Rowing is a sport that requires strength and intelligence. Women’s Rowing found its way onto campus in 2003 and has been flourishing ever since.
The group competes with two different teams in tournaments. The first team is called the novice rowers, which are generally made up of first-year rowers. The second group is known as the varsity group, which consists of more experienced rowers. During competition, the two groups compete against different opponents.
The Rowing Club consists of both men and women teams. They often compete at the same tournaments and even practice together most days.
The women's novice team competed in Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship (WIRA) last year. WIRA takes place every year at Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova, California. This event is filled with many competitive clubs from California and beyond.
The Sonoma team is actually a club sport, but they do compete against a variety of NCAA teams. The novice team competed well last year and brought home the silver during the competition. This was the novice teams biggest accomplishment of last year.
On the other hand, the women's varsity team competed in the American Collegiate Rowing Association (ACRA) National Championships in Georgia this past May. The varsity squad ended up placing sixth overall which rapped up a great year of competition.
Second-year Rower Faye O’Meara, a member of the women's novice team last year, plans to compete for the varsity squad this year.
When asked about the important skills that makes a great rower, O’Meara replied saying, “I would say the basic skill is determination because you have to be able to perform for a long time.”
A great amount of stamina is required to be a competitive rower. When rowing, you tend to push off with your legs while dragging the blade through the water.
A boat often consists of eight teammates and a coxswain. The coxsain’s job is to make sure the boat is steered correctly and helps make sure everything is under control.
The Seawolves fall season is a season spent improving in preparation for the spring competitions.
The two seasons consist of different length races. The fall competitions take place with longer races, five kilometers. These races are important because they help build up a teams stamina while embarking on the long race.
The spring season is different. The spring season for the Seawolfs is seen as more competitive than the fall competitions because of the nature of the spring races. These races are only two kilometers, meaning that each team has to race to the finish line much faster than the fall competitions.
The team practices from 5-7 a.m. six days a week. For most, this seems like a very crazy time to be working out but the team has embraced this schedule through hard work.
The men and womens team practices together in Petaluma. The practices consist of many skill building exercises, “We usually have three days on water, one day on the rowing machine...then we have workout days where we do weights and running.” O’Meara said.
The first competition of the year will take place this October.
With the season right around the corner, the team has there sights set on one goal, ”Being able to have a nicely flowing boat that is fast,” O’Meara said.
This goal is definitely in range. The two teams that competed last year won some races but still have high hopes of more success this year.
The women's club plan on achieving this by, “Getting very good technique and becoming strong,” O’Meara explained.
For fans or interested players, visit ssurowing.org for more information on the upcoming seasons.