How much time is involved?
How long does it take to learn to row?
If you watch top class rowers, it all looks very simple. Indeed, every stroke is (or should be) the same, so how hard can it be to get that right? The answer unfortunately is quite a long time (though junior rowers do tend to learn rather quicker than adults). The result is that most new rowers will need to train for about 9 months before it is worthwhile entering a competition. Even then, they will usually still have a rowing technique that is far from perfect.
How much training is involved?
Having fun and keeping fit rowing requires as much – or as little - time as you want. On the other hand, if you are interested in racing then to be competitive at the smaller local regattas it is usually enough to train 3 or 4 times a week, but to go beyond that requires significantly more. In a way, rowing is a bit like swimming in that being competitive at county or national level requires a very dedicated commitment to training. Older juniors at this level will be training 6 days a week, including some double sessions at the weekend.
Tense moments at the start of a national level competition. 15 year old single scullers line up for the final of the Junior Inter Regional Regatta on rough water at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham.