Rowing is a sport that helps achieve a total body workout. Rowing takes place in a rowing "shell" a long, narrow and very light boat holding either one, two, four or eight participants. The shells are only slightly wider than a person's shoulders and about ten inches deep and are propelled by oars on each side. In a "eights" shell, there are four oars on the each side, one for each rower. Each rower sits on a sliding seat, with their feet strapped to the boat, to exert their full force to pull the oar back and push the boat. Competitive rowers race at the pace of a four minute mile through water!
The rowing action is as follows:
In an eight person or 4 person shell, the coxwain, steers the boat and instructs the rowers on their rowing pace.
Rowers require basic gym equipment, shirt, shoes, and shorts. The rowing shells are provided by the rowing clubs.
Rowing in the Niagara Peninsula has been popular since the turn of the last century, with Martindale pond in Port Dalhousie (St Catharines, ON) has been the site of the annual Canadian Henley Regatta since the early 1900's, which attracts thousands of spectators. It's the only certified course in North America. Today, the region is home to 10 private rowing clubs and many Canadian National Team members. The Welland Canal in Welland is also the site of a recreational regatta each summer.
The Royal Canadian Henley Regatta (held at Henley Island, St. Catharines, ON) is Canadian rowing's annual showcase, and has been running for over 120 years. It annually attracts over 3,500 competitors from more than 100 rowing clubs and universities from all over the world, who enter crews in 82 rowing categories for this five-day competition. Henley is the largest rowing regatta in North America.(905-935-2260 )
The South Niagara Rowing Club was established south of Welland, along the banks of the Old Welland Canal, which was no longer being used for shipping. This course is the site for many Canadian National Rowing Teams Training Camps and Trials, as well as National Team Crews from Great Britain, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand.
Here are some local rowing clubs, where you can learn the sport:
For between $120 and $150, the aspiring rower will get a three-week program with an hour of water training each day. Novice rowers begin in a training shell, which is more stable than the racing shells. As the rower becomes more comfortable, they are coordinated into crews for more regular rowing training. Learn-to row sessions begin in early May. You can practice your rowing technique at many fitness clubs who have proper rowing machines (called "ergometers").