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Yarmouth Gig Rowing Club is based at Yarmouth Harbour on the western coastline of the Isle of Wight. The Club is the only Fixed Seat rowing club on the Island and is always keen to welcome new rowers - with or without experience, competitive or social.


YGRC currently have use of 2 fixed seat boats: The Club owns a GRP Gig (6 rowers + cox) and have been loaned a wooden Galley (4 rowers + cox).


Rowing is a fantastic sport with many benefits that it is guaranteed to make people:


  • Fitter

  • Healthier

  • Happier


Rowing exercises all the major muscle groups!  Legs, arms, back and stomach are all engaged without any impact.  It enhances one’s lung capacity, reduces stress and aids muscle/joint mobility.  Suitable for people of varying fitness levels, it is a great way to benefit from the joy of being on open water, enjoying fresh air, exercise … and enjoying the camaraderie of a great team of people.


NEW ROWERS/MEMBERS: Membership options and costs & payment details::


1. Temporary taster membership. First row: Free, then up to 5 rows to be taken within a 10 week period for a single payment of £25.

2. Full annual membership: £170 p.a. 1st February to 31st January (pro rata in first year of membership).

3. Full annual membership paid by standing order of £16 per month.

4. Seasonal membership: £95 (6 consecutive months from the 1st of any chosen month).

5. ‘Pay as you go’: £10 per row. Note that annual members will have priority over pay per row if there is limited space.


Account details:

Yarmouth Gig Rowing Club. Account No: 45585160; Sort Code: 30 95 99

(Please put your name as reference)


To apply to join YGRC please contact the Membership Secretary:

Sam Hotchin (07919 607762)



When going out to sea/on the river in our Club boats, safety will always be top priority.


Declaration of Personal Health:

Prior to rowing with the YGRC, you will be asked to complete a Membership and Health Declaration form..


Personal Health:

Fixed seat rowing and its associated training can be strenuous.  You should therefore be in good health and have no medical or physical condition precluding heavy exercise.  If there is any doubt, you should first consult your doctor. Some conditions, such as asthma and diabetes, do not prevent individuals from participating in the sport but you do have a duty to declare any condition that might put yourself or others at risk.  It is important that you inform the cox/crew of any condition they may have to deal with in the event of an emergency.


Lifejackets/Buoyancy Aids:

Rowers should be competent swimmers (be able to swim at least 50 yards with light clothing).  It is advised to wear a buoyancy aid/life jacket - but is each person’s own responsibility as to whether to do so (there are a couple of life jackets on board - but one supplier recommended is Bembridge Chandlery: It is essential for coxes (and under 18s if relevant) to wear.


In the event of Man Overboard:

If you fall into the sea, you will immediately start gasping but your hyperventilating will abate within minutes.  Stay calm and do not panic!  Do not attempt to swim.  Keep your face away from on-coming waves. The Cox will ensure you are lifted out of the water by the crew as soon as possible.


In the event of a Capsize:

If the boat capsizes, stay by the boat and keep hold (unless dangerous to do so).  It may be possible to right the boat and assist each other to climb back in.  However, on the safe waters we row, it is likely assistance would be close by.  Signals in emergency situations are: Repeated raising/lowering of arm; 6 blasts of a whistle at one minute intervals; Shout!





Wear multiple layers of thin clothing rather than bulky items that will inhibit movement and make you over-heat.  You will get warm and may need to take layers off.  A dry bag to put discarded clothes in to tuck under your seat is a good idea. Wear trainers or wet shoes / boots with non-slip soles. Initially hands are likely to blister - so it is worth wearing gloves (cycling gloves are ideal).  Leggings, shorts & t-shirts designed for running/cycling are suitable.  Hats, sun cream and sunglasses are all recommended as sun reflects on the water even on cloudy days (and warm headwear in the winter).


Club Kit:

Currently there are logo’d ‘vests’ and ‘gilets’ available for members to purchase.


Vocabulary/Cox Commands/Terminology:

Cox: Skipper - sits in stern (rear) opposite the ‘Stroke’. He/she is in command and steers

Trainer/Coach: Usually the Cox – will introduce ‘drills/exercises’ to enhance technique and stamina

The Stroke: Rower seated in front of the cox. Sets the pace for the crew

Bow: Front of boat

Stern: Rear of boat

Stroke side (starboard): Oars extend to the left of boat (even numbered seats)

Bow side (port): Oars extend to the right of boat (odd numbered seats)

Rudder: Steers boat from the stern

Gunwales: (Pronounced Gunnels): Upper edge of side of boat

Pins/Gates: Oars sit between/within pins/gates

Oars: Numbered according to rowing position (with ‘blades’ that propel through the water)

Stretcher: Foot rest - adjustable according to height of rower

Seat position: Half way between centre line and gunwales

Hand positions: On oars: 1-2 hand widths apart

(Gig): Outside hand has under-hook with thumb on end of oar; inside hand has an over-hook

(Galley): Both hands over-hook with little finger on end of oar

Ready to row/Forward to row: Positioned to commence rowing

Take it away, Go or Row: Start rowing (at the pace of the Stroke)

Back water: Row in reverse (blade also reversed) to back the boat stern first

Feathering: When in ‘recovery’ and returning to forward position, blades facing upwards

The Catch: When the oar enters the water

The Drive: The stroke/pull (between Catch & Finish)

The Finish: The end of the drive

Recovery: After the drive, returning to forward position (‘recovering’ before next stroke)

Hold Water: Place oar in water to act as ‘brake’

Dip: Short, gentle, single forward stroke

Easy Oars: Stop rowing; lift blades out of water

Toss Oars: Lift and hold oar vertically (usually beginning and end of row - or as a salute!)

Ship Oars: Lie them down in boat, blade towards bow


Useful Contacts:

Club Chairman: Keith Campbell (07760 385908)

Club/Membership Secretary: Sam Hotchin (07919 607762)

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