How long is crew season?
The crew season begins in the middle of February and runs through the last weekend in May for many of the rowers. Regattas generally begin the last weekend in March. At the end of May, two invitational regattas are held: the Stotesbury Cup Regatta in Philadelphia and the Scholastic Rowing Championship, called the “Nationals,” which is held at a different location each year. Some, but not necessarily all, rowers will participate in these two regattas. See the calendar for this year’s schedule.
When and where are practices?
Throughout the season, every Monday through Friday until 6pm. Saturday practices are as scheduled by your rower’s coach, usually 2 hours in the morning. All practices are at Potomac Boat Club in Georgetown, 3530 Water Street.
How is transportation handled to and from daily practice?
Arlington County has arranged to have a Metro city bus available in front of W-L at 3:10 to transport students to the Potomac Boat Club (PBC) in Georgetown. If a student misses that bus, there will be another city bus at the corner of Quincy St. and Washington Blvd. at 3:29. Transportation is not available from any middle school, so 8th graders are encouraged to come to W-L to take the bus. Many of our athletes choose to run to the boathouse on the bike path, depending on weather. One of the parents (a volunteer Dock Sitter) transports the runners’ school bags to the boathouse.
At 6:00 pm, two Arlington County school buses will be at PBC to bring students back to W-L at the end of practice. The school buses will arrive to W-L around 6:30 PM. While transportation is provided for regular practice, there are some situations in which transportation is not provided (Saturdays, spring break, off-season practice).
For Saturday practices, athletes are responsible for their own transportation (some older rowers drive, although parking is limited, and others either bike or need to be dropped off and picked up; car pooling encouraged).
Does the Crew team practice during Spring break?
Yes. Practice continues every day during Spring break. Spring break practices are critical to the success of the team. The coaches have found that each day of spring break training provides the benefit of 2 days of other practices. There is no bus transportation for practices during spring break. Many rowers and parents arrange carpools to and from practice. The coaches understand that for new rowers commitments may already have been made. Please communicate with your coach as soon as possible about any planned spring break conflicts.
Is there crew practice in the off-season?
As of 2011, the VHSL permits Virginia high school sports teams to hold limited off-season practices. W-L Crew holds on-the-water practices in October at Potomac Boat Club for those students not participating in a Fall sport. In addition, there are Open Houses in October, generally on Saturday mornings. Weather permitting, the Open Houses present an opportunity for those interested in crew to get out on the water (for new rowers, swim test must be passed in advance). Finally, W-L Crew’s coaches conduct an optional winter conditioning program each day at school beginning in November, which is open to all interested in rowing and is encouraged for returning rowers not participating in a Winter sport.
W-L Crew does not sponsor any summer rowing, but many of the team’s rowers take advantage of various overnight rowing camps or summer rowing programs offered at the Potomac Boat Club, Thompson’s Boat Center and the Alexandria Boat Club. Coaches can provide information about these programs.
How is transportation handled for regattas?
There is no transportation provided to the rowers for “home” regattas held at PBC in Georgetown. School buses are provided to rowers for all other regattas.
What if a student is interested in rowing but has difficulty paying dues?
See the registration materials for details on dues and fundraising obligations. If you are unable to pay all or part of the dues, please contact the Crew Booster president for a confidential discussion about a need-based scholarship. It is important to the W-L Crew Boosters that no child interested in rowing miss an opportunity to participate due to finances (all students still must satisfy their fundraising obligation, but that does not require a financial contribution from the student’s family, only time and effort to raise funds from others).
Is there a uniform?
Yes. The uniform is called a unisuit and is required for all rowers. Rowers must wear their unisuit for all regattas. Unisuits can be purchased at our Season Kick off Dinner. Contact the crew clothes coordinator for more information. Scholarship athletes also may be eligible for Boosters funding for the unisuit.
Where are the Regattas?
Most regular season regattas and scrimmages are held on the Potomac at Georgetown or the Occoquan River in southern Fairfax County. W-L may compete in regattas on the Potomac in Alexandria or at St. Andrews School in Middletown, Delaware. Some members of the crew will travel to the prestigious Stotesbury Cup Regatta in Philadelphia and qualifying boats may travel to the SRAA Nationals at a location that changes each year.
Handling Complaints By Rowers And Their Parents
If a rower and/or his parent have a concern or complaint concerning the operation of the crew team, including coaching issues, you are encouraged to discuss the concern directly with the athlete’s coach. If the concern is not resolved with the coach, the parent is advised to take the issue to the head coach (women’s or men’s, as the case may be). If you are not satisfied at that point, you are welcome to escalate, in order, to the W-L Activities Director, then the W-L School Principal, then the County Education Department and, finally, to the School Board.
The Crew Boosters have no role in this complaint process. If, however, you have questions or concerns about the Boosters organization, fundraising or dues, please feel free to contact any member of the Boosters Executive Board.
What is a novice?
A novice is the term we use for a 1st year rower. Novices are not grade related. The crew team has new rowers (novices) from every grade.
What are Crew Boosters?
The W-L Crew Boosters is the volunteer parent organization that supports the W-L Crew Team. The W-L Crew Boosters has no relationship with the W-L athletic boosters. The School/County provides some financial assistance and transportation for crew but the lion’s share of the costs of operating the team is financed, organized and facilitated through the W-L Crew Boosters. All crew parents are members of W-L Crew Boosters, and some volunteer work is required. The team depends extensively on parent volunteers, and we hope you will participate beyond the minimum amount required.