Will rowing affect academic performance?

Rowing does demand a significant amount of time and commitment, however, please rest assured that at KCS our first priority is a pupil’s academic work. Rowers learn valuable life skills such as self-discipline, motivation and time management which are of great benefit to them. Members of the boat club have consistently achieved some of the best exam results at GCSE, A level and IB.


What is the difference between sculling and rowing?

Sculling is with 2 oars and rowing is with one.


What is the difference between the various boats: eights and octos, fours and quads, doubles and pairs and singles?

The boats are named in relation to how many rowers there are seated in the boat (excluding the cox) and whether the rowers are sculling (using 2 oars) or rowing (using one oar). Sculling boats are: octuple/ octo (eight rowers), quadruple/quad (4 people), double (two people) and single (1 person). Rowing boats are: eight (eight people), four (four rowers), and a pair (2 rowers).


Is it necessary to attend the extra training sessions after school and at the weekend?

Rowing is one of the most physically demanding sports as it uses all the main muscle groups. It is an endurance sport and thus demands a lot of specific training. Weekly training sessions are set according to the age group and specific squad. In order to be competitive, training days and camps are vital.


Does a rower have to row every term to be in a team?

No, as many rowers also represent the school in the A teams of other sports such as rugby. If a child wishes to be competitive however, and to gain a realistic chance of a seat in the one of the top boats they will need to row for the Spring and Summer terms during which there are the national rowing events and training camps.


Is a rower likely to fall in the river?

Yes, rowers can capsize and fall in the river. Please note however, that health and safety policies as well as risk assessments have been carried out for all activities and as an affiliated rowing club, the Boat Club adheres to the safety requirements as laid out by British Rowing. Swim tests are compulsory when a child joins the school and capsize drills are completed in the swimming pool by all rowers. Safety precautions and navigation on the river are also explained to all participants at regular intervals.


How are the teams chosen?

Crews are selected at the coach’s discretion. Selection is based on ability with success being a reflection of a child’s commitment and training.


If a person is small, but strong can they be a part of the A or 1st team?

Yes. Some places in a boat lend themselves more to types of rowers and skills they might have: good technique and mental toughness to name but two. As with all rowers in a squad, teams and positions are selected according to a rower’s performance and their success in gaining a place will also be determined by the competition from within a squad.


What qualities are needed to be a good cox?

The cox is a crucial member of the crew; their race tactics, encouragement and steering skills can make an enormous difference to the result of a race. Coxes must be smaller and lighter in build as rowers will be carrying them. Some of the many qualities that make a good cox are: organisation, leadership skills, being a good tactician, plus of course having a comprehensive understanding of the technique of rowing.


What is the difference between a head race and a regatta?

A head race is a timed processional race and can be between 2.5km and 7km. They take place from the end of September to the end of March. Regattas are side-by-side races with distances varying between 500m and 2000m and take place between mid April and the end of August.


Why is the final confirmation of competing crews only a few days before an event?

Entry forms are submitted by the coaches, but it is only when the draw is made by the organisers of a race that we know if a crew is racing. This is usually less than a week before the event. It is advisable therefore to make a note of all potential race dates.


Why do crews have to arrive at an event up to 1 1/2 hours before the race?

There are several reasons: boats need to be unloaded from the trailer and rigged, crews are briefed on race tactics and rules, organisers often insist on boating up to one hour before an event so that all competitors are in position, to ensure all crew members in a boat are present as otherwise their team cannot row.


How do I get to the race location?

Please refer to our locations page where information will be available with links for directions, maps, start times etc.


What food and drink should the rowers take to an event?

Plenty of water to drink throughout the day is very important. Food that is high in carbohydrates is advisable (e.g. pasta) however it should not be high in saturated fats or too spicy. A snack for after racing e.g. malt loaf or flapjacks is also recommended.


Where is the best place to watch rowing races?

Races are located in various different locations so it is advisable to look at the individual location maps or ask one of the coaches for advice.


Can I bring my bike and follow the race?

Yes, generally at head races on the Thames, however be warned that the towpath can be muddy depending on the weather. It is also possible at some of the regattas – please check with the coach beforehand. Binoculars are also advisable.