RS recommends: All you need to know about rowing in New York



Where are you from?

I live in a town next to Barcelona called Vilassar de Mar.

How long have you lived in NYC?

I arrived to New York last September to participate in the Roger Smith internship program, it’s been nine months so far.

 What are you loving about NYC so far?

I love the people and I love the vibrant spirit of the city. The city that never sleeps is active 24 hours a day, its’ amazing! You can see people walking down the street at 6am and there’s always something to do. If you are bored in New York, you are doing something wrong.

 What got you into rowing?

Rowing has been a long family tradition. My grandfather used to row as well as my uncle and my father.  My parents met while rowing so we could say that without rowing I wouldn’t exist.

How long have you been rowing?

I’ve been rowing since I was 16. I was in high school and I wanted to try a sport other than soccer or basketball and I thought that this was the perfect moment to get into the family tradition. I started in a rowing club located on the other side of Barcelona and it took me a long time to commute so I moved to a closer to where I practiced rowing.

Where do you row in NYC?

Unfortunately I have no time to row here in New York because the closest clubs are in Rockland County and in Connecticut. The only rowing team I know in Manhattan is an all-female group from the University of Columbia.

 What’s the rowing culture like in NYC, compared to where you’re from?

The costal rowing in NYC, and I would say in the entire US, is not a popular sport, but the Olympic rowing team have a strong following in upstate NY and in the rest of the country.

In fact, rowing at the college level in the US is one of the best around the world. The only challenge is that  water related sports are very seasonal in most parts of the country. Water freezes in November and the sun comes again at the end of March.

What would you say to someone who wants to take up rowing…any words of advice?

Anyone can find his/her place in rowing. There are boats for many different levels, from starters to competition or just for leisure.

 What goes through your mind when you’re out on the water in a race?

Racing in the water requires using your entire body with every stroke, in coordination with the rest of the boat. The most difficult part is always the last 250 meters of the regatta because you are exhausted, nevertheless the most crucial. While all of  the boats are nearing the finish line, it requires the last big push from the entire team to win. This is mentally draining.

 Any favorite places / things to eat after a big day of rowing in NYC?

I love to go for brunch at any time but, after rowing you really need to recharge and refuel energy. I like some places around midtown to go for brunch for example The Smith. My favorite areas to go for brunch are definitely SOHO and the Lower East Side. In those neighborhoods you can find outstanding places with great atmosphere, perfect to meet new people.

What are you most excited to experience while here in NYC?

The opportunity to experience American traditions that bring people together is something really special. July 4th is another holiday that Americans celebrate and I’m happy to partake in the festivities around it.


Roger Smith Management intern: Albert Catala Junquera.


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