Crew is more than just a sport; it's a culture. As the oldest collegiate sport in the United States and one of the oldest sports in the world, it has developed a prestigous reputation and is filled with tradition. Students at Samford are able to participate in this historic sport and experience the passion that drives boats down rivers worldwide.
While boats often appear calm and stable to the onlooker, it is likely that rowers are overcoming intense mental and physical challenges to move through the water. Henry Brooks, a rower for Harvard in the early 1900s, described rowing saying, "For it is a sport that absorbs all the gray matter you have to put into it, and at the same time it can take care of any amount of physical strength. If you happen to have any special gift for mechanics or are clever with your hands, or have a knack of handling yourself well, or are gifted with more than your share of grace of body, the rowing bag will take them all in, swallow them whole, and will still be shouting for more."
During the fall semester of 2010, a freshman from Appling, GA, began crew practice at Samford. Since then, numerous students have tried it out...and the number of those who have what it takes is growing. Why don't you join us?
Samford Crew is here. Let the tradition begin. . .
Samford Crew's founding oarsmen knew that in order to build a sustainable club a strong leadership structure is needed. In the early days of our club, under the leadership of Drew Fahrion, Kley Sippel drafted Constitution that provides a foundational cornerstone for Samford Crew. Today, Samford Crew is governed by the Constitution and is led by a group of nine students that comprise Samford Crew Leadership. Leadership elections amongst the team members are held every spring. A list of Leadership positions and our current elected leaders can be found on the "team" tab of our website.
Rowing, commonly called crew, involves teams racing against each other on rivers or lakes, or sometimes the ocean. The sport can be recreational or competitive, and it is one of the oldest modern-day Olympic sports. Competitive rowing began at European schools such as Oxford and Cambridge, and is now popular at many colleges and high schools.
Crew involves boats holding one, two, four, or eight rowers. The rowers sit directly behind one another on sliding seats with their backs facing the direction the boat moves. In sweep rowing (most four and eight boats), each rower has one oar. Alternatively, sculling (singles, most pairs and sometimes fours) is when each rower holds two oars. The stroke technique varies significantly between sculling and sweeping. To date, Samford Crew has only practiced and raced with sweep rowing.
Often the boat has a coxswain (cox), a person who is usually smaller in stature relative to the other rowers and is the absolute authority in the boat. His or her job is to steer the boat with commands and the rudder, as well as shout calls to speed up or ensure synchronicity in strokes. For Samford Crew, the coxswain is particularly important because we often do not have coaches at our practices.
Each stroke involves full body motion for the rower. Rowing is a sport full of history and prestige, but it is also extremely physically demanding. It is one of the few non-weight bearing sports that exercises all major muscles: quads, biceps, triceps, lats, glutes, and abs. It develops both cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength. Though demanding, there is also a low risk of injury. Rowing is surely a challenge for all who attempt. (Partial information from Wikipedia.)
100BC: Virgil mentions competitive rowing as a funeral game
1715AD: The oldest surviving race, Doggett's Coat and Badge, is first contested in London
1815: First recorded races at Oxford
1818: The world's oldest rowing club, The Leander Club, is founded in England
1829: 'The Boat Race' between Oxford and Cambridge, one of the most iconic regattas, is first contested
1843: Yale forms the first US collegiate rowing club
1852: The Harvard-Yale regatta, iconic to US crew, is first contested
1861: First collegiate football match
1875: Wellesley College establishes the first women's rowing program
1876: New York Athletic Club holds first national track meet
1909: Samford forms a mens' crew, rowing for just one season
1920: The Naval Academy crew wins the 8+ Olympic gold, starting a 28 year winning streak for US teams
1980: The first Women's National Collegiate Rowing Championship is held
2010: Samford Crew is established
| Fall In the fall, most schools focus on building technique, physical strength and endurance. Races are between three and six kilometers and take crews anywhere from 15-30 minutes. These longer races are part of the foundation for the spring season as workouts build the rower's endurance and mental toughness. Boats are staggered at the start line and the winner is decided by the fastest time. Boats can pass each other, which can make for an exciting race. The largest fall regatta in the United States is the Head of the Charles Regatta held in Boston, Massachusetts.
| Winter This is an intense building period for the spring racing season. The training regiment consists primarily of long interval training, which gradually becomes shorter and more intense as the race season approaches. This is done on the water for schools below the snow line and on ergometers, or rowing machines, for schools who cannot utilize their water space in the ice and cold.
| Spring Spring is the primary season for college rowing. These 2,000 meter races take crews anywhere from 6-10 minutes. Samford Crew competes in a couple of large races like SIRA, a race put on in Oakridge, Tennessee by the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association. In regattas like these, the teams compete in either flights, in which the winner is final, or a series of heats and semifinals before the winners move on to the finals. Sprint races begin with all teams lined up very close together.
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