Rowing in the Time of Covid

The best place to row a boat is on the water.

Considering the State Government Order, we have developed a plan that will allow CRRC Junior Athletes (rowers and coxwains) to row in single sculling boats as an optional activity for the duration of the Order now in place. This activity is optional and for the purposes of getting exercise, sunshine and fresh air.

Below you’ll find information about how we will carry out this activity while adhering to the rules contained within the State Order. Athletes who participate must have a successful swim test on file.


Any currently-enrolled CRRC Junior Athlete who has evidence of a successful swim test on file with Coach Cory.


Rowing in Single Sculling boats in groups of three or less during scheduled time slots, with Coach Cory accompanying athletes in a Safety Launch.


Coach Cory will group athletes by experience and will schedule each group of no more than three into 90-minute time slots. Athletes can expect to be on the water approximately every four days. We are targeting a start date of Wednesday, April 22. Weather conditions (air temperature, water temperature, wind, precipitation) may affect scheduled sessions.


Rowing will occur on Lake Monona and Monona Bay.


It means a lot to these Juniors to get off the ergs and onto the water, to improve spirits, to breathe fresh air and move across the water. This has been a trying time for all, and providing our kids with something positive they can look forward to and participate in will help them and everyone around them. Doing it safely and thoughtfully will be one more way this rowing club can positively impact the lives of kids and families in Madison.


CRRC has planned out a process, met with relevant club committee leaders, reviewed the plan with the Madison Police Department and the Dane County Sheriff’s Department to have a plan can be carried out to the benefit of our athletes.

The Process

Each currently enrolled CRRC athlete (with a successful swim test on file) who is interested in participating in this activity must have a parent contact Cory at to inform him of their desire to participate. Cory will create a schedule and group athletes together in groups of no more than three. The schedule will be communicated to all participants and their parents via
TeamApp and other means as necessary. Additionally…

  • Sessions will be 90 minutes long, with approximately 60 minutes of on-the-water time.
  • Athletes will arrive in separate vehicles (unless they share a home) and will arrive ready to row, at their assigned time, and not earlier.
  • Athletes and parents will not be permitted to enter the boathouse for any reason.
  • Athletes may not enter the boathouse for any reason including using the bathroom,  storing personal items or filling water bottles
  • Personal items can be left outside the boathouse or carried along with each athlete in their boat. Each athlete will have a boat and oars assigned to them by Cory for each session.
  • Boats and oars will have been washed to disinfect them prior to each use.
  • Each athlete will be asked to use club-provided hand sanitizer on their hands prior to handling boats.

At the Boathouse

  1. One at a time at the direction of Cory, each athlete will get their boat from its spot on the apron in front of the boathouse and will place it in the water off the dock.
  2. The athlete will get their oars, secure them into their boat, get into their boat and disembark to a holding spot away from the dock.
  3. Subsequent athletes will repeat this process until each athlete in the group is in their boat on the water.
  4. Boats will row at Cory’s direction for approximately one hour.
  5. After exercising on the water for about an hour, athletes will bring their boats back to the dock one at a time.
  6. Each athlete will get out of their boat, put oars in a designated area, then get their boat out and place it in the spot designated by Cory.
  7. Once all boats and oars are out, each athlete will be provided a bucket filled with soapy water and a sponge.
  8. At Cory’s direction each athlete will wash their boat with soapy water.
  9. Athletes will be asked to depart as soon as they’re done with their cleaning tasks.
  10. This group of rowers will depart 30 minutes prior to the next group’s arrival to avoid personal interactions.
  11. Oars will be placed in another location where Cory will clean them with a bleach solution. Oars will sit for several hours before being used again. We have several sets of oars that allows us to use time, along with bleach, to our advantage to kill any germs.

Those athletes without experience in singles, at Cory’s discretion, will have their boats rigged with pontoons that will prevent the boat from flipping. Athletes are also offered self-inflating PFDs to be worn.

Health-Minded Considerations

  • To ensure we’re all following the guidelines communicated in the State Order, the following behavior must be adhered to while participating in this activity.
  • Participants must stay at least six feet apart from each other at all times
  • Cory will be the only person to enter any part of the boathouse
  • Anything brought to an on-the-water rowing session by an athlete will remain the responsibility of the athlete (or their parent). These items will not be stored within the boathouse during the session and Cory will not handle your items. If you have a phone, leave it in your vehicle. If you bring keys, put them into a plastic ziploc bag and store them in the waterproof compartment in your boat.
  • As much as possible, athlete groupings will remain consistent

Do Not Come to Row If You or a Member of your Household Has:

Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Chills/Repeated Shaking with Chills, Muscle Pain, Headache, Sore Throat, New loss of Taste or Smell

Persons who have the above symptoms or who live with a person exhibiting these symptoms may begin participating under the following conditions:
At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Do On-The-Water Exercise Sessions Affect Current Workouts?

No. The ongoing workouts and virtual meetings with Cory and your team will continue. On-The-Water sessions are an additional opportunity to exercise outside, to enjoy the lake, the sunshine, and the fresh air!

Next Steps

Each parent who would like their athlete to participate, please send an email to Coach Cory at by Tuesday, April 21 at noon. Cory will schedule all athletes for whom he has received an email into an On-The-Water session.

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