Where can I find the program schedule?
Westford Community Rowing’s season runs from early March to late-October each year. The program details, schedules, and requirements are posted on the WCR website under Adult Rowing.
How do I register for my WCR program?
To register, please go to our club page on Regatta Central, select the appropriate program and follow the registration steps. When registering, it is important that you accurately enter information, especially your email address, because that is our main form of contact.
Programs are not pro-rated unless you cannot continue to participate due to health and/or injury related reasons. Late registration will be allowed only if space is available.
Do we have to pay capital fees?
No. Starting in Spring 2018, the capital fee is part of your WCR program fee.
Do I need to join US Rowing?
Yes, you need a valid US Rowing membership in order to participate in any of our programs (except for Learn to Row). Basic level membership is sufficient, unless you want to race in a US Rowing Regatta. Other membership levels come with some additional perks, but that’s up to you. Visit https://membership.usrowing.org for more info.
Once you join/renew, please sign the waiver (use XVNCL for the Athlete Access Code) and include your US Rowing ID number on your registration form.
What is the refund policy?
There is a 5% administrative fee for all registration cancellations due to the non-refundable fees from Regatta Central. If you withdraw from a program prior to the start date, you may receive a FULL REFUND minus the administrative fee. If you withdraw from a program due to medical reasons on, or after, the start date, WCR will credit the unused portion of your program fee (minus the administrative fee) according to the following schedule based on the date of your injury:
Program AM/PM Term 1 AM/PM Term 2 AM/PM Term 3
Start Date 03/04/2019 05/22/2019 08/12/2019
100% refund 03/01/2019 05/17/2019 08/09/2019
66% refund 03/29/2019 06/14/2019 09/06/2019
33% refund 04/26/2019 07/12/2019 10/04/2019
End Date 05/20/2019 08/09/2019 11/01/2019
Are there attendance requirements for the programs?
For learn to row programs, WCR requires attendance during the first week of each new session. This policy helps ensure that all participants are familiar with basic boat handling techniques and safety concerns before they launch.
For other programs, we ask that participants attend at least 80% of a program’s sessions.
All members will be expected to volunteer a minimum number of hours on a yearly basis.
Can I make up my absences by attending another program?
Unfortunately, because of coaching and equipment limitations, we cannot allow participants to attend programs other than their own. Absences may not be made up by attending another section of a particular program. Please let your coach know ahead of time if you are going to be absent; this will help them plan boat lineups.
Why do I need to complete a swim test?
Rowing takes place on the water, and while falling out of the boat is unlikely, it is possible. Therefore, each WCR member must prove his or her ability to swim.
What type of swim test do I need?
A certified lifeguard must confirm in writing that you are able to swim 200 yards and remain afloat for 5 minutes before you are permitted to row in club boats. For your protection and the protection of Westford Community Rowing, we make NO EXCEPTIONS to this policy.
Where can I complete my swim test?
Participants are responsible for finding a certified lifeguard to watch them perform the swim test and sign the form. Lifeguards can be found at municipal pools, YMCAs, schools and colleges, and recreational facilities. It is recommended that individuals call ahead to confirm swim test hours and fees. As of 7/2019, the Lowell YMCA, Nashua YMCA, Swymfit in Boxborough, and the Thoreau Club in Concord all will do swim tests for a nominal fee ($10-15) but you need to call in advance to make an appointment. During the summer season, you can try contacting Westford Parks and Recreation Department to see if their program lifeguards (at Edwards Beach) can perform swim tests.
When is my swim test due?
Swim test documents must be received no later than the first day of the program in which you are participating. Please make sure to write your name on your swim test before turning it in. You can mail in your swim test before the start of your program.
Can I register for my program without a swim test?
You may register online before completing your swim test. The swim test form can be downloaded here and submitted upon completion. We highly recommend that you keep a copy of the signed form for your records.
What if I haven’t taken my swim test yet?
A registered rower without a valid swim card will be asked to wear a life preserver until he or she can provide written proof of his or her swimming ability.
Can I use a swim test from another source?
If you have current swim, lifeguard, or scuba certification documents, copies may be submitted to fulfill the swim requirement. Please make a copy of the current certification and staple it to the Westford Community Rowing Swim Test form.
What if I don’t know how to swim?
Non-swimmers are encouraged to take swimming lessons and pass a swim test before registering for a rowing program. It can be difficult to progress as a rower while wearing a life jacket because it inhibits proper rowing technique.
When is the swim test held?
WCR does not administer swim tests.
I submitted my swim test form last year, why am I being asked for it again?
Although it rarely happens, sometimes swim tests are not turned in and therefore are never recorded. Please make sure to drop off or mail in your swim test. This will help to eliminate the chance of your swim test being lost or misplaced. It is a good idea to make a copy of your swim test and keep it for your records.
How many seasons are there?
There are two main competitive rowing seasons: spring/summer and fall.
The spring/summer competitive season runs from April to August, with the bulk of the regattas occurring between the end of June and early August. These are 1km or 2km head-to-head sprints, depending on the regatta and the event that you enter.
The fall regatta season starts at the beginning of September and ends at the beginning of November. Traditionally, most of the regattas we have attended occur between the end of September and late October. These regattas are time trials between 3.5km and 6km.
Can I race?
Sure. Our Coach determines the lineups and we attend a few sprint regattas during the summer and a few head races in the fall. The specifics for each regatta will be communicated via email as we get closer to the event.
Who pays the entry fees?
You do! Entry fees are NOT included in your program fee as they are dependent on how often, what, and where you race.
WEATHER, APPAREL, AMENITIES, ETC
Where do we erg and row?
Indoor erging is presently located at the Mill Works in the same room as the spin studio, behind their cardio theater. On-water rowing is accessed from Forge Pond Beach in Westford.
Do we row in inclement weather?
Yes… to some extent. A little rain or a cold day does not keep us off the water! Programs meet as scheduled, rain or shine. If severe lightning, fog, wind, or storms are present, participants will not be permitted on the water, and we will head indoors to erg — but class will not be cancelled. Classes will not be rescheduled due to weather.
What should I wear?
Always dress in LAYERS. Dress appropriately for the weather, including a windbreaker or Gore-Tex shell if necessary. Make sure you are able to shed layers easily as you begin to warm up. Your rowing clothes will get DIRTY. Clothing should be COMFY and SNUG. It should allow you to move freely but should not be baggy. Baggy pants, shorts, and shirts tend to get stuck in the sliding seat.
What should I bring?
In addition to appropriate clothing, bring water in a soft plastic bottle. On cold days, bring extra layers. On dark mornings or evenings, a head lamp comes in handy.
Are my personal belongings secure?
The less you bring, the better. All participants are advised to leave any valuables in their cars to ensure the security of their personal items. WCR is not responsible for items lost or stolen from the boat areas or parking lot. Although rare, theft of personal items left unattended does occur. While the beach is pretty quiet at 5:30 in the morning, it is a public space, so use common sense.
Are there showers at the beach?
No, there are no showers or lockers at Forge Pond. We do have access to a bathroom.
How do I become a logbook sculler?
You must have a valid Captain’s Test and Swim Test on file with WCR, and have registered and paid for logbook sculling.
When and how do I complete the Captain’s Test?
The Captain’s Test can be taken at the end of learn to row sessions, or any time that a qualified administrator is available. Once you have passed your Captain’s Test, it will remain valid provided you remain active in WCR’s programs. If you are inactive for one year, you need to retest.
Details on scheduling a Captain’s Test can be found at http://www.westfordrowing.com/captains-test.