During the school year, youth rowing programs are run by Westford Academy (WA). These rowing programs are open to residents of Westford and the surrounding areas.
About Westford Academy Crew:
WA Crew is a men’s and women’s two-season varsity sport. Rowing is a fun, competitive sport, known for building confidence and character. Athletes will build fitness and forge new friendships as they compete against top programs across New England. Plus, it looks great on college applications-- several athletes each year go on to row competitively in college programs across the country.
Our team is open to athletes 8th grade and up living in Westford and the surrounding communities. No previous rowing or athletic experience is necessary to join. We teach athletes everything they need to know to row, train, and compete at the highest levels.
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Practices are generally Mon-Fri 3:30-6:00, and Saturday 8:00-10:30 AM. Indoor practices are at The Mill Works, outdoor practices are at Forge Pond. The team also attends approximately 3-5 weekend races in both the fall and the spring seasons. Athletes are expected to attend all regattas and 95% of practices throughout the competitive seasons. A current race schedule can be found on our Facebook page and below.
Seasons of rowing:
The fall is considered the "introductory" season in rowing and is when most new athletes (novices) join. Focus is on the physical, technical, and mental building blocks of the sport. Races are approximately 5000m long and generally in a time-trial format. New athletes are highly encouraged to begin in the fall, and all athletes are encouraged to participate in both fall and spring seasons.
The spring season is our "championship" season and brings shorter, faster races over a head-to-head 2000m distance. Whether athletes trained with WA Crew over the winter or participated in another sport, they are expected to hit the ground running for this fun, fast-paced season. Novices are welcome to join in the spring, too and will compete as their proficiency allows.
Although we are a two-season sport, WA Crew athletes are expected to train year-round! We encourage diversity of sport in winter, so many athletes swim or ski. For athletes who can't get enough crew, WA Crew offers winter training as well.
Novice, Varsity, Coxswain… what?
Novice Athletes are those who are in their first year of competitive rowing, regardless of their year in school. The novice teams will spend the year developing their rowing skill and will compete against other novice athletes from schools throughout New England. If you are brand new to rowing, this is you!
Varsity Athletes are those who have passed more than one year from the date of their first competitive rowing event. These individuals are no longer eligible to compete as novices. In some instances, exceptional novice athletes may be considered for rowing with the varsity team. Athletes who were novices last spring will be considered varsity this spring.
Coxswains are the individuals in charge of steering the boats, executing the race plan, and coaching the rowers down the race course. Think of a jockey in horse racing. Due to the nature of the position, smaller athletes are generally better suited for the coxswain’s seat. Both novice and varsity require a strong group of coxswains to be the leaders of the boats and propel our crews to victory. There are no gender-specific rules regarding coxswains, so you will have the opportunity to develop your leadership skills with multiple boats throughout the year. If you are a smaller athlete (roughly under 5' 5", under 130 pounds), we have a place for you!