Frequently Asked Questions

/Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a list of questions that prospective and existing member of ERC frequently ask! Please let us know if our website does not answer your query and we can answer it here…

Yes, a swim test for all active rowers is integral part of our health and safety risk assessments. We hold annual swim tests each year for any new members to complete. This comprises of a 50m swim, 5m of which should be under water. This is undertaken at a local swimming pool wearing typical rowing kit. Until the test is taken, members self certify that they can swim this distance and are encouraged to wear a life jacket. Junior members wear a life jacket at all times, even after completing the swim test. Members who have returned to rowing after a physical injury or time away which may have involved a change in physical ability and circumstances are asked to re-take the swim test.

Of course – we hold a three free rows trial policy. After this time we ask members to join and pay membership fees.

Membership fees are paid annually on April 1st each year. They are reviewed and agreed for the following year by the Treasurer in consultation with the ERC membership at the Annual General Meeting in December. They are outlined on the membership form in the ‘Join us’ section. Fees are paid pro-rota according to which month in the year new members join.

For prospective new members who have no prior rowing experience, the first step is to teach basic technique on an indoor rowing machine. This establishes posture and body position and movement throughout the stroke. After this, prospective members will be taken out in a boat for a short row in one of our stable quad boats to apply the rowing technique using two oars (sculling). This repeats as per our three free row policy.

After members have joined ERC, they become classified as a ‘Red’ member. This indicates they are a beginner and still learning to row. The rower will be taken for increasingly longer rows in a range of sea and weather conditions to build their experience.

Once the member has learned and can apply all the basic techniques in a range of conditions, and row a distance of 8Km, they can become classified as ‘Amber’ rowers. ‘Green’ rowers are those who can demonstrate ‘Amber’ rower abilities and who have also successfully completed out coxing program and can safely cox a boat in a range of conditions.

Currently Jo Cullis is our Kit Officer. She will be able to give you advice and information about purchasing ERC kit. You can contact her through the ‘Contact us’ section of the website.

At ERC we are a very social group! We enjoy a range of social activities throughout the year on and off the water. We hold a number of social rows to different locations (Turf locks, Topsham, Sidmouth, Teignmouth, Coome Cellars) as well as our annual Christmas dinner, and social elements linked to rowing events we organise and attend elsewhere. Our Social Secretary is Alison Kelland, she can be contacted via the ‘Contact us’ section of the website.

It is not necessary to have rowed before joining ERC as we have qualified coaches and experienced members who are available to support new members in learning to row. If you are willing to have a go and keep at it, we are certain you will find rowing a very rewarding sport.

As per British Rowing guidelines, we cannot take junior members under 13 years old as we need to ensure a base level of physical strength and stature to row in our boats. We have no upper age limit to our membership as long as our members remain able to participate safely. We are an inclusive community club so we welcome everyone to come and join us!

Rowing requires a basic level of fitness and flexibility, which inevitably develops as your technique evolves. However, your abilities will vary depending on your rowing aspirations. Our membership all access rowing in differing ways; some members enjoy recreational coastal rowing and others actively compete in indoor rowing, fine boat and coastal competitions regularly. Come along and have a go, you will soon see that  people of all fitness abilities and body types can enjoy all that rowing has to offer.

If being physical in a boat or on an indoor rower doesn’t suit you, we also warmly welcome volunteer members!