Capital Rowing Club

 Weekly information on the Sunday morning practice plan and general information for SAW rowers.

      SAWTeamPC2014 SAW Coaches 

Bob Brady  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.        

Ginger Hedegore  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                  

Dorene Haney This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    

Steve Neumann  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Megan Silk   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rachel Humphrey  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gretchen Abell    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.          

SAW Program Co-reps   

Jim Smailes     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.          Mary Ellsworth   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 SAW Program workouts start at 7:00 AM on Sundays.  Plan to arrive by 6:55 and be ready to stretch and start line-ups at 7:00.    We plan to be off the water by 9 AM, and then rack the boats, clean up, etc..  SAW rowers often go to a nearby venue for coffee after practice.    

Weather note:  Come on down to the river, rain or shine!  We'll have some erg fun if we can't get out on the water. 


 crc_logo Weekly SAW Sign-Up    -  Let us know you'll be rowing or coxing each week

LaunchDOT Coach's Practice Plan  - Who's coaching, and the workout for this week 

oarDOT  Post-practice Summaries - How practice went each week                                

Shannon SAW Coxing Guidelines  - How you are a part of coxing for the SAW program  

glossaryDOT Rowing Terminology  - Rowing terms and commands to orient the novice and entertain the master


speakerDOT ANNOUNCEMENTS:     SAW workouts start at 7:00 AM.  Please arrive by 6:55. 

crc_logoarrow Our next practice will be Sunday April 20, 2014 



 blueberry muffin coffee

arrowAfter rowing SAW goes for coffee.  Why not join us at Port City Java 

     701 North Carolina Ave SE #1, Washington, DC 20003    


ospreyarrow Where are our osprey?  Click here to follow our two South Capital St bridge residents' migrational journeys 

 Winter: Rodney was in Venezuela and Ron settled in along the banks of the Amazon River.

 Spring:  Ron started his trip home on 19 March and flew right past his neighbor Rodney. His trip through the Caribbean was rather unexceptional, other than hitting Hispaniola at Cabo Beata, which is the major launching point for birds heading south in the fall and rarely visited by north-bound birds in the spring. He's now in Florida fishing some canals at the edge of the Everglades (zoom in on the end of his track).

       Rodney won this year's "last one out of South America, turn off the lights" award this year. He left his wintering area on the 24th. He broke with the usual pattern of going north all the way to one of the peninsulas on either side of the Gulf of Venezuela and kicked off into the Caribbean about 9AM on the 27th. He was heading northwest. After 9 hours, he made a strange turn west and flew that way for a couple of hours before his GPS unit stopped collecting locations. He then corrected for that turn and headed northwest all the way to the Cayman Islands. As he approached Grand Cayman, he had flown 775 miles and been on the wing for at least 32 hours. Did he stop and rest? Heck no! He even deviated to avoid Grand Cayman and flew another 9 hours until he got to Cuba, winning some sort of Macho Award to go with his other one. He spent the night there and then pushed on north. Then, rather than push on north and cross the Florida Straights, he took a very strange turn southeast and headed back down the typical fall migration route! Just when we thought we'd seen it all!  

UPDATE:  Reporting observations on the nest building activities of our Anacostia ospreys - help us out.   Ron and Rodney, carry satellite tracking equipment that has allowed Dr. Rob Bierregaard of UNC, to track their migration patterns over this past winter.  There are at least FOUR Anacostia nesting platforms you might take note of.... two new ones upstream and downstream on the new 11St bridge abutments,  and the two you already know about on the upstream and downstream sides of the South Capital St bridge. Send a note to Mary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) if you observe the osprey during the week and/or talk it over with Mary on Sunday mornings. Right now is a key time as Ron and Rodney return to the Anacostia to reclaim their mates and nest locations.  Thanks!   .....mary 


arrow EarthDayACBA Bioswale Work Session: Sunday, April 27, 11-2pm

Bioswale Work Sessions happen on the 3rd Sunday of the month. Exception: 4th Sunday this month




LaunchDOT Coach's Practice Plan 

 Past Plans: [Spring/Summer/Fall 2011]    [Spring/Summer/Fall 2012]    [Spring/Summer/Fall 2013

"I can teach 90% of the rowing stroke in ten minutes. The other 10% will require you a lifetime of effort to learn." -- Coach Robert Valerian

 2014 Spring Seasonrowman 

March & April  WORKOUTS

 Sunday 3/30       Coaches Kelley & Gretchen         Season Kick off
   First, burrrrrrrrr. I can’t predict the future but I expect it will be cold Sunday morning to start the 2014 season of SAW. But, there’s nothing like 30 degree temps to wake you up at 7am.

    Second, one thing I want to make sure we nip in the bud this year is coming to practice 5 or 10 minutes late. Like my dad always says, if you’re not 5 minutes early, you’re already late. Try to be prompt so that way when we make practice line ups, we are set and coaches know what we’re dealing with.

     Third, if you haven’t watched the safety video yet, please do. It will start at 6:45 and run to about 7:15, just in time for the coaches to go over a few things and the practice for the day. For the people who don’t need to watch the video, bring down oars and start stretching.

When we are done stretching and with the video, we will do a brief overview of bringing the boats in and out of the racks/ off rollers, as well as using the lifts. If we are not careful when we do this, boats can not only get scratched, but dented or get a hole in it. This happened a couple times last year and put one boat out of commission for a while, so this is always good to review.

Once we get on the water, we won’t do anything crazy, just a few strokes by eight at a 30 to get loose and back into the swing of things. Kidding of course, though we will spend time getting comfortable in the boats again. We will spend most of the time rowing by four at full slide at an 18, rotating pairs every 15 strokes so people won’t be sitting out too long. Aside from the warm up, we’ll add in pick drill positions throughout the steady state at an 18.

Warm Up: Pick drill by four, starting with stern four, and rotating by pairs every 15 strokes. Only move onto the next position after we’ve rotated by pairs back to stern four. As a note to all coxswains, please start the warm up after the Pennsylvania bridge. Lets shove off the dock, pick it up by pairs, do a couple rotations through the bridge, and once on the other side, drop down to the pick drill (but don’t way enough to do so either). This will be for all SAW practices, and the reason is because I don’t want to have athletes warm up for 5 minutes while another group sits cold, and then have the warmed up four rotate out for 5 minutes and get cold, while the next four gets warm. Let’s keep the pairs rolling so no one sits too long.

The positions will be:

·         Arms only

·         Arms and body

·         ¼ slide

·         ½ slide

·         ¾ slide – this one I have not had us do regularly, but we will start including it. For those who race or will be with us during racing starts at practice, we do ¾ slide strokes, so moving forward, we will make sure to include them in our practices regularly. For those who are not too familiar with ¾, it’s about 1 or 2 rotations of the wheels from full slide – our heels are right on the verge of coming up off the foot stretchers and our shins are not quite perpendicular to the water yet.

·         Full slide. Full slide will be at an 18 on the square.

Steady State/ Drill: As noted above, we will spend most of the time getting comfortable in the boat, and actually repeating pick drill positions throughout the steady state. However, when we move onto doing it for the drill, we’ll only do one position at a time. This means 5-10 strokes normal at full slide, followed by 10 strokes at a given position, such as arms only, followed by 5-10 strokes back at full at 18 spm. Once back on full slide strokes, we’ll rotate pairs. What we’re looking for here is to emphasize separation right away on the recovery– making sure the arms lead, followed by the body and then the legs – on the drills, as well as proper body support. Then incorporate this into our regular strokes.


 Sunday 4/6          Coaches Bob & Kelley

 For today’s practice, we will focus on making the movement of our arms and bodies as streamlined as possible by incorporating a few different drills – with outside-arm-only rowing and a pause at the finish (yes, blade buried). As we move to outside-arm-only strokes, nothing changes from our warm-up. We still maintain the body support. The removal of the inside hand however, will force us to focus on the control of the outside arm over the oar. Any excessive movement with the outside arm, shoulder or body can cause the blade to either hit the water or sky before we catch – which can be the result of loss of body support or leaning away at the catch. To keep the recovery smooth, I want everyone to focus on keeping the outside shoulder up, and stretching for the inside knee as we move to the catch.


And to note, a control catch that isn’t deep, will provide us a better opportunity to finish in at the proper height with the handle (middle of the ribs, below the chest), and get a clean down and away release – and that’s down and away together, not down then away. If we dig too deep or miss these points, we’ll most likely be aggressive with our finishes – tightening shoulders, leaning away to get the blade out or pull into our hip, or all three. Yeeeesh. One way to help is make sure we keep the outside elbow up – away from the body. A diagram are just a few examples to highlight the positions we want our bodies to be in at the finish and the catch.


Warm up: Extended warm up with pick drill by 4, rotating pairs back to stern four before making a change in position. Once finished with the warm up and back to full slide, we will take it on outside arm only. Make sure during this we are light with our catches – not digging past white tape – and if needed, take a look out at the oar to make sure we are not.


Drill: By 4, rotating between 10 full slide strokes at an 18 and 10 pause strokes at the finish – literally – with the blade this buried. This means light pressure so we don’t get knocked over when we pause. What we are looking for is proper blade height into the body, wide outside elbow which helps give space for tapping out, and a down and away tap down after the row call. We will do this several times through.


Workout: Once we spin, we’ll take it on a steady state at 18 spm, adding in by 6 on the square. 80 percent pressure – so we will be getting the heart rate up a little bit, feeling some fatigue which will require us to stay focused on our body support at the catch, blade depth, and finish position. We will incorporate outside arm rowing on the steady state. If we are moving fairly well together, we may even consider bringing the rating up to a 20 and see if we can get a little more out of our legs without changing our body positioning.



Sunday 4/13          Coaches  Steve  &  Ginger

            In Week 3 we’ll add in the feather. When we add in the feather though, it will be gradual rather than just going right on the feather. This will help avoid unneeded break down of the outside arm, which can happen if we also breakdown the outside wrist to feather. And ideally, as we take the stroke on the feather, we’ll have minimal to no tap down as compared to the square.     In a way, the motion of the hands on the recovery on the square, as well on the feather, is in a similar shape of a shallow spoon. The hands come down and away while feathering, hitting the lowest point as we swing out the body, and we gradually start raising them into the front end. The gradual raise is to help ensure that we do not lower the hands into the catch, sky the blade, and miss the catch – meaning we drive before we have the blade fully anchored in. In addition, keeping the blade close to the water helps keep the boat stable and from rocking back and forth. Dips in hands can offset the balance of the boat and cause it to crash on a side into the catch.

Note: The tap down is a controlled down and away motion that happens all at once.  It’s a rounded out motion as opposed to a square that brings the handle into the lap, then away. No THEN, but AND. In the picture, follow the purple dashed line to the catch, and green line back to the finish.  Position 1 is high finish. 2 is the lowest point in the recovery and from there our hands rise back into the front end to position 3.

Note 2: It will also be important to make sure that when we feather, we do not change our handle heights. When we are two inches above the water on the square, when we feather we don’t change the hands and the blade is now 6 inches above the water. This is important because people like to use those extra inches to carry their hands higher on the recovery, but when they square the blade back up, the blade squares into the water. That’s not good.

Warm up: Pick drill by 4, followed by 10 outside arm only strokes, 10 normal and then rotate to emphasize light catches to help with light finishes.

Drill: Various pauses on the feather with a flat outside hand. We will start by fours and then move to sixes. Especially by six, we will need lots of control at our pause positions. If we don’t have the control, the boat will rock around, especially at the 3/4 pause on the square. We also need to make sure that before we feather, we tap the blade out first, so it comes out square and we don’t risk feathering under the water.

When we start the drills, we’ll start on the square until we do the first series of the pauses. From there, we’ll stay on the feather.

Rotations will be:

·     10 normal on the feather, 10 pauses at the tap down paused at the square, and on the row call feathering the blade.

·     10 normal on the feather, 10 pauses at 3/4 slide on the square, and on the row call, emphasize early roll up before we get to full slide.

Workout: 2 min on/ 1 min “off” by 6 at various ratings, with off strokes at 18 spm at 60% pressure – not paddle. The on strokes will be at full pressure, and the off strokes at 60% to help build endurance.

 motion of the hands

 Sunday 4/20        Coaches  Bob & Kelley    


 Sunday 4/27        Coaches  Bob, Gretchen  & Nhat      






 Sunday 5/4       Coaches Dorene & Silky



 Sunday 5/11          Coaches Steve & Rachel H


Sunday 5/18          Coaches  Bob  & Silky, Nhat


 Sunday 5/25        Coaches  Bob & Kelley    


 Saturday 5/31        Coaches  Bob & Gretchen      

Sunday 6/1 -  Stonewall Regatta at ACBA


2014 Summer Seasonrowman


 Sunday 6/8       Coaches Bob & Silky, Nhat
 Sunday 6/15          Coaches Bob  &  Silky

Sunday 6/22         Coaches  Bob  &   Dorene


 Sunday 6/29       Coaches   Bob &  Rachel H    




 Sunday 7/6       Coaches 


 Sunday 7/13          Coaches


Sunday 7/20          Coaches  


 Sunday 7/27        Coaches  




glossaryDOT  Rowing Terminology and Help     

Use your Back Button to come back to the SAW Team Page

ACBA Boathouse Tour Information  Boathouse, grounds, river and shoreline info


CRC Rowing Glossary

Types of rowing, rowing commands, technique-related terms


Peterborough City Rowing Club

Good introduction to crew layouts and boat terminology


Introduction to Rowing 

Terms for Outside the Boat, Inside the Boat, Oars, and the Rowing Stroke, introductory guides


New Coxswains Guide at

Coxswain commands for getting the boat out, moving the boat, steering the boat


Coxing Dictionary at

Coxswain commands and definitions


Satellite view of the Anacostia, end to end     Click the image to enlarge & view bridge names





SAW program in the News!

July 2012 -  article about the SAW program ran in The Gazette in Montgomery County,  as well as The Fairfax County Times in Virginia.



2012 SAW racing:

 Race Schedule:  GO SAW!!

June 3  Stonewall Regatta – DC Strokes, Anacostia river  [women's 8+ and men's 8+ ]

June 9  Charm City Sprints – Baltimore, MD   [women's 4+ ]

June 23 Rocketts Landing Masters Regatta – Richmond, VA  [ women's 4+ ]

July 7   Capital Sprints –  Capital Rowing Club, Anacostia river   [women's 8+ & 4+ and men's 8+ & 4+ ]

Sept 29  Head of the Anacostia - Capital Rowing Club, Anacostia river  [ women's 8+, men's 8+ ]

Sept 30  Scullers' Head of the Potomac - Potomac Boat Club, Potomac river [click: mixed 8+ ]

Oct 7  Occoquan Challenge - Occoquan Resevoir, Fairfax, VA  [ - ]

Oct 14  Occoquan Chase - George Mason Rowing Assoc, Occoquan Resevoir, Fairfax, VA  [ - ]

Nov 4  Head of the Occoquan -  OBC, Occoquan Resevoir, Fairfax, VA  [ M8+ ] 


arrow Pix from the Capital Sprints, July 13, 2013  

 67926 10152031617782646 1259475274 n Mixed8.2013  1003703 10152032285767646 744594278 n 1010076 10152031618247646 1032178875 n




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