Capital Crew Youth Rowing

Capital Crew Youth Program

Capital Crew Youth  Program

Capital Crew is the Sacramento State Aquatic Center’s Youth Rowing program for high school students. Since 1988 to the present, Capital Crew has offered competitive rowing to all Sacramento area high school student athletes. Annually, the Aquatic Center’s youth rowing program attracts an average of over 150 participants. The team trains from mid-September to mid-May and competes against thirty two other junior rowing programs on the West Coast.

capital crew junior rowers

Over the last decade Capital has captured a handful of Southwest Regional Youth Championships team and individual titles and qualified numerous times to compete at the USRowing Youth Invitational. Capital athletes are consistently selected to prominent college programs and chosen to represent the United States in rowing at the youth elite, development, and international level. The program has introduced hundreds of local high school students to the competitive sport of rowing. Capital is considered one of the foremost youth rowing programs in the Southwest District.

If you are interested in our Capital Crew Youth Rowing Program please fill out our Web Form. 

New to Crew

If your high school child is interested in our youth rowing program they will start with our new athlete regardless of age or grade.  Tryout period is two weeks long.  The trial period is the opportunity for your child to see if rowing is the sport for them, as Capital Crew is a no cut program.  After the two week trial the full payment is required for athletes that wish to participate in Capital Crew. 

Please register online to pay the $100 tryout fee.  Each child must have their parent fill out the Capital Crew Packet.  Please see our Fees & Payments page for more information.

New Athlete Parent Meeting
Please join us for our new athlete Parent meeting at the Aquatic Center. (date TBA ) This meeting will cover all you will need to know about our Capital Crew Youth Rowing Program, you will be able to meet the coaches, receive paperwork and pay your trial period fee. 

First day of Practice
Thursday, January 4, 2024

What to Bring
Completed Packet 2022-2023 Capital Crew Athlete Packet
Returning Athlete $1025.00 
New Athlete Tryout fee $100.00 (cash, check, Visa or MC)
Water bottle
Running shoes
Workout clothes
Swimsuit for swim test

Practice Times/Info

Practice is held Monday – Friday from 4:00-6:00 pm.

Training Season

Fall Season
During fall our athletes learn how to row, improve their rowing, and work on conditioning through various land and water workout. Returning athlete practice starts at the end of August. New athlete will start after labor day. 

Spring Season
The spring season starts the first full week in January for all squads. Spring fees are due one week from the start date for all squads. Spring semester ends in May, except for any  boat that qualifies for the USRowing Youth National Championships that is in June. The athletes continue to focus on conditioning and improvement of their rowing and he emphasis is shifted more towards the racing season.

Spring 2024
January 4 – May 7, 2024 

Fall 2024 Season
Returning Athletes – August 19 - December 13, 2024
First Year Athletes – September 3 - December 13, 2024

What to Bring

Wear comfortable clothing to workout as well as appropriate running shoes. No flip-flops. Clothing should allow full range of motion and freedom of movement and should not be loose. Shorts or shirt tails that are too loose can get caught in the seat tracks. Also it is important to bring a bottle of water. If you need workout clothes check out the Capital Crew Logo Wear. 

The rowers clothing should be clean and not offensive at practice and races. Athletic attire must be worn for all practices. No jeans. Dress appropriately for the weather and it is suggested to dress in layers as it can be wet in the winter, and hot and humid in the spring. No bathing suit tops are allowed at practice or at regattas. At all regattas unisuits will be worn as intended, i.e. over the shoulders. Treat your racing outfit with respect and only wear it at races (this is not practice attire).


Participating in crew requires a great deal of time and energy. It is imperative that all rowers and their parents take this commitment seriously. Crew is a unique sport that requires tremendous teamwork. Continuity and consistency are key to creating effective boats.

If you know you cannot attend a practice, it is your responsibility to tell your coach ahead of time. This includes when you are sick and not going to school or leaving school early. Last minute situations should be communicated to your coach as soon as possible so the boats may be adjusted to have a productive practice. Missing practice will affect who rows in what boat and who will row at regattas. Your seat cannot be held for you if you miss practice.

Cost Payments

All registration is done at the Aquatic Center front office.  Each athlete will have to have their parent or guardian fill out an Athlete information packet.  Athletes must have all paperwork filled out before they will be allowed to participate.

Trial Period
We offer a two week trial period for new athletes to come and see if a crew is for them. The trial period is $100.00 non-refundable and must be paid on the first day of practice for all new athletes.  

Financial Commitment
The commitment for Capital Crew is in two payments twice a year, in the fall and in the spring.

2024/Spring semester  $1025.00
2023/Fall semester  $1025.00 returning athletes / $925.00 new athletes
Other Financial Expenses
All Capital Crew rowers must become a member of US Rowing.  The cost $45.00 per year and can be paid on their website: (use code: ABACU)

There are additional costs for rowers who travel to away regattas which vary depending on the distance.  To see the calendar of races please visit the Calendar page. All registration is done at the Aquatic Center front office.  Each athlete will have to have their parent or guardian fill out a packet and waiver card.  Athletes must have all paperwork filled out before they will be allowed to participate.

Financial Aid

For athletes of Capital Crew there are two types of Financial Assistance available.  Athletes and parents must complete forms and return them to the Aquatic Center front office.  Below is a brief description about each and the applications. Please click on the name to download the application

Capital Crew Boosters Financial Assistance
Partial financial support is available for team members who are unable to afford the full costs of being a member of Capital Crew.  Members who would like to receive assistance need to complete and submit the application. 
Financial assistance is evaluated for each semester individually.  You must complete a form each semester.  If aid is needed in the next semester, you must reapply and complete new forms.

Boosters Financial Assistance Form

Aquatic Center Financial Assistance
The Aquatic Center is committed to helping dedicated athletes be a part of our program regardless of financial circumstances.  Financial aid will be awarded for Aquatic Center fees to four athletes according to established need, commitment to the sport and responsibility to the program.
All application forms are due to the Aquatic Center front office by the Friday of the second week of beginning of the semester. 

Aquatic Center Financial Assistance Application Form


Capital Crew is a very successful non-profit competitive youth rowing organization of the Sacramento State Aquatic Center that has been in existence since 1989. It is based out of the Sacramento State Aquatic Center on Lake Natoma in Gold River, California.

Not only does Capital Crew have a successful rowing history; our team members have also enjoyed success in academics. Each year many of our graduating seniors continue to row competitively at colleges and universities, several receiving rowing scholarships. We have even trained an Olympian, Mary Whipple, coxswain for the Women’s 8+ that took the Silver medal in 2004 and Gold in the 2008 & 2012 Summer Olympics.

How did Capital Crew get its start?

Capital Crew is the oldest established youth rowing program in the Sacramento area. It was created through a collaborative effort between the Sacramento State Aquatic Center (SSAC), the Lake Natoma Rowing Association (LNRA), and former athletes of the Sacramento State rowing club. The program was administered by the Sacramento State Aquatic Center and Capital used equipment used by the AC and the LNRA.

Athletes were recruited from several local schools, both public and private. The first athletes came from Jesuit, St. Francis, Bella Vista and El Camino High Schools. Capital Crew can boast of rowing alumni that have come as far as Stockton, Pollock Pines and North Highlands. Capital truly is representative of the greater Sacramento Area. As the team expanded, and LNRA joined with the Sacramento State Aquatic Center, the need to find more equipment and water time resulted in a shift from early morning practice to afternoon. With that change even more enthusiastic athletes joined the ranks.

Capital Crew is proud to represent California’s Capital region in our name. A desire to have a unique name for the youth program (instead of Sac State Juniors), the first crew settled on the name “Capital Crew.”

Capital Crew made regional prominence under the leadership of former administrator Bob Whitford and Coach Sam Sweitzer. Since the creation of US Rowing’s Youth National Championships in Cincinnati, Ohio; Capital has been an annual contender. Several Capital boats have earned medals and alumni have made it to the national level representing the US in international completion.

Our Capital coaches have proven themselves to be the best. As part of the Sacramento State Aquatic Center, many coaches got their start as Capital athletes. It falls into the instructional mission of the Sacramento State Aquatic Center. Many Capital athletes also go on to compete at the collegiate level.

Capital Crew is a proud program of the Sacramento State Aquatic Center; a division of the Associated Students Inc. of Sacramento State University. The Sacramento State Aquatic Center is designated by the Department of Boating and Waterways as a “Boating Instructional Safety Center”. The facilities are simply the best; the water is internationally renowned.


Capital Crew Intro Clinic

capital crew group rowing

This clinic for high school students is a great introduction to the sport of rowing for those interested in joining Capital Crew in fall.  Participants will be taught boat safety and handling, introductory stroke technique, the importance of rowing as a team and work on gaining fitness.  After finishing the clinic students will be prepared to join Capital Crew in the fall.


Advanced High School Summer Training

rowing teams competing

These training will focus mostly on learning how to row efficiently in sweep and sculling boats. The goal will be for all athletes to be able to maintain/gain fitness and skill going from the spring racing season into the fall season.