If you are interested in joining Duke Men’s Crew, please click HERE to fill out the survey.

What is Duke Crew?

Crew, alternatively known as rowing, is a sport where athletes compete against each other by racing in advanced boats called ‘shells.’ Crew is the oldest intercollegiate sport in the United States.

Is prior rowing experience required?

No. Athletes without rowing experience, known as “walk-ons”, compose the majority of many crew teams in many colleges. Rowers with experience often compete with the varsity squad in the fall while their walk-on classmates are learning the stroke.

How big of a commitment is joining the crew team?

Crew requires a dedication and time commitment that rivals other competitive sports. Eventually athletes will practice six days a week for approximately an hour or two.

imageDoes crew interfere with school or other activities?

The team recognizes that club members are both students and athletes. The club has graduated students of varied majors that excel both in their sports and academically. As with any extracurricular activity, time management skills are fostered and put to use.


What is the team’s practice schedule?

The team adjusts its practice schedule every semester to accommodate the changing schedules of its athletes. The varsity squad practices on the water four days a week with two other practices in the Wilson gymnasium on West Campus. While water practice usually entails early practice, the two workouts in the gym allow students to properly rest and recover.

When is the crew season?

Crew is a three-season sport. The team competes in longer fall races known as “head races” that function similar to a time trial. In the winter, the team shifts its fitness regimen through indoor training before starting the spring sprint season. The sprint season entails 2,000 meter races, the competition done at the sport’s highest levels.

Where does the team practice?

The team holds its indoor practices in the Wilson Gymnasium and has a boathouse on Lake Michie in Bahama, NC. The lake is approximately 25 minutes from Duke.

Is there a height or weight requirement?

Athletes of any body type are encouraged to join. Throughout the year you will increase your fitness and develop the skills for competition. The more effort you put in to your training, the better your results will be.

Is crew a varsity sport?

Men’s rowing is not recognized by the NCAA. At Duke, the team is a club sport: students lead and run the crew team. The team often competes against varsity programs from other universities and has emerged victorious in the past. Like many other crew teams, our status as a club does not mean we are non-competitive. References to “varsity” rowers on the team allude to rowers who have completed their novice year.

I’m visiting Duke, is there someone from the team I can meet with?

Contact the team’s President and he will either meet you or arrange for someone else to meet with you to discuss the team.

How should I train if I wish to join the team?

Any cardiovascular exercise will help. Those who know how to erg properly will gain the most from their exercise. Otherwise, interested athletes can run, bike or cross-country ski to develop their fitness. Rowing is a sport based on leg strength, so a supplemental lifting routing focusing on the legs will yield results in the boat.

Can women join the team?

Women cannot row for the team, but female coxswains can (and do) join and compete with the team.

Are grad students eligible to join the team and compete?

Yes, students in all levels of their education are eligible to compete in almost all regattas. Based on prior competition history, they may or not be eligible for certain events. Grad students are encouraged to contact the President to discuss their personal circumstance and intended level of involvement.

Can students join the team in the spring semester?

Yes. The team welcomes students throughout the year. Students who wish to join the team mid-year or mid-semester should contact the President.