Community Challenge Program

Do you know a group of people who would like to row and have some fun while doing it? Our Community Challenge program provides you with 7 weeks of training how to row and to race. At the beginning of June, the program finishes up with a one-day fun regatta where you race the other participants in the program.

If you have never rowed before, we will teach you to row. If you already row, we will help you develop your skills. We will also teach you the rudiments of sprint racing. You will get to see how fun racing can be.

This is the perfect program for a group of friends or a group of co-workers who would like to do something together. You don't have a group? Don't feel left out. Let us know you are interested and we will see if we can put a team together.


Form a team of 4 to 5 people. Typically only 4 people row at a time, but we have found that it is good to have a spare person in case someone can't make a practice and to provide a substitute on race day. If the 5th person can make a practice, we will probably be able to get them out on the water.

If you don't have a team, let us know and we will see if one can be formed from other individuals like yourself.

Rowers have to carry their share of a rowing shell. This can involve lifting a weight of up to 50 lbs.


The program is conducted over 7 weeks with 2 evening practices each week. The team will choose one of the practice times below:

  • Monday & Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:00 PM
  • Monday & Wednesday from 7:00 to 8:30 PM
  • Tuesday & Thursday from 6:15 to 7:45 PM
  • Custom times may be possible upon request
  • It is your responsibility to attend the scheduled sessions. If you choose not to attend a session, we are not obligated to reschedule the session. If the session is cancelled due to weather or by the rowing club, we will do our best to reschedule.

    Sessions are not normally scheduled on a statutory holiday. If a session does fall on a holiday, it will be rescheduled to another time.


The Community Challenge program costs $1,675 per team. You decide for yourself how the fee is split between team members. The price includes taxes and Rowing Canada fees.

You can pay the club directly in advance or at the first session. We accept payment via credit card, debit card, cheque or cash.

Alternatively you can pay by credit card when you register on the Rowing Canada membership web site.


Before you register for Community Challenge, send an email to or call 604-929-4510 to confirm availability and to get any questions answered.

Registration is a two step process: filling out the forms in the registration package and registering with Rowing Canada.

Please fill out the forms and bring them to your first session.

It is imperative that you register with Rowing Canada on their membership web site. Rowing Canada provides insurance and support services to rowers and clubs. Most important from your perspective is the insurance coverage. Unless you register with Rowing Canada, you are not covered by insurance. The cost of the Rowing Canada membership is included in your program fee, so there is no extra cost to register. You only have to register once as a Rowing Canada member, but you have to register each and every program you participate in and this must be done each year.

You can access the registration forms and the Rowing Canada membership web site using the two buttons at the bottom of this program information list.

Refund Policy

If you withdraw from the program (in writing) before it begins or within the first week of the season, you may receive a refund, minus a $60 processing fee. In lieu of a refund, you may defer your fees to another program which takes place within a year.

If you withdraw after the first week and before the fourth week of the session, you will receive 75% of your fees, minus a $60 processing fee. In lieu of a refund, you may defer the remainder of your fees to another program which takes place within a year.

If you withdraw after the fourth week and during the sixth week of the session, you will receive 50% of your fees less a $60 processing fee. In lieu of a refund, you may defer the remainder of your fees to another program which takes place within a year.

After the sixth week of the session, no refunds will be granted regardless of the reason. Exceptions may be made due to injury. Apply to the Board of Directors for consideration of a refund on a case by case basis. A doctor's certification is required.


Each team is provided with a dedicated coach for the 7 weeks and the regatta. The coach will teach the new rowers how to row. The coach will work on improving the skills of existing rowers. The coach will teach all of the rowers how to sprint race.


Each team is assigned a quad (4 person) rowing shell and a set of oars. The team will use this equipment during practices. On race day, you may end up in any of the quads depending on the race lineup and results.

What You Will Learn

During the program, you will learn the following:

  • rowing & racing terminology
  • parts of the rowing shell
  • setting up the rowing shell
  • launching the shell
  • landing the shell
  • the 4 parts (catch, drive, finish, recovery) of the stroke
  • how to hold and position the oar for each part of the stroke
  • position and movement of the body and arms during each part of the stroke
  • coordination of timing with other rowers
  • control of shell balance
  • steering, turning and stopping
  • conduct of a sprint race
  • the race course
  • interaction with umpires
  • race tactics
  • the unique strokes used during a race start
  • safety

The regatta will be held on a Saturday morning at the end of the 7 weeks. Umpires from Rowing Canada will officiate. Each race involves 2 shells racing head to head with the winner being the first to cross the finish line. Races are 500 meters in length and typically take a little over 2 minutes to complete.

The winner of each race advances in the regular elimination hierarchy. The loser of each team's first race goes into the repechage elimination hierarchy where the winner of each race advances. The final race of the day is between the one team remaining from the regular elimination hierarchy and the one team remaining from the repechage elimination hierarchy. Each team is guaranteed a minimum of 2 races.


We launch shells from a gravel beach. You will have to wade into the water to mid shin depth. Wear foot and lower leg wear that you don't mind getting wet. The gravel is rough and there are barnacles, so some type of footwear is necessary. Flip-flops are not a good idea, because they do not stay on. Neoprene and rubber kayak shoes, plastic clogs or even boots work well.

Dress in layers. Clothing should be snug. Loose shorts or pants will get caught in between the seat and the slides. Loose tops will catch the oar handles. There should be no open pockets on the front of the torso to prevent the oar handles from catching. We row if there is rain.

You should bring water to practices. You should bring something to drink and a high energy snack to the regatta.

Registration - Step 1

Fill out the necessary forms


Registration - Step 2

Register with Rowing Canada

Rowing Canada

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