Learn to Row

There are two styles of rowing and we offer introductory group classes for each.

Most participants have never set foot in a rowing shell before their first class. In classes for either style, participants learn about the equipment, how to carry the boat, and the basics of the rowing stroke.

Learn to Sweep

Learn to Sweep is an intensive 3-session course over one long weekend. Participants learn how to row in large team boats, usually of 4 or 8 people, where each rower has one oar. This is the style described in The Boys in the Boat, and most motivational posters about teamwork.

Learn to Scull

Learn to scull meets once or twice a week for several weeks. Participants learn how to row with two oars per person. Sculling boats are for 1, 2, or 4 people so this option allows rowers to row independently.

If you are interested in learning both forms, you are welcome to take both “Learn to” classes, though the skills translate very well from one style to the next. If a rower is required to switch styles (for example, when BRC switched to primarily sculling due to social distancing requirements) the coaching staff are typically able to help rowers transition without taking a formal “Learn to” course.

How to Register

  1. Create your profile in iCrew – select the “Learn to Row” profile from the registration page.
  2. In iCrew, go to the club store page and pay your season fees.
    Payments are processed by PayPal by default, but we can also accept checks at your lesson.
  3. Before your first practice, go to “My Documents” in your iCrew account and make sure that your Medical release and Code of Conduct forms are signed.


Don’t worry–everyone is bad at rowing when they start. While some rowers may pick up the stroke faster than others, prepare to feel like a baby giraffe. It’s normal. We welcome masters of all ages. Our current team ranges from rowers in their 20s to their 80s. We also have boats of different sizes and weight classes.

Rowers do need to certify that they can swim. You can choose to wear a life jacket at any time although it is only required in specific situations.

Our coaches are used to working around injuries and mobility restrictions. Please let them know of any issues–even something like a sprained ankle can create discomfort that a coach can help you work around.

Learn to Cox (motivate and steer)

We are always on the lookout for new coxswains to steer us through practices and on to victory in regattas. If you are relatively small in stature and big in assertiveness, let’s talk! We do offer training and we’ll be glad to set up a plan that works for you. Coxswains generally need to be under 5’6” to be comfortable in the seat, and the less they weigh the better.