Welcome to the Isle of Ely Rowing Club!

We were set up in 2004 with the intention of being a Community club – but what does that mean? 
  • It means that we are not an exclusive bunch of super fit, competitive demi-gods.
  • It does mean that we wish to make available the joys and benefits of rowing to all within the community who wish to become involved, regardless of age, disability or (lack of) experience; and to put back something into the community through our activities where we can.
Community club images

We obviously welcome, and indeed encourage experienced and competitive rowers. As well as enabling them to enjoy their sport, we draw from such people the coaching and support for those new to rowing and for all our other activities. 

But for anyone not yet involved, rowing may seem a bit remote and a bit mysterious. So, to set the scene:

Boats

The main role of the club is to provide boats and facilities for rowing. We have a wide range of boats; from small ones for one person (“single sculls”), up though boats designed for 2, 4 or 8 rowers.

Single

Single

Double

Double

Four 

Four

Eight 

Eight
Cox

Cox

Rowers in small boats (singles and doubles) can generally manage themselves; but 8 people in a boat would become chaotic if there wasn’t someone to manage them and make sure they are all doing the same thing at the same time!

So, an 8 always has a cox as “foreman / woman”. 4’s may or may not have a cox, depending on the experience of the crew. Singles and doubles are always “coxless”. 

Rowing style

Boats can be rowed in different styles. Just as swimming has breast stroke, backstroke etc; so rowing also has two distinct styles:

Sculling - where each rower has 2 oars – one in each hand,

and Sweep rowing, where each rower has just one oar (with alternate rowers pulling on opposite sides of the boat)   

Singles are always “sculling boats”; “8’s” are generally “sweep boats”. Doubles and “4’s” can be used for either style. 

Sculling
Sweep rowing
Types of boats

Types of boat

Finally, we have two different types of boats – we have racing boats (referred to as “fine” boats) in all sizes; and we have “recreational” boats in singles, doubles and 4’s. These are wider and more stable, and used for beginners and, as the name implies – for recreational rowing.