Capital Rowing Club

Welcome to Capital Rowing Club!


We’re happy you decided to row with us, and we believe you will be too. Your decision to join our team and learn to row will have a positive impact on you for the rest of your life.

We are located in the Anacostia Community Boathouse at 1900 M Street, SE, Washington, DC, between the 11th St. Bridge and the Washington Navy Yard.

How To Get to the Boathouse

We are located in the Anacostia Community Boathouse. 100522-7271-edit-2


From VA: Take I-395 North across the 14th Street Bridge. Proceed past the Maine Avenue exit. Get into the LEFT lane and head towards I-295. Proceed past the South Capitol Street exit.  Take the next exit for 6th Street SE/Navy Yard. At the bottom of the ramp, go through the two lights. At the next light, make a RIGHT onto 8th Street SE. Proceed to M Street SE and take a LEFT. Go straight through the traffic lights, and continue on M St for about a mile. The boathouse is the compound with the black fence just after the construction site.  The gate is located before the boathouse itself.


From MD: Take I-295 South. Pass exits East Capital Street & Pennsylvania Avenue. Take the exit for Suitland Parkway. DO NOT GET OFF THE RAMP.  Follow the ramp around a full 360 degrees and re-enter I-295 North. Take the first exit for Washington Navy Yard & I-395.Go over the bridge and get into the right middle lane. Merge right following signs for the Washington Navy Yard, immediately after crossing the bridge.  Take the fork in the road to the right. When you get to the stop sign where the road ends, take a right onto M St.  Follow M St until you get to the boathouse on the right.  The road narrows and runs along the railroad tracks. Keep going past the Washington Yacht Club on the right. Please be careful.  The bike trail merges with the road, so you may need to make way for runners and bikers.   After you pass under the Pennsylvania Ave Bridge, you will pass a construction site.  The boathouse is the compound with the black fence just after the construction site.  The gate is located before the boathouse itself.

MetroThe nearest Metro is the Potomac Avenue Station (Blue/Orange line), a 15 minute walk. Exit the metro and turn left, walk down Potomac avenue 2 blocks, take a RIGHT on Kentucky for one block to it's end, then take a left and walk down the hill and across the crosswalk on to the Anacostia River Trail. This is a bike path that goes over the train tracks and to the water, and you'll see the boathouse on the water as your walking over the tracks. This is a good way to bike too!

What to wear...

Basic workout clothes are all you need – a pair of shorts (or fitted and comfortable pants), a teeshirt and sneakers work fine. Do not wear baggy and/or long shorts or long, loose shirts; they might get caught in the sliding seat while you row.


WEAR OR BRING SOCKS. You’ll want them when we get in the boats. The boats have their own shoes, so you don’t need any special footwear, but we’ll be warming up with running and calisthenics, so running shoes are a good idea.


We highly recommend a hat or visor, and sunglasses to keep the sun and glare from the water out of your eyes. The first class will be entirely on land, but after that you’ll be on the water for the better part of your class.


And, finally, it’s best to leave jewelry at home. You’ll find that anything dangly will just get in your way, and rings may give you blisters when you row.


What to bring...


Bring a water bottle, you can fill and/or refill it on site. There is room in the boat, under your legs to store water, so bring two if you get very thirsty. You will be on the water for over two hours and you will need to stay hydrated.


Sunscreen! You’ll need it, even in the spring. It’s very easy to get sunburned on the water.


That’s all you need! It’s a good idea to leave everything else at home, or in your car. The less you bring, the less you’ll need to worry about.


What to expect...


We’ll meet in front of the boathouse the first day at 9 am, so look for a crowd of people. You’ll meet your coach, the volunteer assistants, and all your novice teammates.


The first class will be on land. We’ll get you familiar with the boats, and how to handle them and carry them. We’ll also get you familiar with the rowing machine, (also known as ergometer, or, the “erg”). We’ll teach you the basics of body position on the ergs before we get on the water.


Please do not get on a rowing machine before you come down for your first coaching session. It is very easy to row incorrectly and cause an injury, especially in your back. Wait for an expert to give instructions on the proper technique.


The second class, we’ll get you out on the water in barges (large and stable) or in 8 person shells, coxed by an experienced rower. And after that, you’ll be on the water every class for most of the class. Don’t expect to get a strenuous workout during this period. You’ll be working on technique and body position and, most important of all, rowing together.


Although you won’t be working out hard, you will be working muscles in ways that are new to you, even if you work out all the time. So expect some sore muscles, especially in the beginning. Stretching is important, and we’ll devote some time to that at the beginning and the end of each class.


Also, rowing is rough on your hands in the beginning. You can expect to get blisters at first. Your hands will eventually toughen. After the first day of rowing, you may want to put tape on the spots that are particularly sore. Your coach will go over this at the time, and we have tape at the boathouse, so don’t worry about bringing that.


If you would like to do some reading about our sport, consult our website,, or other websites such as Also, there's always youtube. Here are a few videos:


Tips from Team USA Olympic Rowers

Some basic videos on how to row/erg featured here, here, here, and here

And, if that doesn't do it ... watch team USA take gold in London, summer 2012


We are also available to answer any questions by email:

Rachel Humphreys, Novice Coordinator:

Abigail Potter, VP Membership: .


Most of all, be prepared to have fun! We’re happy to have you with us, and we hope you are excited to be a part of our club and the rowing community.


Welcome to Capital!


Learn to Row

Novice Sweep rowing lessons are available all season.


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