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Langley Crew - FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Crew program?

A: The Crew program gives Langley High School students an opportunity to row in competition against teams from other public and private high schools in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC and, occasionally, from other eastern States.

Q: Does a student have to be a good athlete to row?

A: Crew demands endurance, strength, discipline and an ability to tolerate the pain that their muscles will experience in the last 500 meters of a race. Every student can develop endurance and strength through regular exercise, which we promote during pre-season Winter Training. The skills and discipline of Crew can be learned.

Q: Is previous rowing experience necessary?

A: No. Few if any students entering Langley High School have had any rowing experience.

Q: Is rowing different from other sports?

A: Yes, in many respects it is. In the words of a former member of the Langley Crew team: “Crew is the ultimate team sport. One person being a hero isn't going to make the team win the race. It takes the strength, determination, and heart of the whole team to overcome the obstacles. In a sport such as soccer, one person can get the ball, take it all the way down the field, and score a goal. In baseball it only takes one person to hit a home run. Imagine being in a race in which only one person in your boat is rowing while the rest of you just sit there. You won't be reaching the finish line anytime soon.” Rowing isn't a great choice for athletes looking for MVP status. It is, however, teamwork's best teacher.

Q: What is the racing distance?

A: High school crew races are typically 1500 meters in length.

Q: When does the rowing season begin and how long is it?

A: Crew is a Spring sport. The rowing season begins in late February and concludes in late-May. Daily practices (Monday through Friday) take place on the Occoquan River after school. Saturday practices are in the morning. Rowers are strongly encouraged to take part in pre-season conditioning at the school, which begins in mid- November.

Q: Where are the regattas held?

A: Local regattas take place on the Occoquan River at Sandy Run Regional Park in Fairfax County.

Q: How many regattas are there in a season?
A: There generally are five or six local regattas. The Langley Crew team generally goes to two out- of-town regattas--the Stotesbury Cup Regatta in mid-May on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia and the Scholastic Rowing Association (SRAA) regatta. The SRAA is held Memorial Day weekend. Only qualifying boats will be invited to attend this event.

Q: Why doesn't Langley row on the Potomac River?

A: Several high schools and colleges do row on the Potomac River; however, the Occoquan is more placid and sheltered and provides a more desirable training location. It also allows us to train at the venue where we compete.

Q: How do the rowers get to the Occoquan?

A: The Langley Crew Boosters Club provides transportation for athletes from Langley to the Occoquan and then back to both Langley HS and Great Falls (Forestville Elementary) on weekdays through a private bus carrier. Although some upperclassmen opt to drive themselves, using the bus transportation is promoted for safety reasons. Rowers and their families must provide their own transportation to practices during Saturday practices and regattas.

Q: What does it cost to be a member of the crew team?

A: In the past few seasons, dues have averaged around $1650. This fee included the majority of costs associated with crew but does not include uniform costs ($140), or championship regattas. (Championship trips will be added fees for selected rowers.) If the team decides to travel away for Spring Break training or participate in a local overnight program, that would involve additional costs. Worth noting: the crew fees can be paid all at once or spread out over several payments.”

Q: Why does it cost so much? How is the money spent?

A: Rowing is a club sport since only select Fairfax County schools offer crew. As a result, we receive no financial support from the Fairfax County Public Schools or Langley High School. Rowing is supported by dues paid by each rower's family and by fund-raising activities. In addition, the Langley Athletic Boosters Club has consistently helped to support our program. Income from these sources is used for coaches’ salaries, equipment purchase and maintenance, rack fees for our boats, regatta fees, insurance, and other administrative needs.

Q: Since rowing is a club sport, can rowers still earn varsity letters?

A: Yes, rowers and coxswains can earn letters. Langley Crew athletes meet Virginia High School League and Langley High School requirements for participation in sports and therefore are eligible to earn varsity letters.

Q: Are there any expenses in addition to the dues and the cost of bus transportation to and from practice?

A: Yes, there are additional expenses for required crew uniforms and travel to out-of-town regattas. The purchase of optional team apparel such as sweats, polo shirts, hats, visors, jackets, etc. is extra.

Q: Must parents do anything besides paying the bills?

A: Yes. Parents help plan and conduct the activities of the Langley Crew Boosters Club, including fund-raising activities, team dinners, volunteer assignments at the Occoquan Regattas, the annual end-of-season picnic, etc. Parents are also asked to serve as chaperones on trips to out-of-town regattas as well as the bus to the Occoquan for practice. Support of, and participation in, fund-raising is especially important. These activities not only make it possible to have a crew program but also provide a way for parents to be involved in their children’s lives and get to know their children’s friends and other Langley parents.

Q: Should I worry about the volunteer regatta assignments? I am not familiar with how regattas work.

A: Don’t worry - all regatta assignments will include on-the-job training! These jobs range from selling food at concession stands, driving launches for judges, serving as finish-line timers, directing drivers into parking lots, to assisting in course set-up on race days. Help is also needed before the season to prepare the equipment and to lay out lines and markers for the race course, and then to retrieve and store everything after the season. 

Q: Who manages all these activities?

A: The Langley Crew Boosters Club has a Board of Directors elected annually for a one-year term. The election is held each year at the end-of-season crew picnic. The Board meets on a monthly basis. Parents are welcome to attend!

Q: Who can answer other questions about the crew program?

A: Please email us at or you can email the coaches directly. Their emails can be found under the "Meet Our Coach" link. We will do our best to answer whatever questions you may still have!