WA Crew’s interesting way of competing during the winter


Created by Jack Zwirn

WA Rowing has a very different way of competing during the winter.

Jack Zwirn, Reviews/Opinions Editor

When one thinks of crew they would usually think about racing a boat against others using human power, outside, on the water. But during the winter, the water freezes over, and the team is forced to do their few meets differently.

It is less of a commitment during the winter season, as there are less meets and more time to train for the second half of the outdoor season in the spring. Due to the reduced commitment, there is usually a smaller attendance each day (around 12), but that picks right back up in the spring to their full team of around 50.

“We typically get together for 2 hours 5 days a week to erg on the ergometer, and sometimes lift indoors using equipment over at Mill Works,” senior captain Dan Noonan said.

Otherwise known as a rowing machine, the ergometer is the machine that they use for winter crew. The meets are few, but the way they work is very different.

“We don’t have many indoor meets in the winter, but there are the CRASH-B competitions in early march,” senior Graham Stair said. “These are races done on rowing machines, as if a group of thousands of Boston Marathon runners all set up treadmills in a warehouse and ran the marathon inside.”

The CRASH-B Sprints mentioned take place on March 5th. Typically, teams from all around the world form their own teams, but WA Crew has decided to enter independently. During the competition, they will race on their ergometers, trying to get the fastest time.

Rowing is considered to be a sport that has a lot of adaptability in what you do on the team, and the reason for participating. You can be a rower, or a coxswain, who is in charge of directing the crew team. Besides the roles, crew can be done for fun, for physical therapy, and for exercise.

The crew team has created a special bond between them. The bond is created during all seasons, but the winter season makes that bond even more special between the smaller group who trains everyday.

“I joined crew […] because I was interested at first in learning something new, and being outside on the water every day after school, but I really fell in love with the crew because of the incredible community,” senior captain Emerson Stair said.

Despite the close bond formed during the winter season, the team still favors the fall and spring seasons, as being out on the water makes crew feel more special.

“Winter is a very helpful part of training, but nothing can compare to being on the water. Rowing was meant for boats, not for the dull walls of the erg room,” Stair said.