Frequently Asked Questions

Registration, Payment, Refunds

All HRRA registrations are completed through Regatta Central. There are links to the registration forms on our website or you can access our entire menu of programs by looking for HRRA listed alphabetically at www.regattacentral.com.

Registrants will be notified of their program status through email immediately after the online registration and in a follow up email within the week prior to the start of the program.

If a program is not filled to its minimum capacity it will be cancelled and registrants will receive full refunds.

Registrations are accepted until the program is full or until the deadline that is set for each program. After this date you must get the coach’s permission to join a team and late fees may apply.

You can pay with a credit card through Regatta Central, mail a check to our PO Box 506, Poughkeepsie, NY 12602, PayPal ( as friend) or drop your check payment off in the lobby mailbox.

Payment in full by the first day of practice is required or a $25 late fee will be added to your account. Anyone who has not paid in full or who has not made arrangements for a payment plan will be dropped from the roster and not allowed to row. To make arrangements for a payment plan please fill out this FORM.

If you withdraw in writing/email from any Junior or Adult sweep program within the first week you may receive a full refund of program fees. You must withdraw in writing/email from a learn-to-Row Clinic within the first 2 practice sessions to receive a full refund. After this grace period, refunds will not be given except for medical or emergency reasons that must be provided in writing and with accompanying paperwork (ie. note from doctor). In these cases refunds will be prorated. Please allow up to 6 weeks for refunds. Please fill out this FORM to request a refund.

Our membership and program fees do not include uniform, hotel or traveling expenses or USRowing membership (when our teams attend any USRowing National Championship). Athletes are responsible for these additional expenses.

HRRA is always willing to work out a payment schedule or offer scholarship opportunities for eligible individuals. Please fill out this FORM to apply for a scholarship.

Coxswains are a full member of the team, and though they have a discounted program fee, they are required to pay race fees, fill out all paperwork required for the program they are registered for and are responsible for their hotel and travel expenses as well as USRowing membership where applicable.

Racing is the main objective for many or our teams and athletes that enroll in Adult or Junior Advanced pay program fees that include the cost of racing at our regularly scheduled races ~ additional fees for Nationals, Worlds and the Charles are assessed for these races. Adult Intermediate Sweeps athletes and coached scullers have the option of racing at all races the advanced teams attend and are responsible for additional race fees that will be paid upon committing to a race. Race fees cover entry fees and site fees (as shown at Regatta Central) PLUS trailering costs (gas, tolls, driver expenses) and all coach expenses (food, hotel, mileage).

Independent Scullers may take care of their own fees or pay HRRA if they intend to race in multiple events with other members. Trailering of a personal shell to any race is a courtesy we offer to HRRA members as long as it does not cause the trailer to go early or stay later – please let Smitty know of your intentions.

Learning-to-Row/New Members

People who have no rowing experience in rowing shells with sliding seats should register for one of HRRA’s Learn-to-Row programs in the spring, Junior Learn-to-Row and Adult Novice in the summer.

All rowers need to know how to swim and tread water for up to ten minutes. Though rowers are often tall, people of any height can row. Coxswains are often smaller than rowers though hip size rather than height is often the determining factor of who can sit in the coxie seat. There is a lightweight rowing category for racing but there is no weight minimum for rowers in general. The boats do have weight limitations and heavyweight rowers generally should not exceed approximately 270 pounds. Rowing is a vigorous physical activity that requires the ability to lift heavy items, a wide range of movement and the ability to compress your body to your legs – a good rule of thumb is if you can touch your toes you are good to go!

Lessons and programs at HRRA cater to individuals of different levels of skill of rowing. If you believe that you should not have to take any sculling instruction you may work with a HRRA instructor who will best advise you as to the best course of action. HRRA requires individuals with sculling experience to take at least one certification lesson to familiarize themselves with the traffic pattern and hazards of the Hudson River.

Individuals who would like to join the sweep programs can either take one of our Learn-to-Row clinics as a refresher or join in our Junior or Adult Sweeps programs. The coach will assess your skill level over two weeks and will either allow you to continue or recommend further instruction at the Learn-to-Row or Novice level.

If you are an adult rower you will be encouraged to join the Novice program and then move on to sculling or recreational rowing. Juniors are also welcome to join the HRRA Junior Sweeps programs, Junior Learn-to-Scull or are encouraged to join their respective school rowing programs. Athletes can stay in the sweeps programs indefinitely, but rowers who wish to progress to a more competitive program are encouraged to try out for the Intermediate and Advanced programs after two full seasons of rowing.

General Program

Each program has a finite capacity determined by coaching and equipment availability. If a program reaches its capacity, we compile a wait-list of subsequent registrations, arranged in the order in which they are received. Should registrants drop out of a full-capacity program before its starting date, we will begin adding names from the wait list until the program is full again. To be added to a wait list, simply submit a registration form at RegattaCentral.

The HRRA staff will contact you by phone or email if we are able to accommodate you in a program for which you were wait listed.

HRRA’s goal is to provide a safe and enjoyable rowing experience for all. We keep this goal in mind as we establish capacity limits for programs. Once a program hits its maximum enrollment, adding more participants would create a shortage of equipment and compromise the coaches’ ability to conduct their program safely and effectively. We’re excited that our programs are gaining popularity, but in most cases, we must limit program size.

Each sweep team registrant is required to complete from 2 to 4 hours of service to the club each season you are enrolled. You may opt out of the community service requirement by paying $15 fee per hour not fulfilled. In some cases HRRA works service hours into the program – Junior Sweeps for example will complete some tasks as part of their regular practice sessions.

If you have completed any volunteer hours you submit them online with the HRRA Service Hours Submission Form. HRRA uses these numbers to track volunteer hours but also to determine our volunteer of the year and determine rack assignments.

No, we don’t prorate the fees.

Can I make up my absences by attending another program?
Unfortunately due to coaching and equipment limitations, we cannot allow participants to attend programs other than those in which they are confirmed participants. Coaches may offer make up sessions according to their own schedule, though they are not required to do so.

Rowing on a team requires a certain level of commitment to the others in the program and missing more than 20% of the practice session compromises the abilities and progression of the team. For programs such as Learn-to-Row or Novice, HRRA requires mandatory attendance during the first three days of each new session. We established this policy to ensure that all participants are familiar with basic boat handling techniques and safety concerns before they launch onto the river. Additionally, we recommend that participants attend at least 80% of any of our program’s sessions. If you cannot attend the first week of any given session, or know you will not be able to meet the minimum attendance recommendations, please discuss this with your coach, consider another one of our programs or schedule individual lessons with a sculling instructor.

The Junior programs at Hudson River Rowing Association have no official affiliation with local schools or clubs. HRRA has a close relationship with many of the resident scholastic teams and coaches of school teams rowing out of the HRRA Community Boathouse are on the HRRA coaching staff. HRRA rents and co-owns equipment with resident scholastic teams as well. HRRA programs are open to ANYONE, however, spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis without regard to scholastic or club affiliation in other seasons.

Membership fees provide about 20% of our operating budget and cover HRRA administrative costs such as insurance, professional memberships, special events and community activities. Program and race fees cover the rest of our operations which represent 80% of our expenses and break down as follows:

Equipment (acquisition, insurance, operations and maintenance) ~ 32%
Truck/Engine operations (insurance, maintenance, gas) ~ 7%
Coaching ~ 20%
Away Regattas(race fees and regatta support) ~ 15%
Scholarships ~ 3%
Hosted Events ~ 3 %
Program Administration (boathouse fees, professional memberships, liability insurance, promotional materials, postage etc..) ~ 20%

Over the many years HRRA membership and program fees have also subsidized the HRRA Community Boathouse Project – by participating in our programs and becoming an HRRA member you help support this waterfront project that benefits the entire rowing community and the entire Hudson Valley.

A junior is a competitor who will not attain the age of 19 during the season year, or who is and has been continuously enrolled in secondary school as a full time student seeking a diploma. A junior 16 is a competitor who will not attain the age of 17 during the season year. A competitor’s age is determined as of December 31 of the current year.

For competition in Canada:
• Junior B-A rower and coxswain will be classified a Jr.B until December 31st of the year they reach the age of 16. For a 2004 Canadian Regatta, an athlete born in 1987 or later shall be eligible for Junior B competition.
• ​Junior A-A rower and coxswain no longer a Jr. B shall be classified a Jr. until December 31st of the year in which they reach the age of 18. For a 2004 Canadian Regatta, an athlete born in 1985 or later shall be eligible to row Junior.

An Adult is a participant over the age of 19. All Adults over 19 are eligible to participate in our adult Learn-to-Row, Novice and Adult Sweeps programs. Adult Advanced Sweeps programs accept rowers 21 and over, however, the teams attend many Masters races which only recognize Masters rowers who are 27 or older. HRRA Masters teams often race in open events to allow our open age athletes to race. A competitor’s age is determined as of December 31 of the current year.

Coxies in a junior program must follow the age rules. Coxies for adult programs may be any age – we encourage junior coxies to register for our adult teams.

Weather, Apparel, Amenities, etc.

Yes – Instructional programs at HRRA meet rain or shine as scheduled. If lightning, wind or other weather factors are severe enough participants will not be permitted on the water but HRRA Coaches will have an alternative indoor instructional class – class will not automatically be cancelled. If you feel the weather prevents you from safely getting to HRRA, please let your coach know you will not be attending class.

The basic guidelines are these – LAYERS – dress appropriately for the weather, including a windbreaker or Gore-Tex shell if necessary, but make sure you can shed layers when you begin to warm up on the water. DIRTY – your rowing clothes will get dirty. If you have shoes, pants, anything that can’t get dirty – don’t wear it to the boathouse. COMFY and SNUG – your clothing should allow you to move freely and be comfortable. Baggy pants, shorts and shirts, however, tend to get stuck in the sliding seat upon which you will row. Your best bet is a pair of shorts or leggings similar to cycling pants, and a shirt that can be tucked in.

Yes. Shower and locker room use is restricted to rowing lesson/program participants and tenant members. We advise all rowers to bring a lock and use lockers on a daily basis to ensure security of their personal items. HRRA is not responsible for items lost or stolen from the boathouse. Although rare, there are instances of theft of items left out in the locker room and lobby areas. Please take measures to protect your belongings.

HRRA Community Equipment

Yes! HRRA has storage for 48 small shells and many of them are available for storage of personal shells. All rowers with personal shells must pass a certification test and pay any applicable membership, storage and access fees prior to storage within the facility. Rack space is assigned on a first come, first served basis. HRRA may be able to offer summer storage for your personal shell ~ please contact us to find out the availability for the upcoming season.

Not usually, HRRA reserves all eights and fours for our rowing programs and they are not generally allowed to be used outside of an approved HRRA program or race schedule. However, rowers sometimes like to try a line up, have a special row they would like to try (ie. an island row) or prepare for a race that is not included in our regular season and in these cases special permission must be requested by filling out this FORM. All fours, quads and eights are required to be accompanied by an approved coach in a safety launch and additional fees may be applied.

HRRA sculling equipment can be reserved for private use and racing by coordinating with our sculling director. Rowers must be an HRRA member or approved guest, have paid all applicable program and membership fees and be certified by an approved HRRA Sculling instructor. Scullers who would like to combine to practice in a quad must contact the program staff to coordinate use of the boat, which is used for our regular programs, as well as provide a certified launch driver to accompany the boat during practice.


Yes, you can reserve a boat up to two days prior to an outing. You must reserve in person, no phone or email reservations are accepted. You must reserve a boat for racing two weeks prior to the race and coordinate with the program committee to transport the shell to the race.


Yes, HRRA members are welcome to use our fitness equipment during open rowing sessions throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons. Priority for equipment goes to scheduled programs in the case of bad weather conditions. During the winter season the equipment will be used only for scheduled programs – athletes who wish to use the equipment during this time should sign up for one of these programs.

Yes, Adult HRRA members are welcome to use the tanks during open rowing sessions throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons. Priority for the tanks goes to scheduled tenant programs in the case of bad weather conditions in the spring, summer or fall. During the winter season the tanks will be used only for scheduled programs – athletes who wish to use the tanks during this time should sign up for one of these programs.

No. Hudson River Rowing Association motorboats are used as safety and coaching vessels. All other motorboats belong to the rowing teams that use HRRA for storage. All HRRA motorboat users must be certified.

Scullers become certified through one or more lessons with the HRRA Sculling Instructor or by providing proof of competency from another recognized rowing club. The Instructor will determine what boats the rower is permitted to row in unsupervised.

HRRA Motorboat operators must complete at least 4 hours of supervised motorboat handling.

General/Office Questions

Yes and no. Our program staff is composed of volunteers who work predominantly out of their own homes. To contact them directly it is best to email or call and allow a day or two for a response. Our coaching staff are on site during regularly scheduled practice sessions and available through phone and email.

The Community Boathouse is equipped with a phone line for emergency purposes and to handle all calls pertaining to HRRA programs and Boathouse operations. A voicemail recording does not mean we are ignoring you! In fact, our voicemail sends us an email so we can see and hear your message easily. Our web site and voicemail are designed to help answer your questions, but people are encouraged to leave messages or email us when they haven’t found the information they need. Our volunteers are conscientious about returning calls, and barring extenuating circumstances, can usually answer your questions within two to three business days. Leaving a daytime and evening number increases our chances of returning your call efficiently. If you need prompter service contact your coach or email us.

For emergency situations, you can use the emergency box under the porch on the riverside. HRRA recommends that all coaches and unsupervised scullers carry cell phones with them while on the water. Please program the local fire department number in to your phone to ensure a quick response and use 270 N. Water St. as the address. St. Francis hospital is 5 minutes away.

No. Juniors must be accompanied by a member parent or participate in an organized rowing program either through HRRA or one of the HRRA Community Boathouse tenants.

Adult HRRA members may use the facility whenever it is open, which is during regularly scheduled programs. These open hours are generally weekday mornings from 5am to 8am, weekday evenings from 4pm to dusk and weekend mornings from 5am to 10am. Scheduled tenant or HRRA programs have priority access to the tank room, meeting room and HRRA fitness equipment.

Yes. HRRA rents the facility to members of the community for private events as well as local businesses. HRRA offers a discount to not-for-profits for business conferences or parties that benefit the organization. The HRRA Boathouse is a working boathouse and we do not halt rowing programs for a private event, but that is part of its charm! All activities must be approved and contract regulations must be followed.

Adult Program
Juniors Program
U23 Program
Scullling Program
Novice Program