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Wilmington area rowing club teaches newcomers to row

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TWC News: Wilmington area rowing club teaches newcomers to row
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WILMINGTON -- Members from the Cape Fear River Rowing Club usually gather a few evenings per week and weekend mornings at the Wilmington Marine Center. For the past two weekends, four people attended the club's "learn how to row" class.

"What we're trying to build is muscle memory, we want them to not to be able to think about the technique of rowing," said Eric Ford, a rowing coach for the Cape Fear River Rowing Club. "We want them to just row."

The Cape Fear River Rowing Club holds four "learn how to row" classes per year. Four three-hour sessions divided up over two weekends make up a class. During these sessions, the beginners pick up the basics so they can get the most out of their time on the Cape Fear River.

"We're working on technique, not necessarily trying to go the fastest and hardest that you can," said Allison Potter, Cape Fear River Rowing Club's education coordinator. "We're trying to teach them the proper technique on how to do it and how to be efficient in the water."

Rowing is described as a full body workout by people who have taken up the sport, but it's mental aspects also make an impression on rowers.

"I didn't think it would be that hard, but it's pretty tough memorizing all of the movements and stuff," said Corey Whitehead, a "Learn How to Row" class participant.

The club estimates 15 to 20 percent of the beginners who take the introductory rowing classes eventually join the 23-year-old Cape Fear River Rowing Club, as a result of the addictive nature of the sport.

"Once you're out there and you hear the oars dip into the water and it's just the boat gliding across the water, it's very peaceful," said Shane Whitehead, a "Learn How to Row" class participant.

The Cape Fear River Rowing Club will hold its last of five "Learn How to Row Class" in September.

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