History of ACR

In 1989, the year after dedication of the new Boathouse, the Alexandria Crew Boosters (ACB) created Alexandria Community Rowing (ACR). Initial membership consisted of a few parents and T.C. Williams coaches (led by the late Tom Burke, Dockmaster Emeritus Royce Drake, Kevin Heanue, Pat Smith, and Steve Weir) who wanted to row. Today’s roster still includes parents, as well as former rowers from the Alexandria Schools and community members with no previous connection to the scholastic rowing programs. Today’s ACR roster of over 160 members is diverse by age, background, profession, rowing experience, and level of fitness; our common bond is the love of rowing.

ACR is a program of the ACB that has access to the Alexandria Schools Rowing Facility at One Madison Street in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. ACR’s mission is to provide rowing opportunities for various ages and skill levels outside of the Alexandria City Schools rowing program, as well as to provide financial support for the youth scholastic program through the Alexandria Crew Boosters, Inc., a not-for-profit Virginia corporation.

Rowing has a long history in Alexandria, dating back to the late 1800s and the establishment of the Old Dominion Boat Club. In 1947, Julian Whitestone, a Washington policeman, and Jack Franklin, a Navy man, started training young men from George Washington High School and thus started public school rowing in Alexandria.

In 1951, tired of scrounging substandard boats and equipment, Whitestone and Franklin recruited (or as Franklin said, "blackjacked") a group of parents by inviting them down to the boathouse for coffee and cake, raffling a ham for $400, and forming the Crew Boosters. By 1960, the program had grown to the point that the school system and Crew Boosters took over prime responsibility from the Old Dominion Boat Club; this evolved into the championship T.C. Williams High School rowing program.


I. Governing Document
Alexandria Community Rowing (ACR) does not have a legal existence. ACR is a program run by the Alexandria Crew Boosters, Inc. ("Crew Booster"), a not-for-profit Virginia corporation, whose operations are governed by an agreement (referred to here as the "Governing Document") made in 1997 between the Crew Boosters and the School Board of the City of Alexandria ("School Board"), as well as the Crew Boosters bylaws. The Governing Document discusses matters other than ACR, but the relevant points for ACR are as follows:
  1. The School Board owns and controls the use and operation of the Boathouse (which term includes the north structure known as the "Addition" and the south structure known as the "Shed"). However, the Crew Boosters, after the scholastic program, has the exclusive right to use the Boathouse for the storage of equipment and the operation of its programs.
  2. The Crew Boosters is intended to provide financial support for the scholastic program. To that end, all proceeds realized by the Crew Boosters from ACR and other programs (e.g., novice programs, winter conditioning), in excess of the costs it incurs in operating these programs, shall be used to support the scholastic rowing program. However, nothing in the Governing Document shall limit the Crew Boosters' right to purchase equipment for its own use in the programs and activities it undertakes at the Boathouse.
  3. In consideration for its right to use the Boathouse, the Crew Boosters purchase and convey to the School Board rowing equipment for the scholastic program. When equipment is no longer needed by the scholastic rowing program, the School Board conveys it back to the Crew Boosters, who may retain it for ACR use or sell it to third parties.
  4. The Crew Boosters is solely responsible for determining the fees paid by participants in its programs and activities, including ACR.
  5. Much of the Crew Boosters equipment is stored in the main Boathouse, along with the boats and equipment owned by the School Board. The School Board is responsible for maintaining the Boathouse, including structural repairs and maintenance of the docks and ramps. ACR, through the Crew Boosters, has exclusive right to use the Shed and the Addition. The Crew Boosters has sole responsibility for the supervision, operation, and management of the Shed and the Addition, and for the safekeeping of all equipment stored in the Shed and the Addition.
  6. Legal title to the Addition (which was completed in February 2000) will be held by the School Board, but the School Board will ensure the Addition and the Crew Boosters will have the right to use it.
  7. The School Board may terminate the Governing Document if it finds that the Crew Boosters are not taking reasonable measures to ensure the safety of its program participants or the protection of the facility and do not correct the problem within a reasonable time after written notification from the School Board.
II. Governing Bodies
  1. The board of directors of the Crew Boosters entrusts the Dockmaster Committee ("DC") to make operational decisions concerning ACR. The DC is nominated by the ACR Steering Committee and serves at the pleasure of the president of the Crew Boosters.
  2. The Dockmaster Committee
    a. The DC shall consist of:
          i. The Operations Dockmaster, who shall have responsibility for:
         Procuring equipment and supplies;
         Facility operation during program hours;
         Boathouse security;
         Management and assignment of rack space;
         Dock operations and maintenance
          ii. The Administrative Dockmaster, who shall have responsibility for:
         Liaising with the Crew Boosters;
         Administering the budget;
         Handling insurance and legal issues;
         ACR communications and publications;
         Rack rental administration;
         Organizing volunteers to help with membership registration;
         Chairing Steering Committee Meetings
          iii. The Programs Dockmaster, who shall have responsibility for:
         Hiring and supervising coaches; and
         Administering rowing programs.
         Establishing new programs or workshops
    b. DC meetings, decision-making, and authority
            i. The DC shall have primary operational authority over all ACR equipment
          and programs and may authorize ordinary expenditures. However, major decisions
         (e.g., on program structure or large expenditures) must be approved by the ACR
         Steering Committee.
            ii. The DC shall meet once a month, or more often if needed.
            iii. Dockmasters will communicate relevant issues so that they can "fill in" for each
         Dockmasters may redistribute responsibilities as circumstances demand, and
         Dockmaster shall have joint responsibility for Boathouse opening, rules enforcement,
         fee collection, nomination of Steering Committee members, and general membership
            iv. Dockmasters' decisions will be by consensus. If consensus cannot be reached,
         a majority vote will prevail.
            v. Notice given to one Dockmaster is deemed to be notice to the DC, and
         authorization given by one Dockmaster is deemed to be authorization given by
         the entire DC.
    c. Terms of service on DC

        i. Each Dockmaster shall serve a three-year term, December 1 - November 30,
         alternating the years in which they rotate off, so that there are always two experienced
         Dockmasters. First term of incumbents to expire as follows:, Programs 2010,
         Administration - 2011, Operations - 2012

            ii. Dockmasters shall be nominated, during the fall prior to their term, by the ACR
         Steering Committee nominating committee and must obtain the approval of the board
         of directors of the Crew Boosters before taking office.
           iii. A Dockmaster may serve multiple terms.
           iv. Dockmasters shall not be required to pay membership fees (although they shall be
         required to pay program fees and Crew Boosters fees).
  3. The ACR Steering Committee
    a. The Steering Committee shall consist of the DC and:
            i. The Secretary, who shall:
          •Maintain the membership and program participant list;
          •Send membership mailings;
          •Maintain files for rowing waivers, membership agreements, and volunteer contacts;
          •Publicize meetings of the Steering Committee;
          •Take minutes at Steering Committee meetings; and
          •In conjunction with the DC, keep files of the minutes and other documents
           of the Steering Committee.
          • The Secretary shall be required to pay only ½ of the membership fee, but will be            required to pay program fees and Crew Booster fees.
            ii. The Accountant, who shall:
          •Keep track of payments by members;
          •Pay bills (with amounts over $500 co-signed by the Administrative Dockmaster);
          •Develop a monthly statement of expenses and income for monthly review by the
          •Steering Committee, with the help of the Assistant Accountant; and
          •Develop a projected budget for the upcoming fiscal year, with the help of the
          Assistant Accountant.
          • The Accountant shall be required to pay only ½ of the membership fee, but will be            required to pay program fees and Crew Booster fees.
            iii. The Assistant Accountant, who shall:
          •Serve a one-year term;
          •Assist the Accountant, as needed, with paying bills and other duties as determined
          by the Accountant
          •Assist with accounting of dues payments for each program;
          •With the Dockmaster for Administration, organize payment and receipt of funds
          at the annual registration;
          •Prepare monthly financial reports for ACB;
          •Prepare thank you letters for donations;
          •Provide new member information to the Secretary.
            iv. Program Representatives, who shall:
          •Recruit coxswains;
          •Report equipment problems to Operations Dockmaster or Maintenance
          •Ensure that boats are signed up for races and that rowers participate
          in loading/unloading;
          •Recruit volunteers for equipment maintenance and repair, clean-up and trailer driving;
          •With the Accountant, ensure that all program participants have paid appropriate
          membership, Crew Boosters, and/or program fees; and
          •Assist with enforcement of safety rules.
            v. The Safety Representative, who shall:
          •Evaluate and update safety policies;
          •Liaise with Program Representatives to evaluate condition of equipment (including
          lights), correct deficiencies as soon as possible, and coordinate necessary purchases
          with Operations Dockmaster;
          •Communicate safety information to Members through the newsletter, handouts,
          or bulletin board;
          •Maintain first-aid supplies at the boathouse;
          •Oversee risk management planning;
          •Maintain emergency information on members; and
          •Maintain accident reports.
            vi. The Maintenance Representative, who shall:
          •Oversee maintenance and repair of ACR equipment;
          •Coordinate volunteers to maintain and repair Crew Boosters equipment (including
          shells, oars, motors, and launches); and
          •Coordinate necessary purchases with Operations Dockmaster.
            vii. The Racing Coordinator, who shall:
          •Communicate racing information to Members;
          •Post several copies of entry forms at the Boathouse;
          •Coordinate use of shells at and transportation to races;
          •Collect trailer fees, receipts, and boat-use forms;
          •Report trailer and/or equipment damage to Operations Dockmaster;
          •Recruit and train trailer drivers;
          •Reserve rental vehicles; and
          •Ensure that ACR boats participate only in events sanctioned by U.S. Rowing.
          viii. The Social Coordinator, who shall:
          •Coordinate and publicize ACR social events; and
          •Ensure that everyone is happy and punish those who are not.
          ix. The Website Administrator, who shall maintain ACR's website.
           x. Special Projects Representatives, who may be appointed to the Steering Committee
           from time to time.
          xi. The Dockmaster Emeritus.
    b. Steering Committee meetings, decision-making, and authority
            i. The Steering Committee shall have authority to approve large expenditures, program
          fees, and program structures; to appoint individuals to the Steering Committee;
          to enforce the ACR Rules; and to conduct other significant business. The Steering
          Committee also may assign costs for lost or damaged equipment. See Rule III(7).
            ii. Quorum
          The Steering Committee may not take formal action unless a quorum exists.
          A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members of the Steering Committee.
            iii. The responsibilities for each Steering Committee position may be redistributed
          or combined as circumstances require.
            iv. Steering Committee members may recruit volunteers for subcommittees but
          shall retain ultimate responsibility for any delegated responsibilities.
            v. The Steering Committee shall meet every other month or as needed.
    c. Terms of service on Steering Committee

         i. Steering Committee members shall serve two-year terms, from December 1
          of the first year, until November 30 of the second year. SC members may serve
          more than one term. The terms of one half of the SC shall expire each year to
          ensure continuity of business from year to year.

           Terms to expire in 2010:
                 Dockmaster for Programs
                 Safety Representative
                 Program Representatives: Women's Sweep
                 Assistant Accountant
                 One of the two Racing Coordinators

           Terms to expire in 2011:
                 Dockmaster for Administration

           Terms to expire in 2012:
                 Dockmaster for Operations
                 Program Representatives: Men's Sweep, Sculling
                 Maintenance Representative
                 One of two Racing Coordinators
                 Social Coordinator
                 Website Administrator

             ii. New SC members shall be nominated by a nominating committee and appointed
          by the existing Steering Committee at the October meeting.
            iii. A Steering Committee member who may reasonably be adjudged to have left
          ACR shall be deemed to have resigned from the Steering Committee.
            iv. A Steering Committee member who has been inactive for one year may
          reasonably be adjudged to have resigned from the SC
            v. All Steering Committee members are volunteers, paying all dues and fees
          assessed to the regular membership.
    d. Nominating Committee
             i. The nominating committee shall be appointed by the Dockmasters Committee
          and announced at the August SC meeting
             ii. The committee shall consist of three ACR members to include one DC to chair
          the committee, one SC member, and one member not on the SC.
            iii. The nominating committee shall solicit interest of the general membership. The
          committee shall then nominate a candidate to serve in each expiring SC or DC
          position. Criteria for nomination shall be determined by the committee.
            iv. The nominating committee shall report its slate of nominees to the SC at the
          October meeting.
            v. If members wish to nominate candidates not on the slate, the SC will also
          consider those candidates, and by majority vote elect a member to serve in
          each expiring SC or DC position.
            vi. The new SC shall take office December 1.
III. Membership Rules
  1. All Members are subject to these Rules, which have been established and may be changed from time to time by the Steering Committee, with the approval of the board of directors of the Crew Boosters.
  2. Membership privileges
    a. Members shall have the right to use Crew Boosters equipment and the Boathouse in accordance with these Rules.
    b. Members shall have access to the Boathouse (including exercise and dressing facilities) during weekday program hours and most weekend mornings from April until mid-November, and shall be included in all ACR social functions, mailings, etc. However, membership does not include:
            i. Use of shells, ergs, or weight equipment from mid-November through March; or
            ii. Access to the Boathouse outside of program hours, without the consent of the DC.
    c. Members may participate in a coached program or other program upon payment of the appropriate program fee.
  3. Membership Classifications
    a. Full Members
            i. A person 18 or over may become a Full Member.
            ii. Full Members are entitled to all benefits, and subject to all duties, of membership.
    b. Junior Members
            i. A person under 18 may become a Junior Member.
            ii. To qualify for Junior Membership, a person must:
            Have a Membership Agreement co-signed by a parent;
            Be qualified to row; and
            Be recommended for membership by his/her rowing coach.
            iii. Junior Members shall use Crew Boosters equipment only under the supervision
            of a coach or Full Member authorized by the DC, and shall be subject to other
            limitations on membership (e.g., priority) described in these Rules
    c. Temporary Members
            i. At the discretion of the DC, a person may be admitted to ACR Membership for
           a temporary and/or trial period.
            ii. A Temporary Member shall be required to pay a suitable membership fee to
           be determined by the DC.
            iii. During the period of his/her membership, a Temporary Member shall have the
           same privileges and duties as a Full Member.
  4. Membership Term
    a. The membership term for Full Members is April 1 to March 31 of the next calendar year.
    b. Membership may be renewed on a year-to-year basis through the payment by the Member, and the acceptance by the Steering Committee, of the annual membership fee.
    c. Termination of membership
            i. If a Member fails to comply with these Rules, the DC may suspend the
           Member from ACR activities and then, as soon as practical, must convene
           a meeting of the Steering Committee to discuss the matter. The Steering
           Committee will rule on whether the Member should be expelled or some
           other reasonable punishment issued.
            ii. When the Steering Committee convenes, the Member in question shall have
           the right to appear before the Steering Committee and to present evidence as
           to why expulsion or other punishment is unwarranted.
            iii. Upon termination of membership, all rights and responsibilities of the Member
           under the Membership Agreement are terminated, except that the Member shall
           remain subject to the decision of the Steering Committee regarding the
           assessment of charges for the repair of equipment used by the Member.
  5. Fees
    a. Membership Fees
            i. The amount of the membership fee for Full Members shall be decided annually
           by the Steering Committee. The membership fee shall not be refundable and shall
           not be transferable.
            ii. Annual fees for Full Members are due by April 1 of each year. However,
           members may elect to pay membership fees in two installments, in which case
           payments must be made on April 1 and July 15. The amount payable for each
           installment will be determined by the Steering Committee.
            iii. If fees remain unpaid 15 days after one of the installment dates, the DC
           may suspend membership privileges.
            iv. The DC may prorate membership fees for a partial year's membership
           under exceptional circumstances only.
            v. The DC shall have sole discretion over whether a membership fee may be
            refunded. Membership fees may be refunded, less a processing fee, if a member
            requests the refund before April 20th. After April 20th, the DC may decide, on a
            case-by-case basis, to grant a pro-rated refund for reasons such as a member’s
            injury, illness, or relocation. Coaching fees are not refundable.
            vi. Reduced fees for certain Members
           Active coaches (minimum 3 days a week) shall receive full membership
           privileges free of charge.
           Active coxswains (minimum 3 days a week) need pay only the $40 Crew
           Boosters fee to receive full membership privileges.
           The DC shall have discretion to reduce fees for guest rowers, Junior Members,
           college students, Temporary Members, and (in the case of financial hardship
           or other extenuating circumstances) Full Members.
            vii. Membership Agreement
           Each year, all Members must, in addition to paying the membership fee, sign
           a Membership Agreement attesting that they have received, read, and will
           abide by these Rules.
           Junior Members must have the Membership Agreement co-signed by a
           parent or guardian.
    b. Crew Boosters fee
            i. Members shall pay a $40 fee per year for the Crew Boosters.
            ii. One payment of the Crew Boosters fee covers an entire family.
            iii. The DC may waive the Crew Boosters fee for T.C. Williams High School
           alumni who are college students and/or actively participating in a national
           rowing program.
    c. Program fees
            i. Members shall pay fees set by the DC to participate in specific programs
           (e.g., coached programs, winter conditioning).
            ii. Participants in novice classes are not required to pay the ACR membership
           fee or the Crew Boosters fee.
            iii. Participants in winter conditioning are not required to pay the ACR
           membership fee, but are required to pay the Crew Boosters fee.
  6. Guest policy
    a. At the discretion of the DC, prospective members may participate in up to five practice sessions prior to joining ACR.
    b. Guests who row for more than five practice sessions may elect to seek Temporary Membership.
    c. ACR Members shall not authorize a non-Member to use any equipment of the Crew Boosters. Guests may use Crew Boosters equipment only with the permission of the DC.
    d. All guests must sign the U.S. Rowing waiver before going on the water.
  7. Liability
    a. General. In entering a Membership Agreement, the Member acknowledges that the Crew Boosters and ACR shall not be responsible for any loss, damage, or injury resulting from the operation of Crew Boosters equipment, and the Member (or, in the case of a Junior Member, the Junior Member's parent or guardian) releases ACR, the Steering Committee, the Crew Boosters, and the board of directors of the Crew Boosters, and all their agents and employees, from any liability associated with the use of Crew Boosters equipment, the Boathouse, the Addition, or the Shed.
    b. Damaged equipment and liability of Members
            i. If rowing equipment is damaged, the Steering Committee shall endeavor to
           have necessary repairs paid for from applicable insurance policies.
            ii. In the event that insurance coverage is not available for the repair of the
           equipment, or a deductible is required, the Steering Committee may consider
           whether to require the Member(s) involved in the accident to pay for the
           repairs or the deductible.
            iii. Standard of negligence
                    • The Steering Committee understands that even experienced,
                responsible rowers occasionally damage equipment and, accordingly,
                shall not impose charges if the incident was caused by simple negligence.
                    • Except as described below, the Steering Committee shall employ a
                standard of gross negligence when deciding whether Members will be
                required to pay repair costs or deductibles. In making this determination,
                the Steering Committee shall consider the experience of the Member(s)
                involved and all other circumstances surrounding the accident in question.
                    • In situations where Member(s) go on the water without being watched
                by a launch, a standard of simple negligence shall apply when the Steering
                Committee determines whether charges should be levied.
            iv. Before the Steering Committee decides whether to levy charges against
           a Member, such Member shall have the right to appear before the Steering
           Committee to explain the situation and to present evidence as to why
           charges should not be levied.
            v. The Steering Committee's right to levy charges for boat repairs or deductibles
           extends to individuals who were Members but whose membership was
           terminated before the matter of charges was resolved. In other words, by
           joining ACR, the Member agrees that he/she may be held responsible for
           repair costs or deductibles resulting from an accident involving him/her,
           even if that Member leaves ACR after such accident.
            vi. In all cases in which equipment is damaged, regardless of fault, the Member(s)
           involved shall render appropriate assistance in making repairs.
    c. Neither ACR nor the Crew Boosters shall discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, or sex in any of its programs or activities.
  8. Listserv Regulations
    The ACR listserv is designed to serve the current members of Alexandria Community Rowing (ACR) and affiliated members Alexandria Crew Boosters (ACB). Use of the listserv is to be limited to business and events of ACR and the local rowing community (local clubs and organizations (USRowing, Judge-Referee Clinics)). Any current ACR member wishing to use the listserv should email secretary@rowalexandria.com. All messages are subject to approval and editing by the dockmasters.
IV. Boathouse Facility, Operations and Equipment
  1. Boathouse facility
    a. The Boathouse is owned by the Alexandria School Board, not ACR or the Crew Boosters. Accordingly, access to this facility shall be provided only with approval of the DC or Crew Boosters.
    b. No one should permit unauthorized people to have access to the Boathouse.
    c. If you are the last to launch:
          •Close the Boathouse bay door(s); and
          •Ensure that the front door is locked.
    d. If you are the last to leave the Boathouse:
          •Close all windows;
          •Turn off the radio and any other equipment;
          •Close the interior doors (top of stairs and boat bay);
          •Turn off all lights; and
          •Secure outside doors.
    e. The combination to the Shed and Addition will be given to an ACR Member only at the discretion of the DC.
    f. Members must not disclose the combination to any person not authorized by the DC.
    g. Shed door must be locked when not in immediate use.
  2. Boat racks
    a. Members may, at the discretion of the DC, be given the right to lease rack space in the Shed or the Addition.
    b. The terms of the lease shall be set forth in an agreement between the Crew Boosters and the lessee.
    c. Individuals who rent rack space must at all times be Full Members of ACR.
    d. Fees for annual rack rentals will be set by the Steering Committee.
    e. The DC shall keep a waiting list of individuals who wish to rent rack space.
  3. Dock Rules (set by the Principal of T.C.Williams High School)
    a. T.C.Williams High School shall have priority in use of the float, ramp, and apron.
    b. Blades must be on the dock prior to placing shells in the water.
    c. Repair or adjustment of shells cannot be made on the dock, float or ramps.
    d. Recreational rowers shall yield dock right of use to T.C. Williams rowers during school practices.
    e. Dock use is limited to persons authorized by the Alexandria City Public Schools.
    f. A courteous environment should be maintained by all parties.
    g. Dock rules are subject to change at the discretion of the Principal of T.C. Williams High School.
    h. Follow the coxswain's or bowman's instructions closely, especially when carrying boats, launching and landing.
    i. Do not step or put your arm through a rigger when climbing into or out of a boat.
    j. Carry oars with blades forward.
    k. Single scullers, bowmen, and coxswains should look where they are going frequently.
    l. Carry drinking water in the boat and stay hydrated.
    m. Shells must have bow balls at all times.
    n. Never step over a boat; always walk around it.
  4. Launching and Recovery
    a. Launching is in order of lining up on the ramp. Launch as soon as an area opens up, preferably at the most northerly space available.
    b. Once the shell is in the water, immediately obtain oars and vacate the dock as quickly as possible. Tie in on the water if other rowers are waiting for launch space.
    c. Minor adjustments should be made on the water, not at the dock. More extensive work should be done with the boat in slings or on the rack.
    d. No racing or high stroke rates are permitted in the launch area.
    e. The dock should be cleared as quickly as possible after returning from an outing.
    f. Oars should not be pulled in until all rowers have exited the boat.
  5. Traffic Pattern.
    Traffic patterns are defined in the supplementary Safety Manual for ACR at the end of this handbook. There is one exception to the Counter Clockwise Pattern prescribed in that manual. The exception to the counterclockwise pattern applies ONLY to boats heading directly from the boathouse to the marina south of the airport. Heading northward, these boats shall stay as close to the Virginia shore as practicable. North of the power plant, proceed with caution, following the marked channel staying west of all red buoys and red day markers en route to the marina. Boats heading back to the boathouse from the marina shall stay east of ALL day markers and buoys, joining any other southbound traffic from the main channel, being aware of the sunken barge located just east of the red nun buoy.
  6. Launch Operations
    a. Launch drivers should have 360 degrees of visibility of the water; the bow should be weighed down so that vision is not impaired.
    b. Launch drivers must be certified by a proctored, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boating safety class and their certificates on file with the Dockmaster for Programs.
    c. Launch capacities should not be exceeded.
    d. Use of launches outside of program hours requires DC approval.
    e. Gasoline tanks may not be left in the launches. All gasoline cans and tanks must be stored in the lockers.
  7. Rower's Emergency Procedures on the water:
    a. Stay with the boat and wait for a launch to rescue.
    b. Oars are approved personal flotation devices for rowers.
    c. In the absence of a launch, or if the shore is close by, rowers may swim to shore with a flotation device.
    d. Do not attempt to remove clothing in cold water; even wet clothing will delay the onset of hypothermia.
  8. Equipment
    a. General
            i. The Crew Boosters own certain equipment stored in the Boathouse.
           (Other equipment is owned by the School Board or private individuals.)
           Members shall have the right to use Crew Boosters equipment in
           accordance with these Rules.
            ii. From time to time, coaches of the scholastic programs allow ACR to use
           school boats. Use of school boats is entirely at the discretion of the coaches
           of T.C.Williams High School.
            iii. Members may not take any equipment or tools from the premises at anytime
           without express consent of a Dockmaster or Regatta Coordinator.
    b. Priority of use
            i. Full Members shall have priority over Junior Members.
            ii. Full Members training for a race shall have priority over other Members.
           The use of Crew Boosters equipment for race training shall be scheduled
           in a manner determined by the DC, in conjunction with the appropriate
           Program Representatives.
            iii. Designated programs shall have exclusive use of certain equipment to be
           designated by the DC and coaches.
            iv. Sculling programs with approved coaches shall have priority over the general
           membership in using sculling equipment.
            v. Certain singles may be used only with the permission of the DC.
    c. Rowing outside of program hours
            i. The use of sweep boats and quads outside of program hours requires
           DC authorization.
            ii. Single scullers may row outside of program hours, provided they are qualified
           drivers and have passed the flip test 1.
            iii. Doubles may row outside of program hours, provided the bowman is a
           qualified driver.
            iv. Pairs may row outside of program hours, provided the rowers have taken
           a flip test and the bow person is a qualified driver.
            v. Members who scull outside of program hours must:
                •Check boat reservation forms prior to boat use; and
                •Ensure that boats are returned to the dock at least five minutes prior to
                 another sculler's reservation time.
            vi. Scullers not participating in a supervised program (including rack holders) must sign
           out and sign in the Shed log book.
    d. Equipment storage
            i. Equipment shall be returned to its proper location after each use.
            ii. Shells must be wiped down after each use.
            iii. Shells may not be left in slings without permission of the DC.
            iv. Shells are to be stored "bow in" inside the main Boathouse and Addition
           and "bow out" in the Shed.
            v. Never put a shell down anywhere other than in the water, on a rack, or in slings.
    e. Broken or damaged equipment should be:
            i. Reported to the Operations Dockmaster and the maintenance representative
           no later than the same day it occurs; and
            ii. Marked as unrowable or unsafe so that the boat will not be used until
           repairs can be made.
    f. Alteration of equipment
            i. The physical condition of Crew Boosters equipment shall not be altered
           without the authorization of the DC.
            ii. Crew Boosters boats may not be rigged to new specifications, or oars
           adjusted, without the permission of the appropriate Program Representative.
            iii. Rigging specifications on boats owned by the School Board may not be
           changed without the permission of the T.C.Williams head coach(es) and
           knowledge of the Operations Dockmaster.
    g. Private lessons
            i. Private lessons may be given with Crew Booster equipment, provided both
           the coach and the student are ACR Members.
            ii. If equipment is damaged during a private lesson, ACR's ordinary rules of
           liability shall govern. See Rule III(7)(b).
  1. Entering regattas and signing up for boats
    a. The Racing Coordinator will post information about regattas in the Boathouse (specifically in the new addition) and on the ACR web site.
    b. Program coaches or members designated by a program coach are responsible for entering their rowers in regattas and paying their own entry fees (most regatta schedules and entry forms can be found on the web sites for the hosting club/s of the regatta or at the following web site: http://www.row2k.com/) .
    c. Uncoached rowers are responsible for their own regatta entries.
    d. Coaches and uncoached members must make requests for club boats in a manner prescribed by the Racing Coordinator 5 weeks in advance of each regatta (except for the Head of the Charles - deadline August 1) in which a member plans to compete, a boat request form must be completed and submitted either to an individual Race Coordinator or placed in the Race Committee mailbox in the new addition.
    e. Boat Assignment for Races. If there are multiple conflicting requests for the same equipment, the racing coordinator will consult with the coaches, and if necessary with the Dockmasters. All Dockmaster decisions are final.
    Considerations for major competitive regattas (Independence Day, Club Nationals, Masters Nationals, Head of the Charles and Head of the Schuylkill only)
             •Who can be most successful at these regattas
             •Rower's previous racing records
             •Commitment to and time spent training
             •Previous boat assignments
             •Other relevant facts or circumstances
    Considerations for non-major competitive regattas (all regattas not identified above)
             •Give as many rowers as possible the opportunity to race
             •Commitment to and time spent training
             •Rower's boat assignments during the season:
             •For past and future races
             •For prior training
             •Both coached and uncoached programs
    f. Practice before regattas. Individuals or crews who are assigned a boat for use during a regatta, may practice in that boat for up to one week prior to the regatta, if there is no one scheduled to use the boat during the time they wish to practice. If there is a schedule conflict, the following pertains: For rowers who have been assigned the boat for the season, there must be another boat available for them to use during the practice week. Additionally, all individuals involved must be in agreement with the switch. Rowers must work this out with each other and are expected to be considerate and fair.
    g. Last minute requests (after the 5-week deadline has already passed) for boats and/or space on the trailer will only be considered if the requested boat is not already being used in the regatta in question and only if there is still room on the trailer, after accommodating all requests submitted on time.
  2. Regatta Captains
            i. The racing coordinator will request each coach to appoint a Regatta Captain
           for their team for each principal event that ACR attends
            ii. The Regatta Captain shall be responsible for:
           Maintaining a list of participating rowers;
           Arranging for transportation;
           Maintaining an equipment list of items taken from the boathouse;
           Supervising the loading and unloading of boats and equipment;
           Ensuring all boats used by their team are rigged and cox boxes are returned
           to their proper racks and plugged in before Monday programs meet;
           Collecting transportation money
  3. One week prior to a regatta, the Racing Coordinator shall notify the Regatta Captains who will participate in the regatta of:
             i. The time for loading and unloading boats; and
            ii. The fees due per boat
  4. The Racing Coordinator is not responsible for:
    a. Working out practice schedules for the boats that will be raced more than once in the same regatta;
    b. Repairing equipment;
    c. Registering for races
    d. Getting to and from regattas
    e. Regatta costs will be divided evenly among all the rowers using the trailer
    f. One person in each program or boat (in the case of uncoached rowers) is responsible for collecting money and giving it to the Racing Coordinator.
    g. A boat may not be loaded until the boat's fees have been paid
    h. The Coaches and Regatta Captains are responsible for ensuring that at least half of the people on his/her team or in his/her boat show up to load and unload boats
    i. All boats must be rerigged and equipment put away before Monday morning program hours.
VI. Safety
  All rowers and coaches are responsible for adhering to the guidelines in the Safety Manual for Alexandria Community Rowing provided at the end of this handbook.
VI. Absense of Stated Policy
  In the absence of a stated policy in these Rules, the DC has discretion in matters involving use of Crew Boosters equipment and Boathouse facilities, until such time as the Steering Committee discusses the matter.

1 To pass the flip test, a sculler must be able to get back in the scull after tipping over. To pass the qualified driver test, a sculler must be able to launch, return to the dock, and steer at a level deemed sufficient by the DC.


Safety Manual for Alexandria Community Rowing

This manual establishes the safety and security procedures governing the conduct of rowing programs of Alexandria Community Rowing (ACR).

As with any other physical activity, there are risks involved in rowing. The sport also carries some special risks because it is conducted on the water. Safety is therefore paramount. The safety rules and procedures in this manual are based on long experience and sound practice. They involve everyone in the program – rowers, coaches, and even spectators who may be in the Boathouse or on the dock. The continued safe conduct of all rowing programs in Alexandria is everyone’s responsibility.

Throughout this document, the term “rower” applies to any rower or coxswain who is a member of Alexandria Community Rowing and a participant in an ACR sanctioned rowing program.

  1.1 The Dockmaster Committee is entrusted with responsibility to make operational decisions concerning ACR, including those which are related to safety. This committee consists of:
    a. Operations Dockmaster is responsible for facility operation during program hours; boathouse security; safety; and dock operations and maintenance.
    b. Administrative Dockmaster is responsible for handling insurance and legal issues and acts as liaison with Alexandria Crew Boosters.
    c. Programs Dockmaster is responsible for hiring and supervising coaches, including documentation of coaches’ credentials and safety training; and conducting workshops, such as coxswain, water safety, CPR and first aid training.
  1.2 The Programs Dockmaster will ensure that coaches are properly trained. The coaches will inform rowers of all safety rules and procedures and ensure that they observe them at all times. Coaches and the Programs Dockmaster will be alert to safety infractions or unsafe practices, and make corrections as appropriate.
  1.3 Rowers are responsible for their own safe behavior. They are expected to learn and understand the safety rules and procedures, conduct themselves safely at all times, and to be alert to unsafe conditions or conduct.
  1.4 The Safety Representative of the ACR Steering Committee shall participate in the meetings of the ACB Safety Committee and serve as liaison between it and ACR; coordinate dock operations related to safety with the Operations Dockmaster; maintain accident reports; communicate with membership regarding safety issues.
  2.1 The Boathouse is a facility of Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS). Use of the Boathouse and equipment shall be restricted to members of the following groups, in approved programs under the supervision of a coach:
    • The T.C. Williams Crew Team, during the spring rowing season
    • Alexandria Community Rowing, during the ACR season
    • Other youth or adult rowing programs sanctioned by Alexandria Crew Boosters, such as ODBC crew, fall crew, summer crew, and winter conditioning.
  2.2 No one else is authorized to use the Boathouse without express permission of one of the T.C. Williams head coaches or an officer of Alexandria Crew Boosters. Individual or unsupervised workouts are not permitted at any time. Student rowers are not permitted in the Boathouse outside of program hours except for activities sanctioned by ACPS or Alexandria Crew Boosters.
  2.3 An ACR Dockmaster shall be on the premises of the boathouse during program hours to assess weather conditions appropriate for rowing; supervise orderly launching and docking of boats; be available to take communications from coaches on the water; and provide supervision of athletes not on the water.
  2.3 An ACR Dockmaster shall be on the premises of the boathouse during program hours to assess weather conditions appropriate for rowing; supervise orderly launching and docking of boats; be available to take communications from coaches on the water; and provide supervision of athletes not on the water.
  2.4 ACPS shall provide a safety bulletin board that shall be maintained in the Boathouse for posting safety rules, safety notices and emergency information.
  2.5 ACPS shall provide and maintain first aid kits in the boat bays and workout room. Coaching staff shall inspect the kits monthly and they will be restocked as necessary.
  2.6 ACPS shall provide and maintain fire extinguishers located as required by the City of Alexandria.
  2.7 ACPS shall provide approved gasoline containers, and gas storage lockers for storage of gasoline when not in use in a launch. Coaching staff is responsible for ensuring gas containers are returned to the storage cabinet after each use.
  2.8 Scullers not participating in a supervised program (including rack holders) must sign out and sign in the Shed log book. Failure to do so will result in the following penalties within a single rowing season:
    a. Upon the first infraction, a verbal warning will be given and put in writing by a dockmaster
    b. Upon the second infraction, the rower will be suspended from using any of the club’s facilities and equipments for ten calendar days.
    c. The second infraction will entail a suspension for thirty calendar days.
    d. The third infraction will result in expulsion from the club for the rowing season, according to the rules in section III 4.c no refunds will be given.
  The steering committee will implement the necessary measures to keep track of the infractions to this rule.
  3.1 All rowers shall receive a copy of the Crew Safety Guide at the beginning of the season.

3.2 Before being admitted to an ACR-rowing and ACB-sanctioned program, every rower shall certify, as part of the Alexandria Community Rowing Membership Agreement, that he or she can swim a distance of 100 yards and tread water for two minutes fully clothed.

In order to row an ACR club-owned single without a safety launch present (“unaccompanied”), a single sculler must successfully pass a flip test administered and certified by an ACB or ACR coach or dockmaster. The flip test must be recertified every three years. Any sculler certified up to 2007 must be recertified by 2010. The Safety Coordinator will be responsible for maintaining the flip test requirement log.

  3.3 Every rower shall certify that that he or she has had a current physical exam and is approved for participation in a physical activity like rowing by a personal physician.
  3.4 Each rower shall initial a notation on the ACR registration form acknowledging receipt of the Crew Safety Guide. Coaches shall maintain records indicating that each rower has received safety training. These forms will be kept on file throughout the season.
  4.1 All coaches shall have completed an approved safety course as required by DC Harbor Police before the beginning of the rowing season, and documentation shall be maintained in the Boathouse. Certifications shall be kept on file at the boathouse by the Programs Dockmaster.
  4.2 Coaches shall conduct a safety briefing for all rowers at the beginning of each season, including the US Rowing safety video. Topics will include:
    a. Safety rules and procedures
    b. Rescue procedures in the water, including practice in donning a personal flotation device.
    c. Recognition of unsafe water conditions
    d. Proper navigation rules and boat handling (Coxswains)
    e. Safe handling of boats, oars and launches on land
    f. Hypothermia
  4.3 Coxswain training shall be conducted at the start of the season, and periodically as necessary throughout the season. This training may include:
    a. Recognition of dangerous water and weather conditions
    b. Safe navigation, including hazards on the Potomac, commercial and sport boat traffic, submerged hazards and floating objects.
    c. Recognition of landmarks useful in reporting one’s position on the Potomac.
    d. Traffic patterns for crews using the Alexandria Boathouse, and traffic patterns and regulations for other clubs rowing on the Potomac.
    e. Emergency rescue procedures
    f. Emergency communications
    g. Any training required by the DC Harbor Police for operators of boats on the Potomac as applicable to crew.
  5.1 General
    a. All pairs, fours, quads and eights shall be accompanied by a coach in a launch. Singles and doubles shall be accompanied by a launch if the water temperature is below 50 degrees, or the sum of the air and water temperatures is less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit; otherwise, singles and doubles need not be accompanied by a launch, though they are encouraged to team-up with other boats when doing so. Launches shall be driven only by coaches holding an approved boating safety course certificate, and whose competence in driving a launch has been verified by a head coach or program director. All persons in a launch shall wear an approved personal flotation device at all times while on the water. No rowing shells or sculls should be more than 250 meters from a coach’s launch.
    b. No more than four people are allowed in a launch unless it is involved in a rescue.
    c. A coach under 21 years old shall not operate a launch alone.
    d. Launches shall carry, the following equipment:
      • Approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) for each occupant of the launch and all rowers being coached.
      • One Coast Guard approved Type IV throwable PFD with line attached.
      • Paddle
      • Anchor
      • Water bailer
      • Emergency line (min. 50 ft)
      • Emergency space blankets
      • Air horn or other warning device
      • Radio or other emergency communications equipment.
    It is the coaches responsibility to check that all equipment is in the launch
each time it goes out.
    e. All coxswains under the age of 21 shall wear an approved personal flotation device; all coxswains shall carry a whistle, air horn or other emergency communications device.
    f. Coaches shall ensure that an accurate roster of each crew on the water is posted in the Boathouse before launching, including all occupants of launches accompanying the crews. All single and double scullers shall sign-out before launching in log books posted in the boathouse shed and addition.
  5.2 Weather and Water Conditions
    a. Rowing is not allowed when the weather conditions such as freezing temperature, high wind, strong current, waves, storm clouds, thunder, lightning or fog indicate a potential hazard to rowers’ safety. The Dockmaster Committee, in consultation with the program coaches, shall have ultimate authority to determine whether boats may or may not go on the water.
    b. Coaches shall periodically call in their position on the water to provide for general awareness during practice.
    c. Boats must return to the dock at the first sound of thunder, sign of lightning, or if fog sets in. If caught in a sudden storm, boats shall be taken ashore to the nearest safe point and wait for the storm to pass. Boats may return to the water 30 minutes after thunder is last heard or lightning is last seen.
    d. Coaches shall ensure that all rowers are dressed appropriately, especially during hot or cold weather. See Appendix A for more information on weather-related health emergencies.
    e. Shells and launches embarking prior to sunrise must be equipped with bow and stern lights. All boats must be off the water by sunset if not equipped with lights.
  5.3 Launching and Traffic Patterns
    a. Head coaches shall ensure that all coaches are aware of the traffic patterns for practice.
    b. All boats shall launch from the dock to the north and land at the dock from the south via Oronoco Bay. Northbound boats wishing to enter Oronoco Bay to reach the boathouse shall yield to southbound traffic, and shall cross the southbound traffic lanes only when safe to do so.
    c. The traffic pattern for Alexandria crews is counter-clockwise. Boats rowing north should cross the river to the DC/Maryland side; boats rowing south should be closer to the Virginia shore.
    d. When rowing south under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, southbound rowers should pass through the draw span arch, and northbound rowers shall pass through any accessible span east (toward DC/Maryland) of the draw span, as is consistent with bridge construction.
    e. When rowing north, especially under the 14th Street Bridge and beyond, coaches and rowers should follow the traffic patterns established by the Potomac River Safety Committee
    f. Crews participating in regattas shall be governed by the safety rules in the current edition of the Rules of Rowing of the United States Rowing Association, and by the rules of the regatta.
6. Transportation
  a. All transportation to ACR-sanctioned regattas is at the rower’s own risk and responsibility.
  b. Boats shall be transported only on the TC Williams boat trailers, towed by drivers approved by both ACR and Alexandria Crew Boosters. Under agreement with ACPS and ACB, ACR will take responsibility for boats and trailers while using these trailers. Drivers shall comply with all motor vehicle laws.
7. Emergency Communications
  a. ACPS shall maintain a telephone in the Boathouse for emergency calls. Emergency telephone numbers will be posted by the telephone.
  b. A radio will be carried in each launch for emergency communications, and to facilitate communication when necessary with commercial river traffic.
8. Standard Operating Procedures for Responding to Emergencies on the Water
  a. Any coach with an emergency situation on-the-water should notify all other ACR coaches by radio of the situation. They should identify the type of emergency, location, and whether additional help is needed. If an emergency situation poses an immediate threat to life or property, call 911 or the DC Harbor Police.
  b. If a coach is nearby and hears the emergency call, the coach will notify all other ACR coaches by radio that he/she will respond to the emergency. The coach responding will then identify a “lead boat” among his/her crews to take charge of the group.
  c. This “lead boat” will lead all of the boats left to either (1) join the closest coached rowing group or (2) return to the boathouse using the normal traffic pattern.
  d. The responding coach will inform other ACR coaches, by radio, of his/her crews’ location, the number and type of boats (e.g., 8+, 4+, 4x, 2x,) in the group, and the lead boat’s name.
  e. The coach will then respond to the emergency on-the-water.
  f. All coaches will be on the lookout for the un-coached crews to provide safety by either (1) having them join their group OR (2) have them proceed ahead to provide a measure of safety to them.
  g. Upon arriving at the boathouse, the “lead boat: will check in with the Dockmaster or Dock Assistant, identifying their coach and verifying that all boats in the practice session have returned to the boathouse.
  h. Once the coach has assisted with the emergency, he/she should check with the Dockmaster or Dock Assistant to determine if all of his/her crews have safely returned to the boathouse.
  i. Rowers, once they return to the boathouse, should radio their coach to notify that they are safe.
  j. Rowers who leave a coached group early to return to the boathouse should also notify their coach by radio that they have safely returned. The radios are in the blue locker in the northern bay and they can use Channel one (1).
  k. Once all boats, rowers, coaches, and launches have been accounted for, the coaches may close the boathouse.

This manual is intended only to set forth safety and security procedures governing the conduct of Alexandria Community Rowing, and is not intended to establish a general or legal standard of care. The procedures in this Manual may be modified from time to time, without notice, as ACPS, ACB or ACR deem appropriate.