Ready, Row! USA: Going Global

 In Ready Row USA

Today, we reveal how to get in a boathouse and row anywhere in the world; introduce you to the world of rowing touring; and take you virtually to places you must row before you die. Some of our favorite spots are Croatia, Amsterdam, Ponte Vecchio in Firenze, Scotland, and the good old Charles River.

Ready, Row! USA features the best of rowing news, gadgets & gear from clubs,companies, and rowers across the country. Today Tara and I will be talking about some recent moves by US Rowing, and a spotlight on some other juicy news from the rowing world.

Ready, Row! USA is part of the international RowingChat network. You can subscribe to receive notifications of upcoming shows, send in news tips, and join our community on this website and on our YouTube channel.

The producer of Ready, Row! USA is Charlotte Pierce; associate producer is Tara Morgan of Seize the Oar and Vashon Is. RC; our regular correspondent is Mark Wilson of All American Rowing Camp; and our executive producer is Rebecca Caroe of Rowing.Chat. Regular panelists & contributors include Ryan Worth of UTenn/Chattanooga Reba Knickerbocker of Bend the Blade coaching consultancy; and Ben Booth of Rebel Coastal Rowing in Westport, MA.

SPONSORS: OarInspired, FasterMastersRowing.com, RoseandThorne.com, Pierce Press, All-American Rowing Camp, and Seize the Oar Foundation.


Use a Professional Service…

  • Due diligence: Get referrals or a range of reviews. Ask your coach. Make sure the company has scouted the site, equipment, and access.
  • What is included? Equipment, rooms, meals, coaching, tours.
  • Ask about room types, meals, is it order off-menu, or pre-arranged, or just a piece of bread and some cheese, (may not be all bad) just want to know.
  • Is local transport included, will you need to do anything after hours, what does “all-inclusive really mean?”
  • Professional – may be 100% included from your home door and back again or some varied level below that, just ask questions, get referrals and if you don’t want or like surprises, ask questions!

Q: Somebody told me about a gorgeous rowing club in Italy that’s built over a river. Do you know where that is?

A: That gem is Societá Canottieri, Florence, and rowing out of there is indeed worthy of the bucket list! The club is actually under the Otzi Museum at Ponte Vecchio. Thanks to our friend Nancy Keller of Minneapolis RC!

…OR Do-It-Yourself:

  • Do you want to just pick a point on a map?
  • You can use Google Flights or other travel sites to help pick a destination
  • Getting there should be as easy as possible, fewer layovers and stops.
  • Maximize experience time over travel time.
  • Plan ahead, ask friends for tips, get names & contacts 

Q: How should I time an international rowing trip if I want to compete? 

A: World Masters Championships are in September, in Hungary this year. Check the schedule at WorldRowing.com for a complete listing, or keep your ear to the ground!

Decide on the Basics

  • Where – Europe, Asia, Central America, Scandinavia?
  • When – DO check weather and daylight hours.
  • Who – Family, Friends, Couples, or Alone (plan activity for all)
  • How – Rental car, Train, Bus, Uber, Flights?
  • Do Not Over Schedule
  • Do NOT Over-Commit
  • Do NOT Over-Plan

Q: Do most places speak English, or should I prepare to get a translator if I’m going it alone?

A: You’ll find that most rowing clubs speak English, but if you take coaching, you might want to read up on the native rowing terms!

You Have Arrived! Now What?

  • Plan one thing or max two per day.
  • Let part of the fun be the spontaneity of finding what is around the next corner
  • Enjoy just sitting in the plaza and enjoying people watching or enjoying the local scene.  Indulge in the culture, the people, the history, the culture. 
  • Give time in your schedule for transit and rest time.

Q: Is there an international directory of rowing clubs?

A: Oarspotter finds a good number of them; you can also try a Google search or asking around on forums like the MRI group on Facebook.


Each week, our correspondents, producers & hosts offer a gadget/gear/hack, club news highlight, US Rowing news flash, or coaching nugget.

  • Charlotte’s Chat: Put your rowing in context. Measure your performance against your previous performance instead of against that beastly competitor who’s been rowing since the age of 16.
  • Mark, My Words:  Keep it real.  Many of us just want to enjoy being on the water, so look up and see something new.  My word of the day “DON’T keep your head in the boat!” today July 30th I saw an Osprey drop a fish and then an eagle came by and grabbed it right out of the water and the poor Osprey just shook his head and had to go off and find another.  Would not have seen that if my head were locked on my speedcoach… #messingaboutinboats

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