Rough Water Clinic

Handling sloppy water with a grin - it can be done!
Handling sloppy water with a grin – it can be done!

The next Rough Water Clinic is 11 August 2018 – Sign Up Here!

For experienced OWRC rowers the Rough-Water Clinic is an exciting step into the wider and wilder part of open water rowing. San Francisco bay is justifiably famous for it’s breezes and tidal currents, both of which will create rough water conditions. That’s why we train our rowers to handle these conditions with confidence, and many enjoy the challenge and excitement of the Bay’s varying conditions.

The clinic is offered approximately once a quarter, on a weekend morning when the currents assure us some rough water – usually at the Golden Gate Bridge – in which to practice. Stefan Benton, a long-time OWRC coach with years of experience rowing and racing in challenging open water conditions, leads the clinics, which are limited to eight participants and take about three hours.

  • Schedule: Call or email the office for upcoming dates
  • Cost: $95 per person, plus shell use for non-members


  • This is a three hour row of over seven miles. You need to be rowing with confidence and control before you take this class.  Speak to OWRC staff and coaches about your level of readiness.
  • Bring a dry change of clothes. You will get wet (with sweat and spray, at least)
  • You will row to the Golden Gate Bridge and, conditions permitting, row under it to the cove just beyond. The flood tide here is a dependable rough water challenge.
  • Successfully completing this clinic certifies you to row beyond Richardson Bay. Nevertheless, use appropriate caution and seek the guidance of staff and experienced rowers as you do. Take your time; there’s lots of bay to explore out there.

After the Rough Water Clinic

  • Begin exploring the bay beyond Richardson (get tips and guidance first)
  • Angel Island Row – best with an experienced OWRC member the first time
  • Technique Clinics and Coaching
  • OWRC’s Open Ocean Regatta – Pt. Diablo Course

Rough Water Documents

Rough Water Technique

Rough Water Clinic Information Sheet