River World

Rowing for the rest of us

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owing isn’t just for rich kids. Tucked away at the foot of the Charles, far upriver from the fancy university and private-school docks, is Community Rowing, where the rest of us can crew. The largest rowing organization in the world, Community Rowing doesn’t look all like those other boathouse scenes. For one thing, it’s in a really cool building. For another, the enthusiastic rowers here come in all ages, shapes, and hues, including some who are disabled. Many start from scratch in one of the fleet of 150 boats (called shells) under one of the army of 35 coaches, including former collegiate and international competitors. There are group and private lessons, lockers and showers, a huge indoor exercise room with ergs and weights, and ridiculously inexpensive annual memberships and instructional fees that will have you loving that dirty water for around $170 (much less for kids).

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The Community Rowing boathouse is named for Harry Parker, Harvard rowing coach since 1963 and an Olympic rower who coached U.S. crews in every Olympics from 1964 to 1984. In 1964 and 1968, the United States was represented in the Olympics by the Harvard crew.

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