What is Crew?

Crew is the sport of rowing a boat as fast as it will go! It is a challenging, intense, and fun sport which develops stamina, strength, and responsibility.  It is a co-ed sport which emphasizes teamwork. Unlike other sports, most people have not been rowing since they were young. So in high school, if you have never rowed before, you can still be competitive with the others. You don’t feel like you will never catch up with the athletes who have “dedicated their life” to the sport since they were 6. And there is a lightweight category. Like wrestling, weight categories help even the playing field for those of who are not quite as big, but still want to work hard and have fun competing. Even really small people have a place in crew as coxswains who command and steer in some of the boats.

Total Body Workout

Rowing is a total body workout. It is one of the few sports that involves all the body’s major muscle groups. Arms, legs, chest, back, abs—even your mind. Your whole body gets a complete workout from the efficient, rhythmic motion of rowing. It is also a low-impact sport on the joints.

Top Athletes

Rowers are probably the world’s best athletes! The sport demands endurance, strength, balance and mental discipline. Rowing has been included in Olympic events since the first Olympic games in 1896.

There are two main competitive rowing weight classes — typically “open” or “heavyweight” and lightweight. Competitive rowing favours tall, muscular athletes due to the additional leverage height provides in pulling the oar through the water as well as the explosive power needed to propel the boat at high speed. Unlike most other non-combat sports, rowing has a special weight category called lightweight (Lwt for short). According to FISA, this weight category was introduced “to encourage more universality in the sport especially among nations with less statuesque people”. The first lightweight events were held at the World Championships in 1974 for men and 1985 for women. Lightweight rowing was added to the Olympics in 1996.

VASRA, our coordinating organization, follows the Crew Council Medical Advisory Committee Weight Control Program for boys under 155 lbs and girls under 130 lbs. According to SRAA rules, all team members who will race in the Lwt level must start weekly weigh-ins 5 weeks prior to their first competition. They will be monitored to ensure their health and competitive fairness.

Spring Sport

JEB Stuart Crew is a spring sport. The program starts in early November with indoor and land training at JEB Stuart. Water training begins on Lake Barcroft in late February and moves to Sandy Run Regional Park on the Occoquan in mid-March. The season runs through mid-May. The team travels to Mathews, VA, and selected rowers compete in Philadelphia and other locations.

Interest Meetings

JEB Stuart Crew holds two Interests Meetings, one in October and the other in February. Please plan to attend a meeting to find out more about crew or go to our How to Join the Team page.

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