FAQs

Who is the Rocky Mountain Rowing Club?

RMRC is the oldest, largest, best-equipped volunteer-run non-profit rowing organization in the Rockies. We offer recreational, competitive and instructional programs to over a hundred members. Our inventory of club boats covers every configuration except coxed four, and our competitive record in regional, national and international events is admirable. The only requirement for membership is experience as a rower.

How do I meet people to row with? Don’t be afraid to ask! We are implementing an Adopt-A-Novice program so novice rowers feel supported in the next steps in their rowing career.

Can I row with RMRC if I already know how?

As a visiting experienced rower, active membership in another recognized club entitles you to temporary, supervised use of RMRC equipment. For more information, contact our Visiting Rower Coordinator.

How many days on the water does that entitle me to, as a visitor?

After seven days of (supervised) use, visitors’ privileges expire and to continue rowing here, you are expected to join the club if you want to continue rowing with RMRC.

What’s the next step?

Contact the Visiting Rower Coordinator to be linked to a club host and for briefings on safety and procedure.

Can you teach me to row?

We are excited to welcome brand new rowers to the club! Our Learn To Row programs start in the spring, but have a wait list over a year long. We offer Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Competitive programs to RMRC members throughout the summer. Club Members who have registered at RegattaCentral can enroll in programs starting at midnight on Monday, April 30 by going to the RegattaCentral enrollment page. Our goal is the safe, fast use of boats.

Whom do I talk to?

Our Membership director can be reached at membership@rockymountainrowing.org, and the Programs director is programs@rockymountainrowing.org. Enroll in a program online at RegattaCentral.

Where are you located?

Our boathouse is on the shores of the 880-acre reservoir at Cherry Creek Site Park, southeast of downtown Denver, near I-25 and I-225. Map

Who can join?

For safety and equipment protection purposes, membership is limited to rowers with prior rowing experience. We also offer a novice membership for new rowers. For gaining experience, visit our Coaching page. To apply for membership, contact our Membership Coordinator

Is it free?

Nothing good is free except sunshine and the public library. Come join our Rocky Mountain Rowing Club open house at the beginning of the season to meet club members and take a look at the equipment.

What does membership include?

As a member you are entitled, once you are certified, to row any club boat in the boathouse, according to the safety rules. As a member, you agree to abide by whatever safety protocols are in place for whatever global pandemic is in effect. As a member, you are also expected to volunteer your time and services where needed.

Where do you row in winter?

Indoors. Plenty of health clubs have ergometers, and a few (Colorado Athletic Club/Monaco, on Monaco Pkwy. at Yale, RowHouse) have supervised classes. Once the lake thaws, we open the boathouse and are open for rowing once the water temperature rises.

What makes rowing unique?

Rowing shells start at 10” wide and your center of gravity is about 2’ above the surface of the water. Chop, wakes, crosswinds, boat traffic, oars the length of vaulting poles and the fact you’re facing backwards all make rowing unique!

When can I start racing?

As soon as you feel like it. Most regattas offer novice races, which are open to anyone who is still in their first year of competition. Within a few months of supervised coaching, you will be concentrating on making a stable boat move faster. The club often stages Friday Friendlies, good-natured scrimmages open to anyone who shows up.

How do I get instruction?

Contact the Programs Coordinator at programs@rockymountainrowing.org.

Do you use one oar or two?

Either. “Sweep” boats (pair, fours and eights) put one oar in each seat. “Sculling” boats (singles, doubles and quads) give each rower a pair of oars. The sweep format proved unpopular for singles.

Why do they call them shells?

In the interest of speed, they are almost as thin and fragile as eggshells. A 29’ competitive single that supports a 200 lb-athlete can weigh as little as 30 pounds. There is only one, highly reinforced place in the shell where you can place a foot and step on it. Step anywhere else and your foot will go straight through the hull and become mired in the soft mud off our dock.

Do men and women row together?

Rowing was one of the early drivers behind the implementation of Title IX and one of only two Olympic level sports where both genders can compete effectively together. Mixed boats are a part of most Masters level regattas, and there is no compromise in training effectiveness for either gender in mixed boats. Each program has both men and women in each boat.

Why are programs so early?

The water is often flatter in the transition from night to day, and getting on the water by 5:30AM enables most rowers to be off the water and in their cars by 7:00AM, for a minimal disruption on the day.

Where is the best place to watch a race?

From your seat in a boat. Second best place: in an official’s launch.

How come none of the boats have algae on them?

All boats are removed from the water and returned to the boathouse once they are done being used, and are thoroughly cleaned.

How long are races?

Most Masters level races are held on 1,000 meter straight courses, which can be covered in about four minutes for smaller boats, three and change in larger ones. Later in the season, straight course lengths may extend to two kilometers, and towards season’s end, Head

What safety provisions do you take?

We follow USRowing protocols for rowing safety. All rowers must take a mandatory safety briefing from the club Safety Coordinator (info@rockymountainrowing.org) and pass a flip test proving they are comfortable in the water and can get back into a capsized boat. All boats on Cherry Creek reservoir must be equipped with one personal flotation device for each rower and cox. When water temperatures drop below 45° F no boat with less than four oars is allowed on the water. Shells with 4 or more oars must be accompanied by and remain within 500 meters of a motor launch, and must remain in the Marina Cove.  Novices at that water temperature must be in a quad or larger, and occupy no more than half of the seats. Below 55°, singles or pairs must be accompanied by, and remain within 100 meters of, a motor launch. In addition, we maintain Covid protection procedures.

What is so cool about rowing?

Rowing offers a rare combination of camaraderie, conditioning, accessibility, natural access, competitive accomplishment, social connection, coffee addiction support and personal satisfaction. Even though it started as a form of corporal punishment, it offers a chance to train and compete in highly advanced equipment, in a largely supportive environment, in a natural setting, where most of the interface with others is focused not on impedance but on growth. As a repetitive, non-impact sport, much technique becomes ingrained in muscle memory and injuries are relatively infrequent. Competitive rowers are among the best conditioned athletes in sport.