st Varsity 8 Silver Medal- 2nd Place Finish
2017 WMIRA Championship Men's 2nd Varsity 8 Silver Medal- 2nd Place Finish
2017 Stotesbury Cup Women's Freshman 8 Bronze Medal- 3rd Place Finish
2017 Stotesbury Cup Women's 1st Varsity 8 Silver Medal- 2nd Place Finish
2017 SRAA Championship Women's 1st Varsity 8 5th in the Nation- 5th Place Finish in Grand Final


Dedication, Heart and Speed

Whitman Crew has a long tradition of great athletes that have rowed on behalf of the school for the past twenty-nine years. Your commitment in time, energy, focus, strategy and strength don't go unnoticed.

As our boats get faster, so does our collective intention to improve and succeed. This section of the Whitman Crew website is designed specifically to address rowers needs, at every level of our club. We have specific pages designed for Novice Rowers and Varsity Rowers alike.

Your first step in taking advantage of what we have to offer you is for you, as a Whitman Rower to become a member of SportsEngine, you'll find the Create an Account button in the left hand corner of above.

Throughout this section of the site you'll have the opportunity, on a password protected basis to interact with your teammates, post photos, share ideas and become as fast as possible this season.

Sign up for your SportsEngine Account Today

All interested Rowers and their parents respectively will need to have a SportsEngine account that is affiliated with Whitman Crew at time of registration.

If you are interested in setting up an account or learning more, check out the steps below:

1.) Create a SportsEngine Account. A parent should have one account. A rower should have a separate account.

2.) Affiliate with Whitman Crew through the link your received for us

3.) Complete the Whitman Crew Communications Registration for the 2016-2017 Season. Each individual wanting to receive emails from us throughout the season needs to complete the communications registration independently.

2017 End of Year Slide Show

Getting to TBC

If you wish to park in Georgetown, you can drive to the Swedish Embassy at the corner of 30th and K. TBC is a 3-minute walk from there.


Even closer than the Swedish Embassy is the TBC parking lot. Here’s how to get there from Whitman. Note that you cannot drive this route as of 3:45 p.m. weekdays because Rock Creek Parkway closes in this direction during rush hour.

  • Start at Walt Whitman High School, Take WHITTIER BLVD to RIVER RD
  • Left on RIVER RD - going toward the Giant Store - go 1.6 mi
  • Right on LITTLE FALLS PKY - go 0.5 mi
  • Left on MASSACHUSETTS AVE - go 4.7, past the Naval Observatory
  • Right on WATERSIDE DR NW - go 0.2 mi
  • Go about 1.5 miles, looking for the Thompson Boat Center sign on the right. The entrance to the parking lot will be on your right at the first light, at the intersection of Virginia Ave. and Rock Creek Parkway.

Metro to TBC

If you'd rather have your Rower try a Metro option with a small walk they can get off at Foggy Bottom and follow these directions.

Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro Station
2301 I St NW
Washington, DC 20037, USA

Walking approximately 0.5 mi - about 11 mins
  1. Head south on 23rd St NW
33 ft
  2. Turn right toward 24th St NW
374 ft
  3. Turn left onto 24th St NW
33 ft
  4. Turn right onto I St NW
115 ft
  5. Turn left onto New Hampshire Ave NW
0.1 mi

At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit onto Virginia Ave NW

Partial restricted usage road
Destination will be on the left