Here are some of our most frequently asked questions:
How do I join the rowing club?
If you want to try us out first, contact our membership officer firstname.lastname@example.org and they can arrange for you to come and have a couple of trial rows with us.
If you are still keen, we’ll sign you up then and there. Cox or rower, young or old, completely useless at rowing or uber talented, male or female, we don’t really care. What we care about it having a lively club that gets people out on the water, having fun. The only requirement is that you can swim 100 yards in your clothes without a life jacket (we don’t actually make you do this). Go on…do it now. What are you waiting for? Come on …still reading!
If you want to join now, you can do so online using the Join Online link at the top of the site.
Do you take beginners?
Yes we do. Even some of our most experienced rowers are pretty ropey. Please contact us and we’ll ensure that you join a crew with some half decent rowers who can teach you all they know.
Where and when do you row?
Well…where and when do you want to row? As a fully paid up member, you are welcome to take the boats out with other members where and when you want. Fancy a Trip across the Irish Sea, perhaps a trip down the Severn to Bristol or an expedition down the Wye? Perhaps you are just looking for a night or two a week to row on the Severn to get fitter? Thought about a sea rowing race within the Welsh Sea Rowing Leagues? Members are actively encouraged to organise their own trips, or join in others trips. Infact, if you want to organise a trip, well help you do it and a load of members would probably join you!. We’ll show you risk assessments, ensure you are fully trained up, and as safe as can be.
Our boats are usually launched on the River Severn in Shrewsbury, where we row three times a week, launching at The Agricultural Showground, Berwick Road, Shrewsbury SY1 2PF. Midweek sessions are currently on Tuesday and Thursday nights starting at 7pm. These go on all year round and in all weathers, finishing at 9pm, usually followed by a trip to the Armoury pub. We also row on a Sunday moring at 7-9am. If you can’t make these though, or want to row in the day you may find that there are a load of others that would like to join you. Just ask us and we’ll be happy to help.
I’d like to Cox rather than row, is it possible?
Yes it is, we would be delighted for you to join us. Whatever your experience, we’d really welcome you into the club. This is a great fun club to be a Coxwain. If we are rowing on the river, it a usually a really social event ending in the Pub with a really fun bunch. But what about Coxing a two day trip up the Caledonian Canal, across Loch Ness, ensuring the boat and teams safety? How about trying to motivate a bunch of rowers as we try to beat the 26 hours that it took us to cross the Irish Sea in a force 4 gusting 5? What about a row over a few days, camping in hammocks overnight, with no support crew around us?
Whatever you fancy coxing, short trips up the river or longer expeditions, you’ll be very welcome. If you don’t have any experience, don’t worry we teach you what we know! All you need is a bucket load of enthusiasm and a bit of confidence, and a responsible attitude towards safety. Contact us through the Join Us tab. Go on………….you won’t regret it!
What about Social Rowing?
eeeerrrrrrrr, whilst we do race, all our rowing is pretty social. The Sea Rowing community has some fantastically elite crews, and we would love to beat them one day. But in our experience, at the end of a challenging race, when novice crews have been totally beaten by elite Sea Rowing crews, most of the congratulations and back slapping is reserved for the novices. It seems to be that kind of sport. Just mass enthusiasm thrown around for everyone, not matter how good you are. Every event is social..full of humour…..it is why most of us do it.
We do, however, take great pride in finishing every challenge. That’s different from winning. Pretty convenient for lots of us as we don’t have a chance of winning!
What boats do you have?
We have two Pembroke Longboats. One on loan from Ynys Mon Rowing Club and one fantastically restored boat that we own. We are in the process of raising money to purchase Celtic and Pembroke longboats to secure the clubs future. You can help us by joining, or visting the Help Us Tab.
The history of these boats is detailed below (Source: http://watersportswales.co.uk/longboathistory.htm who credit Pat Morgan of Newport Boat Club for the historical information)
The Celtic Longboat is a 4 person coxed rowing boat used for racing, training and recreation. Racing this type of boat has a long and interesting history on the West Wales coast.
Since the 1970’s local coastal villages have put up teams to compete for what has often been relatively large cash prizes in the traditional ‘pulling races’. The longboats started in 1978 when Tom Sutton, working on Ramsey Island, St Davids found the remnants of an Irish Curragh (wooden frame, tarred-skinned rowing boat) washed up. With friends Des Harries and Robin Pratt, he decided to re-skin the boat and enter it in the local Solva Traditional Boat Rowing Race, for prize money of about £200 – and came second. They thought that if they made the same shape in fibreglass it would be even faster. Des, the carpenter, carved a plug out of a solid piece of timber, to similar dimensions, and cast a mould from which they made the first Pembrokeshire Longboat. 1979 – they entered the Solva race again and won easily but were told not to come back as fibreglass boats were not wanted in that race. Soon interest in the new boat was growing – they made a couple more for locals and held races around Ramsey Island (a race considered too dangerous now!). From this developed the Pembrokeshire Longboat League.
The original mould was sold to Dai in Cardigan in the early 80’s who went on to produced over 30 Pembrokeshire Longboats using the ‘Old Mould’ and later, when the old mould ‘died’, the ‘New Mould’ which was taken off one of the best of the old mould boats.The sport continued to develop in fits and starts with the interest spreading from Pembrokeshire to Cardigan where Dai was based. The Welsh Longboat League Cymru was formed to try and standardise the boats, rules etc. and bring together the boats from both areas. At this time every boat varied in weight and finish as Dai would often sell a bare hull for the buyer to finish themselves, giving the lighter boats an unfair advantage with many of the top boats being ‘cut’ to make them narrower and faster. These boats raced around the potentially treacherous coastline of West Wales and even race across the Irish Sea and are still some of the fastest at ‘the Great River Race’ in London.
In 1996 it was decided to approach Sportlot for a grant for a new mould so that at last all the boats could be standardised. This developed into a major bid for over £100,000 to finance the mould, 18 new longboats and a junior training boat. Several companies were approached to submit proposals to design and build a the new boat, the brief was simple, the boat should be faster than the best of the existing boats, and at least as sea worthy and all should be identical.
After much deliberation and debate Dale Sailing from Neyland were selected as the new builder in 1999 and to date the over 70 boats have been built. The new boats have caused a resurgence of interest in racing as now everyone will be able to compete on level terms in the new one design Celtic Longboat.