Adult Rowing

At Northampton Community Rowing we are committed to bringing the sport of rowing to everyone who wants to learn, train and compete. Regardless of age, ability or experience you will find a program suited to your interest at NCR.  Whether you have rowing experience or have always wanted to learn to row, Northampton Community Rowing has a program for you!

So where do you start? With one of our Learn to Row days of course. We have 3 Learn to Row days this spring and summer. They are opportunities for anyone to come out to the boathouse, get a tour, learn some rowing specific vocabulary, see a rowing shell up close, be taught the basics of the rowing stroke, and then put an oar in your hand and try some strokes on the water. If you like it you can sign up for one of our adult learn to row sessions. 

Women's and Men's Programs: How it works
Programs for Learn to Row sessions and Novice sessions are not divided by gender. At this level men and women and those who choose not to identify, all row together. As rowers move into the intermediate level there can be some separation depending on the program and on the number of rowers participating.

The programs that are not coed are the women's morning intermediate and advanced groups and the men's morning intermediate and advanced groups. The evening programs are coed but depending on the number of rowers there can be boats comprised of all men or all women.



adult novice rowing

coed Program

Morning and Evening slots are available for all sessions

Morning Program Coed

Evening program coed

Fall Session
Sept 4 - nov 2

adult novice rowing

The novice rowing program is for rowers who have completed the 5 week learn to row session and now want to continue their journey to becoming an experienced rower.  Individuals will generally tend to stay at this level for a minimum of 6-9 months. The focus during that time is on technical proficiency and increasing levels of fitness on the water. You can choose to compete or not compete at this level. Progression to the Intermediate level of rowing is achieved in consultation with the novice and intermediate coaching staff. Novices who race are considered novices for a two year period by USRowing. This is not a NCR designation and does not preclude the novice rower from progressing to the intermediate level with less than two years of rowing experience.  (Classes may be cancelled if under enrolled) 

adult intermediate rowing

Morning and Evening slots are available for all sessions

Morning Program

Evening program


Fall Session
Sept 4-Nov 2

Adult Advanced competitive Rowing

morning Sessions only


Fall Session
Sept 5 - Nov 2

Adult Intermediate rowing

Intermediate rowers continue the progression of becoming more proficient in the rowing stroke, learning more about working as a team, expanding their experience in smaller boats including sculling, and experience racing.

Guidelines for readiness to progress to the advanced level include a minimum of one year of rowing experience with NCR or another club, and or one year of racing experience. This program is for rowers moving up from the novice level, experienced rowers from another club, or those returning to rowing after a hiatus who wish to refresh their technical rowing skills and/or fitness level. Emphasis will be on improving rowing technique, developing fitness, and acquiring confident racing skills. Racing experience is required for any rower who wishes to move on to the Advanced/Competitive Team. Participants are expected to attend scheduled practices a minimum of two days per week. Ergometer testing and land training are required. A trial period and acceptance by the coach is required. (Classes may be cancelled if under enrolled)

Sunrise on the Connecticut. Photo courtesy of Gloria DiFulvio.

Sunrise on the Connecticut. Photo courtesy of Gloria DiFulvio.

Adult Advanced and Competitive Rowing

There are several differences between participating as an advanced rower and as a competitive rower. Competitive rowers compete in regattas. Rowers who identify themselves as a competitive rower must meet the following requirements for participation at this level:

  • A minimum of two years rowing experience through NCR or another club, and/or three years of racing.

  • Competitive rowers are expected to compete in both Fall and Spring/Summer regattas.

  • Technical ability, fitness level, and mental readiness to race must be high.

  • Rowers must demonstrate a commitment to racing. Sign ups for racing are to be honored by the rower unless extenuating circumstances present themselves before the race. If a rower does not honor their commitment to that request to race the may be suspended from racing in any future regattas.

  • A positive competitive attitude and flexibility in terms of boatings, coxing, and land work is expected from all competitive rowers.

  • The coach’s selections for racing will be based on technique, strength, fitness, erg tests, competitive commitment and a cooperative team spirit.

  • Ergometer tests, additional workouts, and land training, are required. Competitive rowers are expected to attend scheduled practices a minimum of two days per week. A trial period and acceptance by the coach is required when moving from the intermediate level to the Adv/Comp level.

Advanced rowers show demonstrated ability in technique and an advanced fitness level in order to participate at this level. While Advanced rowers are not considered competitive rowers they may sometimes be asked to fill a seat during practice in a competitive boat and/or to possibly race for the same reason. 


Banner photo by Linda Hannum. Gallery photos by Linda Hannum and Sarah Crosby