Frequently Asked Questions

Can I row?

Anyone can learn to row. As long as you don’t have a medical condition that would stop you exercising, and can swim 50M in light clothing, there is nothing to stop you giving it a go. Our coaching team has vast experience in coaching all abilities from complete beginner through to international athletes.

When can I row?

Beginner sessions are on Sundays at 1pm. More experienced rowers have access to the river whenever it is light enough to row safely.

Who do I contact?

Click here to go to our contact page or follow the menu above.

What Types of Boats are Used?

The boats (or shells) are basically of two types and reflect the two forms of rowing – sweep rowing and sculling.

In sweep rowing each rower handles a single oar (about 12.5 ft or 3.9 m long), whilst in sculling a rower uses two oars, or sculls, (each about 9.5 ft or 3 m long). The word shell is often used in reference to the boats used because the hull is only about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick to make it as light as possible. These shells are also rather long and racing shells are as narrow as possible while recreational ones are usually a bit wider.

Each rower has his back to the direction the shell is moving and power is generated using a blended sequence of the rower’s legs, back and arms. The rower sits on a sliding seat with wheels on a track called the slide

Each oar is held in a U-shaped swivel (oarlock) with a swing shutter (gate) mounted on a metal pin at the end of a rigger. The rigger is an assembly of tubes that is tightly bolted to the body of the shell. The subtypes of rowing shells are classified according to the number of rowers in the shell and whether they are sculling or sweeping, in addition to whether they are steered by a dedicated steersman (or coxswain) or by one of the crew who is also rowing.

Rowing Session Times and Boat Access

At the weekends (and during the week in the summer), members should be aware of the following session times. These are in place to facilitate planning and access to boats for club members.

The designated rowing session times at the weekend are:

Saturday 08:15 – 11:00, 11:00 – 13:00,

Sunday 09:15 – 11:30, 11:30 – 13:30

The designated rowing session times during the week are more dependent on light availability however, as a general rule:

Dawn – 0830

1800 – dusk

Club members should bear these times in mind, when planning outings, and seek specific boat allocation from the Captain (unrestricted boats) or committee (restricted boats) if they wish to ensure boat access.

Boat access cannot be guaranteed outside of these times.

Members, who continually find that they are experiencing competition for boats at specific times should highlight this to the Captain and committee. In this instance, a solution whereby one crew is given permission for one session and another crew given permission for another session may be implemented (for example: crew gets to pair in one outing, but requires to single or four in the other outing and vice versa).

Members are encouraged to remember that the level of planning in which they engage will have an impact on their access to boats and equipment.

When Is Rowing Season?

Rowing is an all season sport in Scotland. In the autumn, we start our winter training doing long outings where technique is refined – this is a good time to start rowing (especially before it gets too cold). Towards Christmas time, there are long distance races (4-5km) around Scotland and Great Britain at which the club tends to race

After Christmas training starts to focus more on intensity and crews are formed with a view to summer racing. More long distance races are available until the end of March, whereupon the “Summer” season commences and 2000m racing is order of the day. Other shorter distances are on offer depending on the level of athletes and the length of the course at the host venue.

Racing season is primarily May, June and July, with a few fun races in August, punctuated by social events such as the Summer BBQ, Intra Club Regatta and the annual Silver Rudder race against rival club – St Andrew.

After “a long hot summer” (huh? – Ed.) and some cheeky vimtoes in the August weeks, we are usually pleased to get back into our training regime in Sept.

How Do I Join The Club?

All new rowers need to “Learn-to-Row”. Our coaches usually dedicate late summer and early autumn to teaching beginners, though in reality, new members can learn to row at any time of year.  Early sessions in training boats and accompanied in crew boats by experienced rowers will progress to single sculling and crew boats with more experienced rowers and being more integrated at the club, usually within one of the Novice or Intermediate groups.

Experienced rowers should meet with the Captain to assess the group of athletes with whom they should be included (i.e. category/programme) and then progress to outings with that group as appropriate.

Do I Need Any Equipment?

You do not need to have any specific equipment. We provide access to our club boats and oars. You will need comfortable clothing (not loose fitting as this can get caught in the sliding seat of the boat). Generally the boats have in-built shoes, though with some you need to wear your trainers. Bring extra kit, particularly socks; the unpredictable weather and potentially splashy crew-mates are a menace!

Limited storage space is available for members who wish to store a personal single. Storage can include inside rack, outside rack or an unrowable rack (for storage purposes). Currently we have a waiting list for ALL rack space. If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please drop off your request in writing to the committee. Please include your contact information so that your continued interest can be confirmed on an annual basis.

Equipment being stored that has not been paid for may be removed from its rack and that rack may be allotted to the next on the waiting list. To maintain a rowable rack, you must be a fully paid member and are required to use your equipment regularly each season. It should be noted that subletting rack space is not permitted.

Cox (Coxswain) Duties

Crews that require a coxswain (i.e. sweep 4+ and 8+) will need to address the assignment of this role.

In some cases, a crew will share responsibility for this role by rotating the position between crewmembers, or by begging experienced rowers and coxes from other crews to assist.

Crews are encouraged to recruit a dedicated coxswain. This can be done by

  • Asking the known coxes at the club about their availability
  • Checking with your non-rowing friends or acquaintances
  • Accosting small statured people on the street or at bars. It is amazing the results that you can get when you promise they will not have to sweat and will be able to hang out with hot people in lycra. Always treat your coxswain well, bribes are encouraged.

Regardless of the assignment of this position, it is important to be aware of the basic roles and responsibilities of a cox before going out on the water. The club hosts Coxing Clinics throughout the rowing season and ALL crewmembers are encouraged to attend.

How do I find a crew?

There are a number of ways to create a crew and you may find yourself using all or none of these suggestions. As the club is member-run, Clyde members are equally responsible for the effort needed to form and maintain their own crews.

If you are interested in finding or forming a crew, contact the Captain who will assist you in obtaining a boat allocation and other crewmembers.

Another way to find a crew is to participate in the club training sessions and form crews on the outcomes of those sessions.

In addition to these ideas, there is a bulletin board at the clubhouse, where the weekly training programme and cleaning rota is pinned. It may also be used by club members and for event information. If you are looking for a crew, please post your crew preferences there and keep an eye out for other members who you may be able to recruit to form your own crew.

There are many factors in creating a crew so don’t be discouraged if this process takes time. Everyone has different time schedules, requirements, and rowing styles so you may find that your crew evolves over time.

The Clyde Committee will assist you with forming a crew but the success of this effort will also be determined by your own flexibilities. Rowers who are restricted in their time schedules, or who strongly prefer sweep to sculling, or port to starboard, or other limitations (i.e. not experienced in steering) will have a more difficult time finding others to form a crew.

Those members who would like to be considered for competitive programmes are directed to contact the Club Captain and Head Coach. Seat-racing, time trialling in 1x, time commitments, development potential and commitment to the training schedules will all be factored.