FAQs

Where is practice?

Practice is held at Lake Whatcom. The men’s crew has a boathouse at the WWU Lakewood facility located East of town.
How often is practice?
Practice schedules vary by quarter. Fall will have novice rowers out on the water 4 mornings a week, and returners 5-6. Afternoon practices are held 5 days a week.
When is racing?
The fall racing season stretches from mid October until early November. Fall races are longer, usually 5-7 kilometer head races. Spring racing season is the primary collegiate season with racing beginning in mid March lasting through late May.
How long is the season?
Fall season is a bit shorter, allowing novice rowers a chance to get racing experience and a feel for the stroke. It will run September-November. Winter training begins in early January and runs into spring racing, lasting through mid May.
Do you have to have rowed before to be successful?
Prior rowing experience is certainly not necessary to be successful on the team. Fall will see experienced rowers clumped with returning rowers, but following the fall season everyone is on an even playing field and it comes down to training and the attention put in at practice to determine standing on the team.
How many years can one compete at the collegiate level?
 
A rower or coxswain can compete 4 of the first 5 years of undergraduate study.
Who do the Vikings compete against?
Western competes through both the American Collegiate Rowing Association and the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association in the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference. Throughout the season our primary competition comes from within our conference, generally smaller colleges in Washington, Oregon and northern California. Throughout the season we will compete with schools in the region. During championship season, the team competes in Sacramento against all Western US schools at WIRA championship regatta, against schools from all over the US at the Dad Vail regatta in Philadelphia, and the ACRA national championship regatta in Georgia. Since the NCAA does not govern men’s rowing we are not limited by a schools NCAA division.
How long has there been men’s rowing at WWU?
Men’s rowing at WWU has been around for almost 50 years. The team moved to its Lakewood location in the 1990s and has existed as a club sport since 2006.
How do the team members get distributed in the boats?
Boat assignments are based on a number of factors. Erg scores, rowing technique, cohesion within a boat, and general fitness are all factors when determining what a boat’s lineup will be.
Who qualifies as a novice rower?
A novice rower is anyone that is rowing their first collegiate season, regardless of past experience or class standing. Novices can always race in Varsity boats, but experienced rowers cannot participate in a novice race.
Why does the team have to fundraise?
Being a club sport means that the team is largely responsible for it’s own fundraising. Rowing is an expensive sport and dues are kept to a minimum to allow for the team to remain accessible to all who are interested. To cover the expenses of travel, boat repair and upkeep, and regatta fees, the team must coordinate a number of fundraising efforts throughout the year.

How warm is the water in Lake Whatcom?

Very cold. Safety is of utmost importance when rowing and coaches are prepared for emergency situations. Novice rowers will learn early to focus on setting the boat!