On the first Tuesday evening after Labor Day, the hazy heat of late summer has settled onto Beekman Beach in Oyster Bay. A group of people decked out in fitted clothing pull funny looking kayaks into the harbor.
The long thin boats with riggers on the side are actually single, two-person and four-person sculls that belong to Sagamore Rowing, part of their adult group-rowing program. It’s like that rowing machine at the gym, but on the water where quickly pushing legs down to move a seat back—and slowly moving the seat while rotating oars in and out of the water—glides the boat backward across the surface.
Head Masters Coach Rudy Eberle says the popularity of the sport is growing. The club is one of several on the Island that teaches adults how to scull (one, two or four person boats with two oars per person) or sweep (four or eight person boats with one oar per person). After completing the Learn to Row program, club members can show up for open row times on the water from roughly April to November. During the winter the members can continue to fine-tune their skills on the rowing machines. Ergs, as they’re called, are high energy all about fitness but out on the water quiet surrounds, time seems endless and the sculler is alone.
Rock the Boat Old-school rowing machines get an upgrade at Row45