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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a novice?

A novice rower is any inexperienced rower who has not yet participated in a RCA-sanctioned event. 

All those who have previously competed are invited to try out for the varsity team.

What are tryouts?

Novice tryouts include, but are not limited to, the assessment of the following: general fitness (endurance, strength, exposiveness), coachability, ability to grasp rowing skills. There will be a 2km erg test. No rowing experience is required for novice tryouts.

Varsity tryouts include, but are not limited to, the assessment of the following: general fitness, coachability, rowing ability. There will be 2km and 6km tests, a peak power erg test, and seat racing. Tryouts will occur both on and off the water.

When are tryouts?

Novice tryouts typically occur during the second week of September. Exact dates can be found here.

Those interested in joining our Varsity Team are invited to join us for our Varsity Training Camp that takes place at the end of August. Exact dates can be found here.

What is the boathouse tour?

The boathouse tour is held at the start of the school year and is an invitation to come down to the Ottawa Rowing Club and learn more about our program. Prospective rowers will have the opportunity to meet coaches and athletes, learn proper rowing technique, and receive tryout details and schedules.

Prospective rowers are invited to walk down to the Club with our Athletes. If you are unable to attend the boathouse tour, please let us know.

The exact date of the 2017 Fall season boathouse tour can be found here.

How many races can I expect to partake in?

The uOttawa Rowing Team partakes in the following events: Head of the Rideau, Head of the Trent, Brock Invitational, OUAs, and CURCs. Events may be subject to change on a year to year basis.

Participation in select events are within the discretion of the coaches.

How long does the season last?

Our rowing season runs from September to early November.

During the winter, our athletes continue to train together off the water through Core&Conditioning sessions, weight workouts, and logging distances on the ergs.  

When are practices?

Practices take place from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, and from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Saturday. Varsity athletes are expected to attend additional workout sessions in the afternoon.

I can’t commit to six days a week. Can I still join?

Unfortunately, no. The absence of one rower can prevent a boat from going on the water.  Due to the short length of our season and the competitive nature of the sport , it is important for our athletes to put in as many practices as possible. 

Is rowing better suited for those in less intensive programs?

Absolutely not! We have students from a wide variety of programs and domains of study join our rowing team. Whether they are first-year undergraduates or graduate school students, all are welcome to join us out on the water. 

For help balancing school and rowing, we recommend reaching out to our current athletes.

Isn’t rowing a tall person sport? Can I still row if I’m short?

Rowing is more than just height! Many other factors are also considered: general fitness, rowing ability, coachability, etc. We have had many successful athletes of different heights and sizes. 

We are also always looking for new coxswains! The coxswain (also “coxie”) plays an important role and is responsible for steering and directing the boat. Those interested are encouraged to contact secretary.uottawarowing@gmail.com.

My bus doesn’t run at 5am! How do I get to practice?

Many of our athletes live downtown and in the Sandy Hill region and bike to the Rowing Club in the morning. Those living further often carpool with other rowers.

For help commuting to the Rowing Club in the morning, we recommend reaching out to our current athletes.

Who is eligible for the rowing team?

Those enrolled as full-time students during the competition Fall season are eligible to row for the University of Ottawa Rowing Team. Full-time refers to a minimum of 12 credits (or as designated by your Faculty).


Still have a question? Get in touch with us here or email vpexternal.uottawarowing@gmail.com.