Get inspired

Watch an inspirational film from Alison Langley to find out more about Megunticook Rowing, and enjoy some of our favorite of books and films about rowing. 

“It will change your life."



Inspiration from our team

Megunticook Rowing

Alison Langley Films

2019 Megunticook Regatta

Jake Gerritsen

Megunticook Crew

Kate Da Great

The story of Megunticook Rowing Club competing in their first race in the Textile River Regatta.

 Megunticook Rowing

Langley Photography

Inspirational films

A Most Beautiful Thing

50 Eggs Films

Dare to Be Trailer

Dare to Be Films

Four Mums in a Boat

World’s Toughest Row

Races and more

On the Water with UVA Women’s Rowing Team


NEIRA 2016
B2 8+, Grand Final

NEIRA Rowing

NEIRA 2016
G1 8+, Grand Final

NEIRA Rowing

P.E. Final
St Paul’s v Eton | Henley 2018


Rowing is Passion

Erwin Trummer

London 2012 Olympic Games
Rowing Women’s Eight Final

Olympics (watch on YouTube)

Rowing 101

Sweep Rowing Vs Sculling Rowing

There are two types of boats (shells) used in rowing, sweep boats and sculling boats.

In sweep rowing each rower has a single oar, so you must have other people in the boat with you. The most commonly used sweep boats are fours and eights. At Megunticook Rowing we have fours, so we need five people (four rowers and a coxswain) to fill the boat. Sweep rowing is a team undertaking; you are surrounded by other people, all working in perfect sync to make the boat move fast. Sweep boats are steered by a coxswain, who sits facing forward.

In sculling, the rower uses two smaller oars, or sculls. Sculling boats have one, two, or four rowers. Sculling also has symmetry to it — two oars in two hands moving simultaneously. A two-person sculling boat is called a double and a four person sculling boat is called a quad. We have singles and doubles at Megunticook Rowing.

What to Wear

The best clothing for rowing is soft, stretchy, breathable, and fairly form fitting. We at Megunticook Rowing like to call this techno-wear as it is usually made of synthetic fabrics or thin merino wool. The key is that your clothing is appropriate for the weather – even when you happen to get wet. Cotton is fine if the weather is hot, but in cool and/or cold weather, think layers of techno-wear.

Do not wear loose shorts or sweats as they can get caught in the slides under the moving seats, so avoid basketball style shorts or warm-ups. Loose tops can get caught in the oar handles, so avoid bulky jackets or sweatshirts, especially those with non-zipping pockets or “kangaroo” pockets.

We recommend that all rowers wear some sort of hi viz clothing: a hat, shirt or vest. Rowers are low on the water and we share the water with power boats and other boaters. We need to be seen!

  • SOCKS Some of our boats have shoes which are shared by all who use that boat. So bring your own socks!
  • HAT Bring one. It will keep the sun off… and/or keep the heat in.
  • FULL WATER BOTTLE Yes – always a good idea to bring water.
  • HAND WEAR When it gets cold out, you will not see rowers using traditional cold-weather gloves. Rowing requires a tactile feel of the oar handle. If you are prone to especially cold hands, you can purchase “Pogies” from a rowing clothing website such as JL Racing. They fit over both the oar handle and your hands.

A Bit More About Rowing

There is something magical about exercising on the water – the sounds, the sights, and the sensory experience. Rowing draws you in like no other sport. Rowing is a sport that can be enjoyed throughout an entire lifetime. It is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors, meet new people, and improve physical fitness. Rowing exercises all the major muscle groups through the full range of motion, involves no jarring of the joints, and improves both strength and cardiovascular performance. Rowing attracts people who are looking for an enjoyable outdoor fitness activity as well as those looking for exciting competitive opportunities.

Rowers tend to be passionate about their sport. The sensation of being able to propel a boat at speed through the water under one’s own power is exhilarating. It requires teamwork and concentration so that one is almost oblivious to the physical exertion employed. Rowing is a sport that can be enjoyed by all. Here at Megunticook Rowing we teach ages 12 – no upper age limit. As long as you can help to lift and carry the rowing shell, and are relatively fit, or determined to get that way, you can become proficient at this sport and enjoy it for a lifetime.

To many, rowing is more than a sport, as it also teaches lessons for life:

  • Teamwork and synchronicity, with others, from all backgrounds
  • The values of good sportsmanship and consideration for others
  • The rewards learned through hard work, focus, and self-discipline
  • Camaraderie and friendships – for life.
  • Rowing is decidedly character building, and moreover, it is simply fun!

Glossary of terms

Back it down

The term used to describe using a reverse rowing action to maneuver the boat backward or for turning.


The back brace of a rigger that locks the pin in position to maintain the pitch. (not found on wing rigger boats


The end of the slide nearest the bow. Prevents the seat from running off the slide. Also used to describe the position at which the athlete sits with their legs straight and blade to their chest


The end of the oar which enters the water. Usually painted in the colors of the club represented by the athlete.
Button. The plastic circular section of the oar that is pressed against the swivel when rowing.


End of the boat that travels through the water first and is sharpest. The athlete that sits in the seat position nearest this end of the boat

Bow Ball

Ball-shaped safety cap that sits over the bow end of the boat. Compulsory on all rowing boats for the safety of other water users.


A small number of strokes (usually less than a minute) taken at full pressure in training


The moment at which the spoon of the blade is immersed in the water and propulsive force applied. Immersion and force application should be indistinguishable actions. Also called the Catch


Plastic sleeve fixed to the oar that the button circles. Button can be moved along the collar to adjust blade gearing.


Used to describe the link between the power of an athlete’s legs to the force applied to the spoon of the blade. It should be made as soon as the catch is taken and held through the trunk muscles for the length of the work section of the stroke


The person who steers the boat by means of strings or wires attached to the rudder. It can be positioned in either the stern or bow of the boat.


When the oar becomes caught in the water at the moment of extraction and the blade handle strikes the athlete. Often causes unintentional release of the blade and significant slowing of boat speed


Boat for eight sweep rowers. Will always have a cox.
Erg. Indoor rowing machine used for training


The removal of the blade from the water by application of downward pressure to the blade handle. In sweep, this is done with the outside hand on the blade handle. Movement easiest when force is applied to the spoon of the blade until the last moment


Blade spoon is flat to the water. This is the position of the blade spoon for the recovery section of the stroke. Athletes must be careful to fully extract the blade before feathering


A piece of metal or plastic attached to the underside of the boat towards the stern. It provides directional stability by preventing sideways slippage


The last part of the stroke where the blade handle is drawn into the body. Following this (assuming clean extraction) the boat will be at its maximum speed. Force must be applied to the spoon right to the finish so that water does not catch up with the spoon


Boat for four sweep rowers. It can be coxed or coxless.


The end of the slide nearest the stern. Prevents the seat from running off the slide. Also used to describe the position at which the athlete sits with their legs at 90 and the blade spoon at the furthest point to the bows.

Head Race

Race in which crews are timed over a set distance. Usually, run as a processional race rather than side by side.

Heel Tie

Attached to the heels of the shoes and to the footplate. Compulsory safety feature that helps the athlete to release their feet from the shoe in the event of a capsize.

‘Hold Water’

Verbal instruction meaning to bring the boat to a stop quickly by holding the blades square in the water.
Inboard. The length of the blade from the end of the handle to the button at the point where it will sit against the swivel.

Junior Rower

A rower under the age of 18
Lateral pitch. The outward angle of inclination of the pin to the vertical


Length of stroke- the arc through which the blade turns when it is in the water from catch to finish.


Lever used to propel a rowing boat. Also known as a blade.
Outboard. The length of the blade from the tip of the spoon to the button at the point where it will sit against the swivel. (Or, the engine on the coaching launch.)


The amount by which the scull handles overlap when an athlete holds them horizontally at right angles to the boat.


Boat for two sweep rowers.


The spindle on which the swivel rotates.


The left-hand side of the boat as the cox sits or the right-hand side of the boat for a rower. Often marked by a red stripe on the oar.


Boat for four scullers.


Or rating. The number of strokes rowed in a minute.


The ratio of the time taken for the power phase to that of the recovery phase of the stroke. Ideally, the time taken for the recovery will be about three times that of the power phase. 1:3


The part of the stroke phase between the extraction and the
beginning or catch when the blade is out of the water


Metal outriggers attached to the boat outer shell of the boat next to each seat that supports the swivel and the pin. There are currently several different designs of rigger from two or three stay metal or carbon tubing to metal or carbon wings.


The way in which the riggers, slides, swivel, pins, foot plate, oars, and sculls can be adjusted to optimize athlete comfort and efficiency.


The device under the boat which when moved causes the change of direction.


A smaller version of the oar used for sculling.


Rowing with two oars.


The smooth hull of the boat.


Two metal runners on which the seat travels.


Portable stands used to support a boat for rigging, washing, admiring, etc.

Square or squaring

To turn the oar so that the spoon is at 90 degrees to the water. This action should be done early during the recovery to ensure good preparation for the catch.


An anchored boat or pontoon from which rowing boats are held prior to a race starting.


The right-hand side of the boat as the cox sits or the left-hand side of the boat for a rower. Often marked by a green stripe on the oar.


The end of the boat that travels through the water last.
Stern pitch. Sternwards angle of inclination of the pin to the vertical.


One cycle of the oar. 2. The rower who sits closest to the stern of the boat in front of all the others and is responsible for the rating and rhythm of the boat. (other crew members can influence rating and rhythm from behind)


A metallic or carbon plate inside the boat to which the shoes are attached. Secured with adjustable screws.


Rowing with one oar on one side of the boat.

Tap down

To lower the hands at the end of the stroke to remove the blade from the water.

Way Enough

Verbal instruction is given by cox or athlete for the crew to stop rowing