Twin Cities Youth Rowing Club unites students from various schools

Michael Crater, staff writer

For many kids, the other schools are their competition, but for rowers, they’re teammates. Twin Cities Youth Rowing Club is a rowing team that practices at Bryant Lake, and consists of students from Edina High School, Breck, Blake, and South High School. During the late spring, summer, and early fall they practice out on the water, starting with a jog and warm-up before getting in their boats. They also have competitive seasons in the fall, summer, and spring. During winter break they work on their conditioning. The youngest participants on the team are 13, or those who have graduated 8th grade, and the oldest are seniors.

A common misconception is that rowing is all upper body strength, but most rowing strength comes from the legs. It’s extremely important that all rowers remain in sync, and to help with that, there is a position called the stroke oar, and the person in that seat sets the pace. According to the TCY website, teamwork is the most important thing when it comes to rowing, nobody gets to be the MVP. The boat is actually slower when someone tries to stand out. Everyone’s goals and talents need to be the same, and each needs to sacrifice his or her personal goals for the team, focusing specifically on the team goal. “It’s really cooperative and there is a lot of comradery among the team because you all have to be on the same page and working together,” TCY Rowing Club’s captain and EHS senior Henry Mans said. As a captain of the rowing team, Mans has many responsibilities. “I run pre-workout warm-ups and coordinate the team, as well as run fundraising and stuff like that,” Mans said. The captain really helps with the atmosphere as well. “If you’re starting brand new on the team and you don’t know anyone, it’ll take a couple days to get to know people, you know, but you can get into it pretty easily,” sophomore Jake Libbey said. The team provides a very welcoming environment because everyone is new to each other at some point since it is not tied to a specific school. A rowing team needs this comradery in order to succeed, so that everyone is working well with each other and that there is chemistry.

According to TCY’s website, there are two types of rowing called sweeping and sculling. In sweeping, rowers use a single oar with both hands, whereas in sculling they have an oar in each hand. When it comes to boats, there are many different kinds. Almost all competition boats are made out of carbon fiber because it is light and stiff, but there are many sizes. Teams of racers come in 2s, 4s, and 8s for sweeps, with an option for a coxswain, the person who commands and steers the boat. For sculling, they come in 1x, 2x,  and 4x. In all boats of 8 people, there is a coxswain. A coxswain is usually small, and also very vocal. They need to be able to shout commands to the rest of the team, and small so that they are not weighing down the boat.

At TCY, for those not interested in hardcore rowing, there are other camps and programs available to begin. All in all, rowing is a very inclusive and welcoming sport that provides a great workout and good friends. If interested, their website provides insightful information at