Baltimore Rowing offers three levels of bow certification for those who wish to use club equipment for un-coached sessions or at regattas. Applicants must be a member in good standing, 18 years of age or over.
Provisional certification allows rowers to use club singles without coached supervision, during daylight hours only, while staying within the pattern known as “beach to double-channel marker” (ferry bar), or alternate patterns as wind conditions dictate (see #4 below).
In order to become provisionally certified, applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the following areas:
1. Know and understand the 'Four Oars' Rule.
2. Know where to find current water and air temperature.
3. Know what the basic rigging adjustments do including foot stretcher, track, rigger, and oar adjustments.
4. Know the traffic patterns and marks including:
- Beach to Barge
- Glass Beach pattern
- North Shore pattern
5. Know the points of safe harbor for the above patterns.
Applicants will be required to demonstrate on-the-water mastery of basic rowing skills by completing the following under coached supervision:
6. Row a single through all of the above traffic patterns.
7. Dock a single:
- In calm water
- In strong winds (12 mph+)
8. Demonstrate basic oarsmanship:
- perform an emergency stop: bringing the boat to a stop from speed
- do a riverturn (turn in place)
9. Move a single from the boathouse to the water, and back to the boathouse without assistance
All applicants must also complete a timed “flip test” under coach’s supervision.
A provisionally certified member, may, after logging 50 miles (80 km) of water time in a single, ask to be “Basin Certified”, which will allow for rowing in darkness, and also to row the pattern known as “Beach to Barge”.
A third level of certification, called “Harbor Certification” may be granted to basin certified applicants who wish to row club boats to Fort McHenry and the Inner Harbor. Applicants must demonstrate a familiarity with the obstacles that pose a danger to rowers in those waters by doing the following:
1. Row to and from the six mile per hour marker at Fort McHenry during a supervised practice, following the proper traffic pattern, and demonstrating an awareness of the dangers posed by the increased commercial boat traffic in this area, as well as the increased risk of collision with the many buoys, day markers, and even barges found within this pattern.
2. Know the points of safe harbor for this pattern, as well as for the route to and from the Inner Harbor
Bowing Doubles and Quads
Basin Certified and Harbor Certified rowers who wish to use club doubles and quads will be required to demonstrate a working knowledge of the commands needed to bow a double or quad, with an emphasis on the additional responsibility for the safety of all crew members that comes with bowing larger boats.
Applying for Certification
Certification is granted by the Certification Committee, a three member board made up of one member not enrolled in a coached program, one member enrolled in a coached program, and a member of the coaching staff. Together these three individuals are responsible for reviewing applications and also for hearing reports of safety violations or mistreatment of equipment or negligence.
Applicants may be certified on each of the above requirements by any of the senior Coaching Staff, or by members of the Certification Committee. This can be done through an online google doc system, or by way of the bow certification book, with signatures and dates. This logbook is to be kept in the boathouse, stored near the logbook station. Once each of the requirements has been met, the Certification Committee will approve or deny any application within ten days. Newly certified rowers will be provided with a list of club shells that may then be rowed based on experience, weight, and other factors.
For more information on the bow certification process, please contact the Certification Committee at:
*Baltimore Rowing does not afford Bow-Certification privileges to rowers under 18 years of age. Junior rowers may, however, with coaches approval, use club singles at regattas.