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Information about Rowing & SFS Crew

Click on categories below to see questions & answers related to that topic :

  • How do SFS Rowing parents participate in Stotes ?
    Stotes is a great event for the rowing community at Sidwell. Sidwell rents a tent along Kelly Drive, and we set it up for parents to watch and rowers to rest/relax and cheer for their teammates. We have food and drinks for all. Bring your chair, your binoculars, your camera, and your water bottle. Kelly Drive, which runs along the race course on the Schuylkill River, is mostly closed to traffic, so you will either need to park and walk or take an Uber/Lyft from your hotel. We will send more specific directions on this each year, closer to the regatta
  • What does Sidwell's participation in Stotes look like ?
    Sidwell teams may row in multiple categories; but the coaches will decide on participation each year. The lineups are circulated among the rowers a week or so in advance, when possible. The team (including those not rowing) leave Thursday morning for Philadelphia. Once there, they rig the boats and have a practice row. The regatta involves "heats" on Friday, with each category of boats (Varsity, V2, Freshman, etc.) setting off about every 15 seconds in a race against the clock. These are time trials, unlike the competitive heats. So the top 12 or 18 times qualify for semifinals. The schedule will be posted on the regatta website (link) as well as updated on SFS rowing (link)
  • Where does everyone stay in Philadelphia
    The team will stay together in a hotel, with rooms shared between rowers. Parents do not stay with the rowers - although there may be parent accommodation in the same hotel. SFS rowing will coordinate a block of reservations each year, which parents can reserve if they like. Information about this will be included in the group emails; but please email sfsrowing if you are not sure.
  • What is Stotes , Stotesbury, Stotesbury Cup Regatta, Schuylkill Navy ?
    Stotes or the Stotesbury cup regatta is the world's largest high school regatta and held annually on the Schuylkill river in Philadelphia PA. It is a major event for the rowing community in the east coast and most schools participate. A non profit organization of 11 rowing clubs in PA, known as the Schuykill Navy, help runthis event and a volunteer committee organizes it. Coming towards the end of the rowing season, it is a festive event for most teams to join with friends and family and celebrate the last season ! More information at : The traffic routes around kelly drive are blocked during the regatta days and parking is not trivial. Please see options below
  • Where does the SFS crew team train at ?
    The team typically trains at the Thompson Boat Center (TBC) located at 2900 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037. Google Maps location: For drop off, there is a parking lot close to the TBC (the Rock Creek Trails Parking Lot). Google Maps location: Additionally you can also drive to 30th St NW (Google map: by the Embassy of Sweden (2900 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007) and Embassy of Iceland, from where TBC is easy to walk to.
  • How do I get to the Occoquan / Sandy run park regattas ?
    SFS Crew races as part of VASRA regattas, many of which are held at the Sandy Run Boathouse near Fairfax Station, VA. The address is Van Thompson Rd, Fairfax Station, VA 22039 Google Map Location: You can drop of rowers and equipment at this address, but there is no on-site visitor parking at Sandy Run Regional Park. All spectator parking is at one of two locations (NOTE: Check current notices for the parking location for each race). The options may be - The Woodbridge Commuter Lot, Old Bridge Road and Rt. 123 South County High School. 8501 Silverbrook Rd, Lorton, VA 22079. There is a shuttle bus from the parking lot to Sandy Run that will cost $15 in cash per person. Please remember to carry $15 cash per person, as the shuttle bus does not accept credit cards or electronic payment. There is also a shuttle from the 1st shuttle drop off location to the grandstands; this costs an additional $5 and may be less frequent. IMPORTANT : Note that it takes ~75 minutes (longer if the lots are crowded) to take the shuttle and then walk to the race location. Plan to arrive and park early ! More parking info:
  • Sandy Run Park (Occoquan) - How do I watch the regatta ?
    Plan to arrive at the parking lot about an hour before the race. Once you take the shuttle from the parking location (see above FAQ) to the regatta venue, you have to hike through the state park to get to the grandstands for viewing races. This is a mile trek through a mild trail - but one which can get muddy and treacherous during rains (very frequent). Wear shoes that you have no emotional attachment to... There is a shuttle available from the first shuttle drop off location to the Grandstand. This costs $5 - but may be less frequent (and often crowded - since its a smaller shuttle) Note: The sandy run park is a state park - and in general pets are not allowed.
  • What is winter training ?
    Winter training (or the Morning Conditioning PE class) is a land-based training program run by the Coaches. This is specifically for those athletes who are offered a place on the crew team but are not participating in any Sidwell winter sport and who would like to train with the team and get PE credit. It is a great way to build strength and conditioning and to learn/improve your rowing stroke. Those who make the team and who want to do winter training, you can reach out to the coaches to sign up If you are already doing a Sidwell winter sport (not including crew), note that you can only do one sport at Sidwell per season and your focus must be on your winter team. You will join us when the spring season starts.
  • Are there tryouts ? How are the rowers chosen ?
    In the fall, prior to each season, the coaches will hold an evaluation to select rowers to join the team. SFS students who join crew are new to rowing, so there is no expectation that the athlete knows how to row. However, rowing is an intense sport where fitness and conditioning are important. The evaluation will focus on these aspects. Dates of the evaluations will be announced in school and interested students can sign up or contact Coach Ted for more information. This is typically in early November
  • Where is the complete schedule for the season ?
    This will be added to the "Team Schedule" page. Typically the regattas the team will participate in are finalized around the start of the season (in March). Some events are likely to change as the season progresses. Watch the schedule page for the most updated information
  • Did I miss any emails ? What is coming up next this season ?
    Just visit the team schedule link on the top of this page to see the current alerts and information relevant to SFS rowing related events for this season. On the website, we will not be posting secure web links related to signup sheets or zoom meeting (to avoid spam); but on the above alerts, you can see which emails have the needed link. If you are missing any links (or emails) just contact us and we'll forward it to you again.
  • What is Spring Break Training ?
    This is an optional 5 day training program designed by the coaches every year. Typically this training will start on the 1st Saturday of the spring break weekend - and go through to the Wednesday (middle of spring break). The training involves fitness as well as on-the-water regimens and also some fun activities focused on team building. The training can be in Washington DC (in which case the rowers will commute to the school & then go to the boat center together) or in an external location. Details of fees involved will be circulated by sfsrowing by December.
  • Where can I find race results and team standings ?
    We will try to update team standings in the Schedule page. Live updates of race results are posted by VASRA using the mastodon app. You can install the mastodon app to follow VASRA ( ) or see the updates directly here : All regatta results are usually posted by the organizers soon after each race. Most of the regattas we participate in are run by VASRA. See here for all VASRA results : Nationwide results are also reported here :
  • Which regattas do SFS Crew typically row in ?
    In a typical season, the crew team rows in - Walter Mess Regatta (see pictures at row2k ) : hosted by VASRA at the Occoquan Reservoir, Fairfax Station, VA (USA) - James River Regatta - at Robious Landing Park, 3800 James River Rd, Midlothian, VA - Charlie Butt Regatta (see Sidwell crew 2022 pictures ): hosted by VASRA from the Thompson Boat Center in Washington DC Also see
  • What is a regatta ?
    The races that the crew teams compete in are typically called regattas. According to wikipedia "A regatta is a series of boat races. The term comes from the Venetian language, with regata meaning "contest" and typically describes racing events of rowed or sailed water craft, although some powerboat race series are also called regattas." (
  • What are the volunteering options / requirements for SFS crew-parents ?
    Parent/guardian involvement is a key part of crew. (the information below is from an email that parents will receive at the beginning of the season) We are just as excited to have the families aboard as we are your athlete! There are many volunteer tasks and roles that are crucial and required to have a successful season. We use SignUpGenius to fill many of the task-based volunteer needs (links will be in emails; but please check the "Alert" in the Team Schedule page if you need to find the correct email. Tasks fall into two categories: 1. VASRA – Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association (the entity in which we compete) requires all teams to fulfill roles for the smooth running of regattas . VASRA’s website has a list of the types of jobs that VASRA will assign to each team 2. SF Crew Team Support - Typical tasks include • Driving trailer to/from regattas • Set up/break down tent at regattas • Assist with Stotesbury planning and logistics • Assist with merchandise • Team equipment and trailer organization • Community and Volunteer Coordinator If any of these roles are of interest to you please send a message to SFS Rowing, including if you can volunteer for VASRA pre-season work days. We would be grateful as will VASRA. Lastly, with the number of tasks for volunteers to pull off a regatta and have SF Crew participate requires everyone to pitch in. Each family historically pitches in with at least one larger job (“heavy lift”) with VASRA and/or team support and many smaller tasks along the way.
  • What are the positions in a boat ?
    The positions of rowers on a boat are indicated by numbers. See for a description.
  • What is crew (rowing) and what do the basic terms mean ?
    The wikipedia link on Crew provides a good introduction : SFS Crew
  • Where can my daughter get additional instruction on rowing ?
    In SFS, crew is a spring sport and we do not row for the rest of the year. In general, most rowers train during the season with the team coaches and then maintain basic fitness/conditioning through other sports or fitness routines in the other season. However, there are several options in the area for additional training, that are not affiliated with SFS or SFSRowing. Thompson boat center, where the crew trains, has a year round rowing program for different levels : LEARN TO ROW Here are two options in the DC area. Capital Rowing Anacostia River, Washington, DC St. Albans School Rowing Camp Thompson’s Boat Center Summer learn to row camps LEARN TO SCULL Great rowing training which can be a fun summer project. Once certified, rowers can take out boats on their own. Fun when a couple of rowers each take out a boat and row out on the river together. Thompson’s Boat Center (TBC) SUMMER ROWING CAMPS There are dozens of rowing camps around the country with excellent coaching and facilities ranging from those at elite college and university programs to others that row out of clubs. They focus on teaching and developing rowers and as an opportunity for coaches to identify new athletes for their programs. Here are a few where Sidwell Friends rowers have gone and had good experiences. Northeast Rowing Center Camden, Maine Excellent program with top Division III college coaches from the Northeast Navy Rowing Camp Annapolis, MD Great facilities, Navy coaches Potomac Boat Club U-19 Summer Program Washington, DC Excellent area coaches with both a sweep and a sculling program Cavalier Rowing Camps Charlottesville, VA University of Virginia’s summer camp Sparks Rowing Locations across the country Sparks runs camps for rowers and coxswains and also provides counseling on recruiting. Top coaches from around the country Craftsbury Outdoor Center Crasftbury, Vermont Craftsbury is a premier sculling camp for all ages. It is also an elite rowing and cross country skiing training center. Owned and run by folks from Concept 2 where our ergs and oars are manufactured. Top coaches in a beautiful setting. SUMMER AND FALL COMPETITIVE SWEEP PROGRAMS DC has several summer and fall competitive sweep rowing programs. Here are three where Sidwell Friends rowers have trained and raced. Capital Rowing Anacostia River, Washington, DC Fall competitive program for high school aged athletes Thompson’s Boat Center Potomac River, Washington DC TBC Racing is run by local high school coaches Resilient Rowing Sandy Run Training Facility Occoquan Reservoir Fairfax Station, Virginia Summer and fall programs for high performance, developmental and learn to row athletes. Coaches are local from VASRA programs COXSWAINS If you are looking for an excuse to be in Seattle in the summer, Mary’s camp is terrific training (cancelled until 2022) The 9th Seat Seattle, Washington Run by Mary Whipple, US Women’s eight two time gold medalist coxswain.
  • Is it possible to continue training on an erg in the off-season ?
    The erg (stationary rowing machines) is a great equipment for maintaining fitness and also basic rowing conditioning. Many gyms in the area (including the SFS gym) have ergs available for patrons to use. Ergs may also be purchased for home gyms. The coaches can provide exercise routines that athletes can follow in the non-rowing seasons to keep themselves fit.
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