Masters Guides and Rules

Masters Policies

Facility UsageGeneral ConductSafetyEquipmentCommunicationDues & Coaching FeesRowsRacingDownload this Guide
  1. GAR Masters are able to use the facility at all times except when the youth are practicing. Youth teams practice during the school year each afternoon from 3:30 until 6:00 and also on Saturday mornings from 8:00-10:00am.
  2. During youth practice time club boats, weights, and ergs are off limits to Masters rowers.
  3. The only Masters rowers who are permitted to use the equipment and facility are rowers who are in good standing with regards to dues and other payables to the club.
  1. If a rower is running late to practice, it is their responsibility to notify the coach if they would like to be included in the practice or have a boat wait for them. Rowers who do not notify the coach might not be put into a boat line-up.
  2. If a Masters coach feels that a rower’s personal safety is being jeopardized, the coach can elect to not put the rower in a boat or remove the rower from a boat at their discretion. This can happen in the event of dehydration, injury, nutritional concerns, and any other situation that could compromise the safety of the rower.
  3. Illegal drugs and firearms are prohibited at the GAR boathouse since it is state property. Alcohol is not permitted at the boathouse anytime the youth rowers are present.
  4. Every Masters coach will be shown respect both on and off of the water. If a rower has an issue with a coach’s judgment, training style, or technique, they will contact the head coach and the head coach will speak with the Masters coach regarding the situation. The head coach will decide if the GAR Executive Committee will need to be involved in the situation. This non- confrontational approach between coach and rower will help to maintain an enjoyable and respectful environment at practices and races.
  5. If a rower has a dispute with another rower that rower will contact the Masters liaison, who will be able to listen to all concerns and decide the best course of action given the situation.
  1. All rowers must sign a liability waiver and emergency contact sheet before participating in rowing either on a machine or on the water.
  2. In the event of emergency the waivers will be kept in a file in the boathouse at all times.
  3. It is the rower’s responsibility to notify that Masters coach at the beginning of practice if they are not a proficient swimmer or if they have an injury or other limitation that the coach should be aware of. Rowing is permitted without a coach only after each rower has completed dump training demonstrating the ability to re-enter an overturned boat without aid, and has been approved to row alone by a Masters coach.
  4. Dump training is conducted a few times per year at Melrose Bay, scheduled to meet demand, and will teach rowers how to get back into a single that has flipped over.
  5. Rowing alone in club equipment is not permitted between the month of November and February.
  6. Rowers with privately owned boats that wish to row on their own during these cold months may do so at their own risk but are encouraged to row with a buddy.
  7. All rowers will be aware of the traffic pattern as posted in the boathouse. With the exception of the summer months, collegiate crews are on the water at the same time as the Masters. On the west shore (GAR boathouse shore), crews traveling north will stay close to the weed line; crews traveling south will stay far enough from shore to allow safe passage of northbound boats. This is especially critical around Palm Point, which is a blind turn for fast moving boats. Elsewhere in the lake, boats will stay far enough away from one another to eliminate any danger of contact.
  8. When rowing in the dark each shell will be equipped with a light so that it is visible to other boats and to the coach.
  9. In order to assist with finding the canal from and lake and safely docking, the porch and dock lights will be turned on prior to launching in darkness or if the return to the dock is anticipated to be in darkness.
  10. Rowers are permitted to row in the rain; however, rowing with lightning present is not permitted. During a practice if a storm is approaching, the coach will use their discretion in getting the crews off of the water when the storm contains or has the potential to produce lightning, high winds, or other conditions, which could present a danger. Crews may launch 30 minutes after seeing the last lightning bolt.
  11. High winds can present a dangerous situation for rowing. If the lake has white caps, practice will take place on the indoor rowing machines. It is at the discretion of the coach whether crews will be launching on a windy day.
  12. Even if the weather is questionable it is recommended you come out to rows for which you have signed up. With the changeable weather here, many times weather will improve in time for a good row. At worst, if the row cannot go out the coaches conduct very productive indoor sessions in the boathouse.
  1. The use of equipment is at the discretion of the Masters coach and will take into consideration the experience of the crew with regards to crew size and skill level.
  2. When at races, the youth team will have priority over the equipment. Most of the Masters races are not during youth races so this will rarely be a factor.
  3. Newer rowers will need to get the approval of a coach to use the newest racing equipment.
  4. It is the rowers’ responsibility to clean boat hulls, seat tracks and oars after each practice.
  5. If something is broken or needs repair in a boat, the Masters coach for that practice is responsible for writing down the issue on the repair board for the fleet manager to fix.
  6. Our front gate has a combination key box that unlocks the gate. If you need access to the facility when it is not open, please speak with the Masters liaison for the combination.
  1. The main form of communication for GAR Masters is the GAR Masters list serve. To join this list serve, send a blank email to:
  2. Another important means of communication is GAR’s Website. Members are encouraged to check the GAR Website on a regular basis to stay informed of club information and activity. It is located at
  3. GAR Masters uses an online calendar to sign up for practices. There is a link to this calendar on the website, you may also use this link: For security reasons, directions for how to use this calendar are not posted. To have directions sent to you please contact the Masters liaison.
  4. It is very important to sign up for the practices. By signing up for a practice a coach will be able to plan on what kind of workout they would like the group to do as well as what kind of boats the group will be using. The coach of any scheduled row that has no signups will cancel the row. Rowers who attend without having signed up have a lower priority when the practice is seated. Information from signups is used to evaluate the usage of scheduled rows to help determine whether the membership would be better served by a schedule change.
  5. If you sign up and then cannot make it to the practice, it is very important that you remove your name from the calendar. Most of the Masters coaches are able to check the calendar just before practice begins by using their phones.
  1. Dues provide membership to Gainesville Area Rowing and use of equipment.
  2. Coaching fees provide supervised instruction and racing preparation.
  3. Dues must be paid on or before the due date to remain a good standing member of GAR Masters. Dues are billed using email from the Masters treasurers’ email address.
  4. Coaching fees can either be paid per row, before the row begins, or per month, in advance.
Tech/Rec Rows
  1. Tec/Rec rows are both technical and recreational. These rows are perfect for new rowers because they have an emphasis on technique and skill. Before participating in tec/rec rows a rower must have completed a learn to row clinic, or have prior rowing experience and be able to demonstrate nominal proficiency. Experienced rowers can also benefit from the technique instruction and drills.
  2. Rowers may go out without a coach during tec/rec rows if they have the approval of the Masters coach and if they have passed dump training and communicate their practice plan with the Masters coach. Rowers participating in the coached session have priority for equipment.
Open Rows
  1. Open rows are open to both new rower and experienced rowers.
  2. Open rowers allow for technical work as well as fitness work at the discretion of the Masters coach.
  3. Rowers may go out without a coach during open rows if they have the approval of the Masters coach and if they have passed dump training and communicate their practice plan with the Masters coach. Rowers participating in the coached session have priority for equipment.
Competitive Rows
  1. Competitive rows are geared toward rowers who are preparing to race. During competitive rows the rowers will do “pieces”. Pieces are workouts. For example, a practice could consist of four eight-minute pieces. This would be rowing for eight minutes and doing this four times. Pieces can be as short as one minute or as long as thirty minutes depending on the goal of the workout.
  2. Any Masters coach can let a rower know when they feel that they are ready to prepare for racing. If a new rower is unsure, they can also ask a Masters coach if they feel that they are ready for competitive rows.
  3. Rowers may not go out without a coach during competitive rows. These rows cover a lot of water and it is not safe or appropriate for rowers to be rowing during the competitive practices, as it will distract the attention of the coach and compromise the quality of the competitive practice.
”Just Pieces” Rows
  1. This is a weekly workout with an emphasis on doing pieces and fitness. These workouts are very competitive in nature and time is not spent on technique or drills on these rows.
  2. During “Just Pieces” the coach will maintain safety and run race-type pieces or workouts. A rower should not expect a lot of technical feedback but they can expect a great workout!
  3. Newer rowers will need to ask a coach if they are ready to attend these practices, as they are very intense.
  4. 4. Rowers may not go out without a coach during “Just Pieces” rows. These rows cover a lot of water and it is not safe or appropriate for rowers to be rowing during the competitive practices, as it will distract the attention of the coach and compromise the quality of the competitive practice.
  1. After participating in competitive rows and attaining the level of skill and fitness needed to race, the Masters coach can recommend that a Masters rower is ready to race.
  2. The competitive chair handles the race sign up and all communication regarding racing. All communication regarding racing is done through email, it is the responsibility of all rowers to check email on a regular basis so that they are aware of deadlines and important information.
  3. In order to race, the Masters rower must be current on their dues and all other payables to the club.
  4. A $100 racing fee will be billed immediately after a regatta. This fee includes all race entry fees, boat transportation costs and coaching for the regatta preparation and day of race.
  5. If an entry has to scratch after the race registration deadline due to a rower not being able to participate and no substitute is available, a scratch fee assessed to the club will be passed on to the rower who caused the scratch. This rower is responsible tor reimbursing the club the scratch fee. Scratch fees are generally around $50.
  6. If a coxswain is traveling with the team on an overnight trip, the cost of food and lodging for that coxswain will be divided and paid for by the Masters that are racing. Each rower’s share will be billed shortly after the race and is due upon receipt.
  7. If the Masters are racing at a regatta with the youth team, there will be no alcohol consumption in the vicinity of the youth rowers.


  1. Members, in good standing, are entitled to bring a guest to a scheduled row, providing the guest is an experienced rower with adequate proficiency and fitness to be able to fit in with the row. Guests must fill out and sign the Masters waiver and it must be filed in the guest section of the emergency contact binder before they are allowed on the water. The standard coaching fee will apply.

Dues and Costs

Regular Membership DuesAssociate Membership DuesCoaching Fees

Dues are $145 per calendar quarter (pro-rated to monthly for new members joining mid-quarter).
For additional immediate family members, Family Plan dues are $75 per quarter.

Club dues include:

  • Use of club boats, equipment and facilities
  • Boat storage
(For rowers 18-21 years of age and no longer eligible for high school teams)

Dues are $240 per calendar year ($100 if joining during fall season)
For GAR Alumni – $50 per calendar year

Associate Member dues include:
Use of club boats, equipment and facilities during regular scheduled sessions
PLEASE NOTE: While Associate Members are welcome to be part of the GAR Masters race team, race entry fees ARE NOT covered by the Associate Membership.

In order to keep our dues as low as possible and accommodate our members who are not able to row frequently our coaching fees are handled separately.

There is a per session fee of $10 or you can pre-pay $70 for an unlimited number of sessions during a calendar month.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact the Masters’ Liaison at