Row Row Row The Boat....

(Pre- Warining: The post can be taken as either
a) a joke or
b) a serious intent done in a slighlty humorous manner

The outcome of replies determines what the original aim was.)

Inspired by the olympics, I want to take up rowing. I want to win in 2016 Olympics. Finns don't have many decent athletes out there and I think I could do well for my country.

There are couple of rowing clubs in Leeds. One big one that doesnt take on any beginners and another one that is aimed for kids and university students.

What the hell can I do? Buy a rowing machine and practise whilst watching Judge Judy? 

I'm talking about becoming an elite here. Some of those British female gold medallist didnt take up rowing until in their thirties.


I've rowed before. Not seriously but I've rowed a fair few times. So I'm not a beginner... but I am in the way that I've never done it as a sport.

I think I'd be amazing. You could all watch me in 2016 and say I KNOW THAT CRAZY FINNISH LADY... image

 So... if anyone knows... how do I get to the rowing sport?


  • You need to find a club that offers a Row Start course, or similar.
    All the work in the world on a Concept 2 rower is not going to get you to the Olympics; there is a very famous phrase amongst rowers - Ergs don't float (ergs is short for ergometer - the rowing machine).
    Rowing is a very technical sport - the power comes from the legs, but the body position and hands are crucial for maximising the stroke efficiency and making the most of the power through the water - and the slightest modification in hand/body position can effect the balance of the boat and therefore how it moves through the water/effect of drag on the blade. 
    A good rowing club will want to look after promisig novices and get them competing at an amateur level, with good support within the first year of rowing. The rowing year is split in half; head races (effectively time trials) over winter and regattas (side-by-side races) in the summer. Head races are usually longer (5K or more) and regattas between 1-2K. It is the head racing season that is most useful in dedveloping technique ready for the summer regattas - so the sooner you can get started, the better image 
    In Leeds, you have two university based clubs (I think - the Carnegie is for Met and the University BC for the main uni), which I don't think you will be eligible to join, so it would have to be Leeds Rowing Club.
    Personally I would email them and ask if they have a beginner course you can enrol on. (They say they do on their website: )

    Let me know how you get on - I got in to rowing when I was 28 (as a cox, not a rower) and had a fantastic time,  once I'd got my head around the sport I went on to cox multiple tideway heads (the Oxford-Cambridge boat course, but with 400+ boats) and Henley Royal Regattas image

  • (and in reverse Frodo) image

  • Elli
    or you could try York Rowing Club  though the first learn to row sessions have now passed - anad the floods may have caused some disruption!!!
    Nice location close to the city centre & railway station 

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    I did rowing when I was at school. We used to go to the boating lake next to the local posh girls' private college, and the girls used to come out to watch us.

    But I got fed up of it after a while because they were only interested in our cox.

  • Thank you Frodo thats really helpful, I didnt know you were into rowing! That's ace I will certainly do some research!


    Torque Steer, thanks for the tip, York is a bit hard for me to get to as I don't have a car, but thank you for the tip anyway.

  • As I said - let us know how you get on, lovely image
    (And if there is anything else I can help with, do PM me or hunt me down via FB)  

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    "All the work in the world on a Concept 2 rower is not going to get you to the Olympics" image

    I have my own Concept 2, in the conservatory. What a wonderful machine it is, best money I've spent in a long time (and it was a lot of money, these things ain't cheap).

    They're great for general training and fitness but as Frodo says no substitute for getting out onto the water. I'm purely a dry-land rower, or erger.

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