What do rowers wear for practice? Generally athletic clothes for practices. Baggy or too loose fitting clothes are discouraged due to the fact they can get caught in boat seats or rigging. Tanks and bike or compression shorts must be worn at regattas. This will be further discussed at practice and the parent meeting.

Do I need a uniform to participate?  Yes. You need to purchase a team tank and black compression or bike shorts.

Do I need a medical exam? No. However, we will have you fill out a form listing any medical needs along with contact information. Also, new rowers will need to complete a swim test. We are not looking for expert swimmers only a demonstration you can tread water for a few minutes.

Should I be worried about the boat tipping? No. We have only tipped one boat in three seasons and that was at the dock in a very unusual situation. We also have safety motor boats following rowers closely at all times.

What do my dues go toward? We receive no funding from Spring Lake Public Schools or Grand Haven Public Schools. We need to charge dues to cover our costs, including coaches, insurance, repairs and maintenance of our boats, the cost to rent space, etc. The fees do not cover the cost of purchasing equipment. If you compare our fees to other schools in the State, our dues are very low.

Can students from other schools participate? Yes, we are a co-op team between Grand Haven and Spring Lake. We also have a student from Mona Shores and Holland. Usually we have a mix of students from various schools in a boat. The State Championship requires all athletes to be from one school, but we did secure an exemption last year for both Grand Haven and Spring Lake to row together. It is possible, however, for students from other schools to row in their own boat at that event.

How do you pay for equipment? We have been very thrifty and have raised over $60,000 in the past three years from donations.

What equipment do you own? We started with one boat lent from GVSU and now own five 8s, five 4s, a 35-foot trailer, and three launches. We are always looking to add more equipment, including some smaller boats. We also own 11 indoor rowing machines or ERGS.

Can I make a donations to Spring Lake Crew Club? Yes, we are organized as a non-profit corporation and a IRS 501(c)3 organizations. Donations are tax deductible.

Can an athlete row in college?  Absolutely.  Many members of GVSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin and other Big Ten schools never rowed before college. Rowing in high school gives students an excellent opportunity to participate in a Division 1 sport.

Are college scholarships available?  Yes.  This is especially true for women.  Due to Title IX, colleges need to provide equal opportunities for men and women.  Since football produces so many male scholarships, colleges are looking for sports to provide women athletic scholarships and woman’s rowing is benefiting from that.

Can I get involved? YES! We can always use help, especially organizing food for regattas, taking pictures, and sometimes transporting boats for repair or to/from regattas.

Who runs the Crew Club?  We have a board comprised of 6 people, Paul Winter (President), Amanda Rantanen (Secretary), Lesley Reed (Treasurer); Blake Phillips, Alan Betts (Grand Haven Representative) and Lesley VanLeeuwen-Vega. Our Head Coach is Jeff Pipp who rowed four years at MSU. Blake Phillips rowed at the US Naval Academy and Amanda rowed at GVSU. Paul and Jeff are in the process of becoming  Level II Certified Coaches.

How do I learn more about rowing?  Check out these websites: www.row2k.com  and http://www.usrowing.org/  We highly recommend reading the book the Boys in the Boat. You can also watch the movie on PBS http://www.pbs.org/video/2365812690/