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Masters/Adult WBC Membership:

WBC Masters Programs and Membership Overview:


What is a master rower?  The USRowing defines “a Master is a Competitor who has attained, or will attain, the age of 21 during the current calendar year. A Competitor's age is determined as of December 31 of the current calendar year, rounded down to the nearest whole number. A Competitor thus becomes a Master on January 1 of the year of his or her 21st birthday. A Masters Crew shall be comprised exclusively of Masters Rowers, but the Coxswain need not be a Master.”


Although the USRowing definition is focused on masters racing competitions, there is no requirement to compete to be a master rower at WBC; most of our masters are more recreational than competitive rowers.


The 2022 annual dues (Jan 1-Dec 31) for WBC master rowers are $350 (plus a $5 surcharge, which pays half of the cost WBC incurs for the convenience of paying through PayPal or by credit card).  If you opt to write a check to the club, there is no surcharge.  These dues pay for coaching, equipment and maintenance to safely provide two coached rowing sessions on Saturday and Sunday mornings from Feb 27 through mid-November, plus two additional coached weekday evening sessions from Mar 14 - Sep 29.  There are also two additional unsupervised scheduled sculling sessions on Saturday and Sunday mornings, although scullers can row on any day or time consistent with club rules.

Masters Registration: 2 Steps:


COVID continues to be a world-wide pandemic and is a major concern for a team sports such as rowing. The club’s intention in 2022 is to focus on team boat sweep rowing (each rower has one longer oar) with sculling (each rower has 2 shorter oars) used as a way to complete boatings for practices as needed.  For example, if 11 rowers sign up for a session, one preferred solution is to boat an 8 + coxswain and a double scull.  Proper rowing technique will be emphasized using drills and mostly steady-state rowing, although there will also be work at higher stroke ratings.  If the local pandemic infection rates surge during the rowing season, we will adapt our rowing programs and comply with established public health guidelines.


A Performance Masters rowing program (at an additional cost to be determined by February 2022) is also offered for those masters who desire to train for competition.  These workouts will be conducted at a higher intensity in order to train, not just practice, for spring sprint races (1000 meters) and fall head races (3000-5000 meters).  Read the Performance Masters block on this webpage for more information.


However, any WBC master rower may compete in any regatta they desire;  there is no requirement that master rowers desiring to compete must take the optional Performance Masters rowing program.  (But the regatta fee pricing structure will differ, as outlined in the Regattas section below.)


Master Rowing Incentives and Discounts:


•           Master rowers new to WBC are offered a free 3-week trial period to sign up and row at any scheduled masters practice.  A digital swim verification form and liability waiver form is still required to be signed prior to their first row.

•           If there are two or more master rowers in a household, one rower pays full price ($350) for annual dues and the remaining master rowers in the household each get a $100 discount and pay $250.

•           If there is a Junior (HS or MS) rower in the household, each household master rower pays $250 for master annual dues and the HS and MS rowers pay reg price.

•           Participants in a Learn to Row/Scull program opting to join WBC as a Master rower, your prorated annual master dues will be discounted $50.


WBC will offer three Learn to Row (LTR) classes for sweep rowing and one Learn to Scull (LTS) in 2022, but this could change as the year and pandemic progress.  The fee for all LTR/LTS classes is $150 for WBC members and $200 for non-members.  After completing the class, non-members are encouraged to row at scheduled WBC masters practices for 3 weeks to practice their skills at rowing and to determine if they would like to join the club.  If a LTS or LTR graduate opts to join the club, their annual dues are credited $50 for taking the LTS or LTR class.  Read the LTR/LTS block on this webpage for additional information.


WBC will also offer, at no cost, sculling refresher sessions provided by an instructor for scullers who haven’t rowed for a while to get more comfortable sculling and those scullers who would like to upgrade their current sculling qualification.  These sessions will be held over a few April and May weekends.  Read the Sculling Program block on this webpage for more information.


WBC also supports the National Learn to Row Day (June 4, 2022) by offering free introduction to rowing sessions to the general public on Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5.  Details will be announced later as 2022 progresses.


WBC offers Winter Training for all rowers, middle school through masters, which starts Dec 5, 2022 and will end in Feb 24, 2023.

Bob Morrison is the Masters Representative to the WBC Board of Directors.  If after reading the following information you have any masters rowing related questions, would like more information, or sign up for a Learn to Scull class, please contact him

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Masters Rowing:


This year we’ll try to start rowing on Saturday, Feb 25. However, given the significant weather and temperature changes typical of late winter and early spring, practices will be canceled if the combined water and air temperature adds up to less than 90 deg F or other environmental factors prohibit a safe outing.


If you would like to learn to row or have prior rowing experience would like to row with us, please contact Bob Morrison, our Masters Representative.  If you already know how to row you can join us at any scheduled practice and row with us for 3 consecutive weeks (at no cost) to help you determine if you’d like to join the club.   But there is some digital paperwork to complete before your first row with us, so contact Bob before you show up at our rowing venue ready to row.


If you don’t know how to row, consider taking a Learn to Row (LTR) or Learn to Scull (LTS) class so that you can become comfortable enough to rowing with others in team boats or scull on your own.  The 3-week trial period applies for graduates of all these classes, plus $50 of the money paid for a LTR or LTS class is credited towards your prorated annual dues.  Read the LTR/LTS block on this webpage for more information.

2023 Scheduled Weekly Masters rowing sessions: 


Dates: Session Dates will be in iCrew

8-10 am: Team Boats, Sat and Sun mornings, primarily sweep rowing

10 am - 12 noon: Unsupervised sculling

Masters Registration: 2 Steps:

Read the Masters Performance block on this webpage for more information on additional masters practices for the Masters Performance program.

Masters Performance Rowing:


This is an optional masters rowing program (not always offered) designed to train master rowers to compete in sprint races (1000 meters) in the spring and summer and in head races (3000 - 5000 meters) in the fall.  The cost will be determined prior to the first scheduled session.


The cost of this program covers all regatta fees, coaching, equipment and maintenance costs.  There is no additional cost to rowers in this program to row in any event in any regatta WBC attends.  However, any WBC master may compete in any regatta.  Participation in this program is not required to compete as a WBC master at any regatta.


Practices will be physically and mentally demanding and focus on both speed and endurance.  There will be 4 dedicated rowing sessions per week for this program, plus participants are strongly encouraged to attend the two weekday evening masters sessions for all masters for a total of six 2-hour sessions per week.


2023 Performance Rowing Practice Schedule: Make sure you check iCrew to make sure the sessions are posted.


Dates: Session Dates will be in iCrew

5:45 - 7:30 pm Tues and Thurs evenings

7:30 - 9:30 am Saturday mornings


Participants are strongly encouraged to also attend the scheduled Mon and Wed evening masters practices.

Masters Regattas:


Expected Masters Rowing Regattas in 2023


The following regattas are expected to be held in 2022, but the COVID pandemic is still a major factor in holding regattas.  Nonetheless, the following are spring and summer regattas with masters events that are planned to be held in 2022.  This page will be updated as fall regattas are scheduled or spring regattas are cancelled.


As a reminder for WBC masters, there is no requirement to pay for the optional Masters Performance rowing sessions to compete in a regatta.  If you have paid for the Master Performance sessions, the additional cost of that program includes all your regatta fees.  If you have not paid for the Masters Performance program, you will pay your share of the cost of whatever event and boat you are seated in, which is typically varies from $10-50 per seat per event.  We don’t charge coxswains to race, so the rower’s fair share for each event is defined as the entry fee for the boat divided by number of rowers in the boat. If a regatta event entry fee is $120 for an 8+, each rower’s fair share is $120/8, which equals $15 for that event.


•           Masters Newport News Reservoir Sprints (1000 m)

•           Masters Sprints, Richmond (1000 m)

•           Masters Capital Sprints, DC (1000 m)

•           Masters Sprints, Occoquan VA (1000 m)

•           Beak of the Chick, here, (~3000 m)

Masters 2023 Learn To Row:


WBC plans to offer 3 Adult Learn to Row (LTR) classes this year.  Each class will be held over 3 consecutive weekends, both Saturday and Sunday (6 sessions per class).  This is for sweep rowing, in which each rower has one oar.  The planned classes are:






The cost per person is $150 for WBC members and $200 for nonmembers.  Each session will be 2 hours; the exact times of day are to be determined.


Coaches: Andres Alvarez, Howie Hagan

Masters Sculling:


During the last 2 years of the COVID pandemic, many rowers learned to scull as WBC essentially stopped rowing in team boats from the spring of 2020 through spring of 2021.


There will be scheduled sculling sessions on weekend mornings from 10 am -12 noon starting whenever the scullers are comfortable getting on the water and in compliance with all WBC rules and regulations.  Most of these sessions will be unsupervised, meaning there is no safety launch escort.  Scullers are to follow the club sculling rules, have all the required equipment aboard (PFD and whistle, but also consider a cellphone in waterproof covering), use the buddy system (4-oar rule) and any scull in which you are qualified.  If you have your own equipment, you are very strongly recommended to follow the club’s rules, but you alone are responsible for your actions when using your equipment.


There are 3 sculling qualification levels at WBC, Level 1, 2 and 3 (there are no standardized USRowing sculling qualifications).  The WBC Learn to Scull class ends with a Level 1 certification and the sculler has demonstrated not just their sculling technique, but also in navigation, steering, knowledge of weather, wind and tidal effects on sculling, the local rowing area, Virginia state legal requirements and WBC rules and regulations.  All the Level 1 maneuvers are performed in a recreational single scull.  A Level 1 certification enables to sculler to use a recreational single and to row in a sculling team boat (double or quad) as long as there is at least one Level 2 or higher qualified sculler in each team boat.


Level 2 certification is the same as Level 1 in terms of knowledge and maneuvers, but all the maneuvers are performed in a racing single, which is less stable than a recreational single.  There is no minimum requirement on sculling experience to upgrade from Level 1 to Level 2, so whenever a sculler wants to start to upgrade beyond rowing a recreational single, let a coach know.  A Level 2 sculler may check out a racing single and any sculling team boat.


Level 3 certification is a sculling instructor.


On most weekends in April and May 2022, there will be a sculling instructor available during the scheduled weekend sculling sessions to offer no cost sculling refresher lessons or to assist scullers upgrade from Level 1 to Level 2.  The iCrew sculling session will be updated to reflect an instructor is available at those weekend sessions. If you would like to upgrade from Level 1 to 2, or from Level 2 to 3, let a coach or instructor know that desire.  If you are new to WBC but have previous sculling experience, these are good times to practice the maneuvers required for Level 1 or 2.  If you know how to scull, you don’t have to take a LTS class, but you need to know the knowledge aspects and perform the maneuvers.  The knowledge and skills criteria for Level 1 and Level 2 are listed in the Documents section of the WBC website.


There is an informal cell phone texting group of scullers at WBC, and if you’re not on this list but would like to get on it, let Bob Morrison, the Masters Representative (and sculling instructor) know.  Between signing up for those sessions on iCrew and the texting tree, we will all hopefully find someone to scull with during those scheduled weekend sessions or at other unscheduled times that match our personal schedules.

Masters 2022 Learn to Scull:

If you have questions about our Masters/Adult programs, please reach out to...

Bob Morrison

Masters Representative

There will be one LTS class offered this year, starting at 12 noon, May 28.  Other classes may be added if the demand is present and additional instructors are available.


Cost: $150 for WBC members, $200 for non-members. However, if non-members opt to join the club after completing the LTS class, $50 will be credited toward their annual dues.

Class Format

Participants: This is limited by the number of recreational single sculls available, and
limits us to 4 people at this time.


Duration: 6 consecutive weekends, Sat and Sun from 12:00 - 2:00 pm, including a weekend added for makeup sessions. The first 4 sessions are on land, the remainder are on the water.

Class Scope:

  • Sessions 1-2: Learn and practice the basic rowing motion using rowing machines; optional for those with prior rowing experience.

  • Session 3: Presentation on club rules, local hazards, rowing safety, maritime rules of the road, weather, tides, navigation, and basic hydrodynamics (how to make a boat move). When you are rowing in a 1-person boat, you are the boat’s captain, navigator, helm, engine, and you’re facing backwards. The first weekend prepares you to be the engine, this presentation helps you prepare for the rest.

  • Session 4: Learn and practice sculling technique using dockside scullers

  • Sessions 5-10: Water sessions to practice maneuvers

  • Session 6: Intentionally flip the boat and re-enter it (aka the “flip test”)

  • Session 10: Sculling Level I certification

  • Sessions 11-12: makeup dates if needed


Let Bob know if you’d like to enroll in the class and he will verify your slot in the class.  First come, first served after Jan 1, 2022.  He will reconfirm with you about 4 weeks prior to the class start date so you can sign up in iCrew.

Masters/Adult Winter Training

Adult  - $180 

  • Erging only (Strength & Conditioning is separate) Our focus is on rowing technique and endurance.

  • M, W 6-7pm & Saturday 7:30-8:30am

  • Location: WISC

Overview of the Winter Training Program

Winter training is a workout plan we follow in the winter months to build rowing stamina, power, and technique.  The workouts will be an hour in length and be a combination of progressive workouts designed around performing a 2k rowing test the last Saturday in February.  The workouts are run by one of our Adult coaches and will consist of a warmup, rowing technique drills and a variety of different length and intensity of pieces.  One of the benefits of the training is that on an erg, technical proficiency is improved by being on land with a coach nearby who can address individual needs for improvement.    


We normally conclude winter training season by attending an indoor rowing race, the Colonial Erg Sprints at the William and Mary Rec Center.


About WBC Masters

WBC has a Masters program that operates year round with rowing sessions daily. Masters are adult rowers with various levels of experience. We welcome alumni from the Junior Program and their parents, college students, former collegiate rowers, and any adults that enjoy being active on the water. However, no experience is necessary to join us. Our Masters 'JOIN' WBC for 1 year at a time starting Jan 1 - Dec 31. Dues are due Jan 1. 

Members have access to our WBC programs.  Rowing members have access to our fleet of boats and all on-water practices once they learn to row.  Learn-to-Row classes are offered to all who are interested in learning to row.  LTR is typically ten sessions, 2 days/week for 5 weeks, of classes that will prepare you to participate in the club. The class is a prerequisite for rowing on the water with the club to ensure all safety precautions are met. If you already know how to row, you will just need to discuss your experience with the coach who will determine whether or not you would need to attend the Learn to Row classes.


As a member you can pursue further development of your rowing skills as well as move onto a performance group to increase the workout intensity and the opportunity to race in Regattas.

Rowing has been proven beneficial for all ages because of the cardiovascular workout with low-impact for your joints. It provides a workout for your whole body, improving muscle tone, and increasing lean body mass.

Masters row at Chickahominy Riverfront Park and offer various levels of membership, depending on whether you want competitive rowing, sculling, or simply relaxed fitness. Race opportunities are available, however you are not required to race to be a member of the club.

Want to know more? Send us a note and someone will reach out to you.

iCrew Masters instr

Tides Near Us (Chickahominy Bridge)

Cold Water Capsizing / USK Course of Action Scenario Response(s)

Adult Learn to Scull
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