Bowdoin Rowing competes in the top tier of NESCAC and NCAA Division III competition, and contributes significantly to the mission of the College, its coastal character and its heritage.
If you are a high school rower interested in rowing at Bowdoin, our coaches are eager to hear from you! They would be happy to introduce you to the college and the program. Contact Coach Doug Welling at email@example.com, or Coach Ry Hills at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss rowing at Bowdoin.
New to rowing? If you are an athlete interested in joining Bowdoin Rowing and have not rowed before we would love to have you! Look for the Bowdoin Rowing tent on move-in day to meet the coaches and captains and learn about the team. Email email@example.com for more information.
Remigio Delectate et Remigate Velociter: Have fun, go fast
Rowing at Bowdoin FAQs
Do I have to know how to row to join?
No! About 75% of our team learned to row their first year at Bowdoin. During the fall, those interested in rowing can join a two-week learn-to-row program. During this time, you will learn the technique and terminology of the sport and try your hand at taking strokes on the water. Following this learn-to-row period, you will have the opportunity to join the team as a novice and race in the fall races.
Do I need to be tall to row?
While height is a large factor in competitive rowing, it is not the defining factor of a good athlete. Strength, aerobic training and an athlete mentality goes a very long way in the sport. If being a rower doesn’t interest you but you want to be involved in the sport, think about coxing! Coxswains drive and motivate the boat and play a major role in creating the cohesion and speed of the boat. As a coxswain, you will learn rowing technique and how to implement calls that will encourage and help each boat.
What is the weekly practice schedule like?
We typically practice 5-6 times a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Wednesday is almost always an off day and Sunday is either an erg practice on campus or a distance row on the water. In the fall, the novice group (those learning to row) practice in the afternoon from 4:15 until 6:30 and the varsity group (those who can row competitively) practice in the morning. A typical Varsity morning practice meets on campus at 5:40am to drive to the boathouse, a 10-15 minute drive down Bath road. After a brief meeting in the boathouse, we’re back on campus in time for 8:30am classes.
What are the racing seasons and how many regattas do we attend?
The fall season is the ‘head race season’, where we race 5k-6k (about 15-25 minute) races in a time trial format against other boats. As a novice rower, you will likely attend 3 regattas over the course of the season around Maine and eastern Massachusetts. Varsity rowers will additionally race in the Head of the Charles, the world’s largest head race regatta that takes place in Boston each year.
The spring season is the ‘sprint season’ where you race 2000 meter in a more traditional lane set up against other boats. We typically begin racing the first weekend in April and have between 6 and 7 races per season. Because these races are shorter, some regattas will have multiple races, either a qualifying race and finals, or prelims, semis and finals over the course of one or two days. Our season ends at the Dad Vail Regatta, the largest collegiate regatta in the US, where Bowdoin consistently races in the grand finals!
How do you train for rowing off the water?
During the winter months, we train off the water on rowing machines called ergometers or ‘ergs’ which simulate the rowing stroke. We have 30 Concept2 rowing machines for use by students at any point during the school year. During February and March, we have organized winter training on the ergs before getting on the water over spring break during our team trip to South Carolina!