Here is a list of the most commonly asked ‘Questions & Answers’. However, if you have a query that is not covered in the below section please do use the ‘Contact Us’ form on the homepage or email secretary@skerriesrowingclub.com

Q.How do I find out about the club?
A.All information about the club can be found on the club’s website www.skerriesrowingclub.com

Q.Who runs the club?
A.A voluntary committee consisting of twelve officers is elected annually from among the membership of the club at the AGM. The Executive consists of the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. The Committee meets every 2/3 weeks depending on need. Each member of the Committee has a specific area of responsibility. All members have access to the Committee or to any individual member of the Committee. All members are eligible
for election to the Committee.

Q.How do I join the club?
A.Application forms can be downloaded from the club’s website by clicking on the appropriate icon. (This can be more detailed when the website is further developed.) The club will draw up a waiting list should demand exceed the number of places available in the boats. In the case of juveniles, a quota may have to be operated at the different age categories.

Q.What if I’ve never been in a boat before and /or have never rowed before?
A.No previous experience of boats or of rowing is necessary to join.

Q.What kind of boats does the club have?
A.Currently the club owns four skiffs, each about 8 meters long, with a crew of five. There are four rowing positions with each rower pulling a single (sweep) oar: two are seated on the right (or stroke) side of their bench and pull on the left;

  • -Two rowers are seated on the left (or bow) side and row to the right.
  • -Seats one and three (from the stern) constitute the stroke side oars;
  • -Seats two and four are the bow side oars.
  • -The cox gives instructions to the stroke side oars, the bow side oars or to all four.

The SRC boats’ names are: Na Sceirí; An Gabhar; Inis Rua and Dasher.

Q.Do I have to be able to swim?
A.No! The intention is to stay inside the boat. But you may possibly get splashed. Crews receive training in what to do in the extremely unlikely situation of someone falling overboard.

Q.How do I join a crew?
A.If you have not joined with a group of friends with a view to forming your own crew, you will be allocated to one after your introductory rows.

Q.Is there an age limit/requirement?
A.The club caters for all age groups from age 12 upwards. If you’re between 12 and 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian must give their written permission for you to join.

Q.Is there a social dimension to the club?
A.Yes, the club provides not only access to the water but also organises social occasions for all its members and their families.

Q.What training will I get if I join?
A.On joining, each new member will get a number of introductory rows, after which they will be allocated to a crew, if they do not form one themselves. As you build up experience, you could then train for regattas, long-distance river races or learn how to cox. It’ll be up to you and what you want to do.

Q.Do you have a fixed position in the boat?
A.Some choose to stay in the same seat in the boat; others like to change around. Again, it’s up to you and the other members of your crew where you all agree to sit.

Q.Do you go out in rough weather?
A.No! The club monitors the wind directions and the tides and responds accordingly. The Safety Officer, or a member of the club executive, will cancel rowing if and when conditions are such that a boat could get into difficulties if launched. Apart from that, it is always at the discretion of each cox and crew to decide to cancel if conditions deteriorate, or if a change to the worse is threatened. The club adheres to any Small Craft Warning (SCW) issued by the MET Éireann but, occasionally, it may be safe to row within the confines of the harbour. However, if any risk at all exists, the rule is: Safety First.

Q.Will I get my feet wet?
A.Most definitely, yes!

Q.Does the club have any contact with the RNLI?
A.Yes, the club enjoys a close relationship with the RNLI. They provide us with presentations on safety strategies, weather conditions, the use of marine radios and on care of our inflatable life jackets. They also offer advice on what measures to take in extreme situations. The club benefits greatly from this close connection.

A.Yes, the club enjoys a close relationship with the RNLI. They provide us with presentations on safety strategies, weather conditions, the use of marine radios and on care of our inflatable life jackets. They also offer advice on what measures to take in extreme situations. The club benefits greatly from this close connection.

Q.Will I be trained to cox?
A.As soon as you are a proficient rower, you may opt to learn how to cox.

Q.What safety measures are in place?
A.It is the duty of the Safety Officer to ensure that all members undergo continuous and regular safety training, both while in the boat, and during launching and retrieving the boat at the slipway. It is the responsibility of each member to participate in these training sessions, and to put them into practice when working with the boat. Crews are obliged to wear a lifebelt while rowing; the cox must have a working radio tuned to channel 73 with her/him at all times when out.

Q.Do you have to have your own life jacket?
A.No! The club will provide these for all crews. They are handed over at each crew change. But, of course, a member may decide to buy their own. Inflatable life belts are subject to an annual check. Note that a padded buoyancy aid is an inadequate safety device for use on a rowing boat. The club only permits inflatable ones.

Q.What clothing / footwear is safest / most suitable?
A.Wear old clothes that you won’t mind getting wet as you enter and exit the boat. Old runners or swimming shoes should also be worn to protect your feet. The club has official gear which you may purchase. Details of the full range can be found on the club website.

Q.Will I get seasick?
A.Most likely, not! You’ll be too busy rowing.

Q.How often will I get to row?
A.At present, each crew is rostered to go out on two evenings during the week. Each row lasts for 30 minutes, starting from the harbour slipway or the RNLI slipway, depending on the tide.

Q.Will I be with the same crew?
A.Generally, yes, you will become part of a fixed crew. It will be your responsibility to turn up on time. The boat can’t go out unless it has a full crew.

Q.What happens if I’m late or can’t turn up for a row?
A.Should this happen, you must give adequate notice to your crew captain so that a sub may be found. If you’re detained at short notice, it is the responsibility of the captain to have made an arrangement with the prior or following boat so that a sub will be found. That way, the rest of your crew won’t lose out on their row.

Q.What is a Beach Master?
A.This is a new role that the club will introduce in the current season. As an additional safety measure, the Beach Master will be in radio contact with the boats while on the water. The Beach Master will also keep a record of who is in each boat for each rowing slot and will assist as needed with each crew change-over. Each member of the club will be expected to do a stint as Beach Master in rotation.

Q.Am I expected to compete in races?
A.Only if you wish to. There is no obligation.

Q.Would a medical condition inhibit me from joining?
A.It depends. Each new member is asked on applying for membership to list any medical condition that could affect their capacity to row. If uncertain, it is wise to go for a medical check up before joining just to be sure. Non-disclosure of a pre-existing condition that could put an entire crew at risk is totally irresponsible. These matters are easily resolved through discussion.

Q.Would I have to help with lifting, launching or retrieving the boat?
A.Yes! If you’re fit enough to row, you’re able to help with the boat.

Q.How long does the rowing season last?
A.From late April to late September. But the boat may be taken out at other times with the approval of the Club Captain and an Executive Officer. No boat may be launched without approval for safety reasons.

Q.Does the club only row in Skerries?
A.Yes, apart from taking part in the other East Coast Regattas or approved long-distance river races.

Q.Am I insured on the boat?
A.Yes!

Q.What happens if an issue/disagreement arises among crew members?
A.If an issue can’t be resolved among the crew members themselves, the matter should be brought to a member of the committee for resolution. In the case of a more serious matter, the club’s Code of Conduct (verify name) may have to be consulted.

Q.Do we have the same cox for every row?
A.In theory, yes, but that will depend on the availability of individuals.

Q.What contact will I have with other members of the club?
A.You will quickly get to know the crews rostered before and after your slot. Apart from that, the club will hold a number of social and fund-raising occasions during the year in which you will be invited to participate. And of course, on any evening both during and outside of the rowing season, you will always see members up the harbour.

Q.Who do I contact if I need to speak to a committee member?
A.Any of the club’s committee will be available to you regardless of your question.