Paired with a rowing blazer, jacket, or button down, the necktie is an all time classic. Lords, gentlemen, businessmen, prepsters, hipsters, even ladies – all sport this fashion icon. Varying in style, the tie provides a flare for every individual, allowing him or her to make a personal statement, or commit a fashion faux pas.

The tie can trace its lineage back to17th century France, when King Louis XIII hired Croatian mercenaries to take care of his dirty laundry. Surprisingly, these humble men set the trend for centuries to come. The cloth around their neck, used to hold their jacket together, caught the eye of the King. He required these accessories to be worn at Royal gatherings, and named them, “La Cravate”, in honor of the Croatian soldiers. King Louis turned function into fashion.

Over the next 200 years, the cravat, and eventually the ascot, came alive as a distinguishing piece in men’s fashion. It reigned with kings in royal courts, held conversation with gentlemen in drawing and smoking rooms, and danced with guests in formal gatherings. The early 1900s, during the age of the industrial revolution, saw the birth of the modern tie. Function and comfort became imperative in the workplace, and designers embraced a new durable and rigid structure. Chic, sleek and more practical, new life was breathed into an old trend. While today’s ties come as varied as the people that wear them, the Club Tie is a classic favorite that has seen its way through British and American history.

A Fashion Favorite

A club tie, defined as any tie bearing a regularly repeated mark, crest, motif, symbol, or insignia indicating membership in a club, order, or other group, is typically designed with the official colors of the group or regiment to which it belongs. Our dapper friends from across the pond, the English, introduced the idea of a club tie. If one takes a close look at these dashing accessories, they will notice that a stripe war is being waged. The British Regimental Ties have stripes slanting from high left to lower right (not exclusively), because it is “from the heart”. It is also the direction of the military salute.

American Military, Societal, and Organizational ties slant in the opposite direction, lower left to high right, as this is the angle at which a soldier draws his sword. However, this is only speculation. Some, of a more cheeky nature, say that the British stripes follow the direction of the face, while the American stripes follow the direction of the crotch.

Many brands, from Brooks Brothers to Ralph Lauren have sought the sense of sophistication and elegance that comes with owning a club tie. It is now a staple of the American wardrobe, the go to fashion of prepsters and classic style seekers.

In designing our own club tie, CATCH & FEATHER has taken inspiration from both British and American styles. In creating our club tie, we wanted to remain true to the essence of the brand. The club tie crest has incorporated aspects of our brand logo: the crown, oars, and signature colors. We put the crest upon a field of navy to represent the water, with accents of red for courage, and gold for victory.

Which way do your stripes run?


Feature photo by Sammi Lauren Smith Photography

Nothing short of amazing.

Founded in 2002 by Amanda Kraus, Row New York started as a small all-girls program in Queens. Today, the organization sports three boathouses and offers youth, masters, adaptive, and learn-to row programs. Every aspect of the organization trumpets their motto, “Pulling Together to Push Ahead.”

“Row New York is exceptional in that 80% of our middle and high school students participate in our programs at no cost,” says Ruby Lyon, Marketing and Communications Manager, Row New York. “Our adaptive programs for people with physical and/or mental disabilities, as well as our youth programs for those from underserved communities, offer the opportunity to experience the joy, teamwork and community that is unique to rowing.”

Youth Programs

Many New York City school districts lack the resources needed to keep students healthy. Many do not even have access to green spaces; recess consists of a mere walk around the block. This lack of basic needs plays directly into the some 85% of students who do not meet the recommended physical activity level nationwide. Through Row New York Youth programs, athletes learn the crucial importance of a healthy lifestyle, and 100% of its participants meet this recommended physical activity level. Rowing also instills the confidence, discipline and mentality that helps teens develop and mature, all the while providing an irreplicable sense of community and family.

Row New York Youth programs also provide students with tools to succeed, offering academic counseling and help with standardized testing. “An incredible 100% of Row New York athletes graduate high school on time, compared to 69% of NYC high school students,” said Lyon. Additionally, over the past 10 years, 96% of Row New York’s graduates have matriculated to college. Whether it’s providing homework aid, SAT/ACT Prep, or a hot meal, this program is a second home to its athletes.

In addition to its main competitive youth program, Row New York has a number of outreach projects that greatly benefit the New York City Community.

  1. Middle School Indoor — a “traveling” program for New York area middle schools — teaches students the mechanics of rowing, how to erg and how to live a healthy.
  2. The Juvenile Justice program does the same for young adults in detention centers. Rowing offers them an outlet for releasing energy in a positive manner, as well as the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves.

Both of these programs have changed the lives of many young people.

Adaptive Programs

Another important piece of the mission-based programming at Row New York is their adaptive rowing opportunities. Every Saturday, the boathouse in Queens hosts people with physical and mental disabilities.

Row New York also works with District 75, a New York School district comprised of 57 special schools designed to help and teach students with disabilities. Similar to Middle School Indoor, Row New York partners with District 75 in teaching students how to erg and row on water with their on-site visiting program.

Row New York’s new Freedoms Rows program kicked off its first season several weeks ago. Freedom Rows is branch of USRowing that teaches disabled veterans and members of the armed forces how to row. As we have discussed in earlier posts, rowing is an incredibly therapeutic sport — both physically and mentally — and Freedom Rows greatly benefits its participants.


Master Programs

Not just for students and young adults, Row New York also offers masters programs, recreational and competitive, as well as learn-to-row programs for those who want to get involved in the sport. The masters programs help fund the mission-based youth and adaptive programs, making Row New York one big family.

A Home Away from Home

Row New York is not a club or program, but a home. It supports its athletes far beyond the boat, and everyone works together to give anyone — no matter their circumstance — the opportunity to experience the incomparable community that is rowing. Alumni can row competitively without cost in the masters programs, and masters often help with youth and adaptive programs through volunteering and workshops.

Career panels, mentorships, and organization-wide regattas bring together athletes of different ages and abilities for a completely unique bonding experience.

Looking to the future, Row New York has plans for growth and expansion, with more boathouses and more opportunities for outreach. In the coming years, they will “keep pulling forward to push ahead”.

For more information:

Photos courtesy of Row New York’s Claudia Loeber, 2017

By the time we reach the end of February, I think we can all agree that it’s time for some fun in the sun with friends or family. No schoolwork. No chores. Maybe even a break from the erg (sorry, Coach).

It’s time to get out that favorite bag or backpack (or buy a new one) and prepare to get away! Spring Break! We’d like to help you get prepared, so here is our top 10 list of things to pack, whether you are going across town or across the country.

  1. Water — hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
  2. Sunscreen — and lots of it! Make sure it’s non-pore clogging and waterproof
  3. A Great Hat — preferably CATCH & FEATHER!
  4. Brush & Hair Ties —for a great-looking high ponytail or man bun!
  5. Comfy Cotton Tee — always perfect
  6. Cover Up/sweatshirt — an easy pull-on for lunch, shopping
  7. Plastic Bag for Wet Bathing Suits/Gear — no sandy bottoms
  8. Protein Bar — no low blood sugar!
  9. Great Book — (bad romance novels acceptable)
  10. Games — it’s playtime, bring your favorites! Cards, Backgammon, Frisbees, Hacky Sack and more

Leave it at home: Stress, Worry, Bad Weather, Bad attitude!

But before you leave, you’ll need a couple versatile outfits to complete your packing. Here are some suggestions from our collection… and you’re ready to go!

Pack light and have fun!

Heritage Cap

Whether shading your eyes, or keeping the sea spray out of your hair, your go-to hat.

Make It Reign Tee

Light and breezy, a soft cotton blend tee, paired with shorts, is a classic. On the beach, on a boat, or on the town, you’ll be comfortable and relaxed.

 The Heritage Fleece Quarter Zip

 As a small chill approaches with the setting sun, the fun doesn’t have to end. A soft quarter zip will provide the perfect amount of warmth and style.


The Victory Tote

The perfect bag completes the perfect outfit. Something to hold that good book, a towel and sunscreen.

The Heritage Weekender

 Our large canvas duffel is perfect for any of your travels. It’s light, holds a few days worth of clothing, and fits it in tight spaces — all while looking polished.



Rowing is arguably the most physically demanding and intense sport known to men and women. It fosters bonds between its athletes like that of no other sport. Rowing is also extraordinary in terms of another aspect: its rich and long history.

Every ancient power used rowing as a form of transportation, commerce and war. Yet over the years, rowing has evolved into a form of competition and sport. Competitive rowing for leisure was first recorded in 1430 BC, where a funerary carving for Pharaoh Amenhotep II depicted the king as a rower and detailed some of the competitions he won against rival Egyptian nobles (1). Who knew you could “Row Like an Egyptian”! During the fourteenth century, competitive rowing could be found at Carnevale regattas — events used to celebrate the beautiful aquatic setting of Venice. Rowing teams and individual rowers raced on the milky blue waters of Venice’s narrow canals and waterways (2). While rowing has been used for competition and celebration, it truly evolved into an organized sport in England.

In London, 1715, the first official “regatta” was a contest established by Irish actor and playwright Thomas Doggett, where the winning rower was awarded a coat and badge (3) Students at Eton College, located west of London, quickly picked up the sport, and once they graduated, brought rowing to Oxford and Cambridge. Founded in 1829, the famous Oxford Vs. Cambridge race is highly anticipated to this day (4). Organized sport rowing made its debut in the US with the Harvard-Yale race in 1852 (5). Its reputation as a pass time of blue-collared workers quickly morphed into leisure for the middle and upper class. Spectators began to bet on rowing and it became more commercialized as merchants situated on rivers with good racing waters saw the sport as an opportunity to sponsor regattas and draw consumers to their towns (6). Rowing picked up momentum as clubs and organizations were created in countries including Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and Hong Kong. Everyone suddenly wanted a seat in the boat.

Today, rowing is truly a sport for anyone who wants to pick up an oar. We have technologies that can measure our power, tell us how fast we’re going or need to go, and improve our technique. We even have the ability to adapt boats for anyone with a disability. Programs around the world are changing lives by instilling in their rowers confidence, work ethic, and a sense of community. Anyone who is lucky enough to experience the joys of being on the water will find himself or herself a part of this great history.

It’s time to blast the Bangles in the erg room! (Remix anybody?)




“History of Crew.” Rockford Rowing. Accessed January 31, 2017. (5)

“Neglected.” Accessed January 31, 2017. (3,4,6)

“The History Of Rowing.” Accessed January 31, 2017. (1,2)


Located on the clear, azure waters of the Intracoastal Waterway, Miami Beach Rowing Club is a rower’s paradise. Founded in 1995, the club is known for its hard work ethic and strong presence in the Miami Beach community. In addition to its youth and masters programs, MBRC warmly welcomes teams from around the country who come to escape the cold weather of winter. As if all of this was not enough for one of the most dynamic clubs in the country, MBRC is also home to a fast-growing — and winning — adaptive rowing program.


The MBRC Adaptive Rowing program began only a couple of years ago in 2014 by an amazing group of volunteers, and offers the opportunity for athletes — no matter what their situation or ability — the incredible opportunity to participate in a life-changing sport. Whether athletes want to be involved on a recreational basis, or compete at the international level, MBRC is there to make it happen. Amazingly, this young program already boasts Olympic experience! Helman Roman, an Afghanistan war veteran, and his double partner Laura Goodkind, competed in the trunk and arms event at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio! MBRC was the first club to receive the designation of Paralympic Sport club from the United States Olympic Committee.


In the summer of 2015, Stephanie Parrish, previously an assistant coach at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, took on the position as the first head coach of the adaptive program. I had the opportunity to visit with Coach Parrish, and see firsthand the great success of the adaptive program, while on one of those aforementioned training trips to MBRC. It was inspiring to see the incredible work ethic of the athletes, and how we as a community can make rowing truly limitless. Whether it’s a fixed seat erg or boat with stabilizer pontoons, MBRC’s adaptive resources give its athletes every opportunity for success.


Looking as much like a supermodel as she does a head coach, Coach Parrish exudes a contagious enthusiasm and dedication to the sport and her athletes. She spoke passionately about the extraordinary healing powers of rowing. Since beginning at MBRC, she said her whole perspective on rowing has changed. “I feel like I have a completely different appreciation for rowing. Up until [joining MRBC] I had been coaching and competing at the Division I level and working with athletes who had a path sort of laid out for them. They were training for a specific, focused team goal and time spent at the boathouse was all business. Now I can see how therapeutic and peaceful it can be; I realized I had always associated rowing with intensity and pressure. I guess the biggest change I’ve noticed in myself is that I have a newfound love for rowing!” said Coach Parrish.


Parrish shared how the program has changed the lives of its athletes. For some, she said, rowing has brought a renewed feeling of independence. Athletes are able to push themselves physically in a way that other adaptive sports wouldn’t allow. Ultimately, she said, the program provides its participants with a sort of therapy, whether physical, mental or emotional.


MBRC’s adaptive program has attracted the attention of the Miami community in a big way. People with disabilities in the Miami area have a thrilling new activity in which they can participate and members of the community have the opportunity to volunteer. It’s been especially popular for members of the MBRC Junior Team, who often volunteer over the summer to help at the boathouse. Coach Parrish says “I think people see that they can give back to the sport and the boathouse community by being a part of our program, and that’s an amazing thing to witness and be a part of.”


Note: You can learn more about MBRC’s adaptive program at: and follow them on Instagram at @mbrcpararowing


Row Well. Do Good.





For those of us suffering through the cold of winter, time seems to slow down, and it’s easy to go into hibernation mode. We crave hot, hearty and often unhealthy foods, and after that grueling winter erg workout and circuit, it’s oh-so-tempting to demolish an entire cheesy pizza. Yum.

However, it’s vital to keep our bodies properly fueled during the indoor season! The work you put in during the off months can make or break your spring, and it’s our ongoing job to make sure we’ve prepared properly for every workout.

Here are three super foods that allow us to fuel up before and after training.


Potassium, potassium, potassium. Bananas are full of this mineral, which is fantastic for the heart. Potassium also is essential for the body to retain fluids, so it will prevent dehydrated while exercising(1). Bananas are also a great source of carbohydrates, which the body needs before and after a workout. Blended in a smoothie, or just as it is, the banana will prepare you for the worst erg.


The king of guacamole, the avocado is the perfect recovery food. Although it’s high in fat, this is good-for-you fat! It helps the body metabolize fat soluble vitamins, which are crucial for the health of metabolic pathways(2). Adding avocado to your next meal will also help you metabolize all carbs or proteins eaten, and replenish your body(3).

Chocolate Milk

While it may seem like an indulgence, chocolate milk is an excellent after-workout recovery food. It’s packed with healthy fats, calcium and whey protein, which helps build muscle. It also restores muscle glycogen and hydrates the body, so you can throw away the sports drink(3). This delicious treat should be saved for after a workout, or you’ll risk building up too much lactic acid in your muscles beforehand.

With these three, easily accessible foods, you should be prepared for any circuit or 2k that comes your way!



3Details, The Editors of. 2015. “The 7 Best Things to Eat and Drink After Your Workout.” GQ. April 13.
2ROCKLOCKRIDGE. 2010. “Why You Need A Multivitamin To Achieve Your Health And Fitness Goals!” June 9.
1Swain, Phil. 2013. “9 Amazing Reasons to Eat Bananas.” Fitness and Health Advisor. May 22.

If there’s one thing that every rower is obsessed with, it’s making and/or keeping their gains.

During the on-season, rowers work incredibly hard to gain fitness and endurance. While rowing may be primarily a mental sport, if you’ve lost the intensity for that 2k or 5k over the summer, getting back in shape can be a difficult and painful time.

There are many ways to stay in shape if you don’t have rowing equipment or water access. Here are just a few tips to keeping your gains:

The Aerobic vs. Anaerobic workout

In order to keep healthy, you must pick the right kinds of workouts. If you run for hours on end or do the same set of weights every single day, you may keep your endurance, but your muscles will get used to certain motions and when it’s time to get back on the water, you will not be ready. This is why it’s important to understand different types of workouts and mix it up!

An Aerobic workout uses energy! When we exercise aerobically we use glycogen and fat as fuel. As you start to exert yourself, carbon dioxide is expelled from your body. Lactic acid is not produced and this type of exercise can be done over long periods of time. It keeps your heart and lungs pumping, allowing you to gain fitness.

In contrast, Anaerobic workouts use only glycogen as fuel. Once all your oxygen has been depleted, you will experience lactic acid build up and fatigue. Doing these workouts will build your intensity and endurance, and will allow you to complete harder workouts in the future. These workouts are usually shorter in length and are more intense.

Balancing these two types of workouts will ensure that you stay in shape and will allow you to reach your fitness goals for the up and coming season.

Examples of Aerobic Workouts

  1. Running – Long distance running is a perfect way to stay in shape if you don’t have access to the water. All you need is a pair of sneakers and the lay of the land. A 20-minute steady state is around a 4k-6k depending on your level. This is about 2.5-4 miles. Depending on how you are feeling, you can adjust your running distances to what you would normally do for steady state workouts. This will give you the same amount of exercise.
  1. Swimming – Swimming is an incredible workout because it gives you all the cardio benefits, but is easy on your joints and muscles. The resistance of the water gives you an extra challenge, which will also improve fitness.
  1. Spinning/Cycling – Like swimming and running, this type of exercise provides a great aerobic workout. It keeps your heart and lungs in wonderful condition, and like swimming, has little impact on your joints.

Examples of Anaerobic Workouts

  1. Sprinting – Again, running is a fantastic way to stay in shape. As opposed to long distance, sprinting will bring an intensity that will lead to an anaerobic workout. Much like you adjust your splits for erging/rowing in shorter bursts, increase your speed and shorten your running distance. Run the distance, take a short break, and run it again, however many times you feel will give you the best workout.
  1. Power lifting – These workouts should focus on building muscle and increasing training capacity. The goal of anaerobic workout is to develop metabolic capacity and thus make the athlete stronger. By lifting maximum amount of weight with as many reps as you can complete in 3-10 seconds, you will build anaerobic capacity.
  1. Interval Training – This cardiorespiratory technique is perfect for creating more aerobic capacity. Body weight activities such as abdominal exercises for a minute, then walking for 30 seconds will give you a fantastic anaerobic workout. This will build muscle and increase endurance and core.

Don’t despair if you can’t get in a boat or on an erg! You can stay fit and focused no matter where you are.



“Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise: What Is the Difference?” 2016. Accessed July 11.

Bhattacharya, Christina. 2016. “Example of Anaerobic Exercise.” LIVESTRONG.COM. Accessed July 11.

“Examples of Aerobic Exercise.” 2016. LoveToKnow. Accessed July 11.

One of my favorite rowing jokes is “To find out who the rowers are in the room, scream 2k and see who wets themselves.”

To start off with some mind-blowing facts, physiologists have calculated that a 2k takes the same physiological toll as playing two basketball games back-to-back. That toll only takes about six minutes[1]. And, pound for pound, Olympic oarsmen can take in and process as much oxygen as a thoroughbred racehorse[2].

The 2k is highly competitive and can be a rower’s worst nightmare. It’s hard not to think of the painful buildup of lactic acid, the burning lungs and the mental fatigue that could make any intense athlete wince. Yet there are ways to beat the voice in your head that says you can’t accomplish your goal.

Make a race plan. If you have a coxswain, or are going it solo, make sure that you create a plan for your 2k. This race plan should include power 10’s, goal splits and mental motivation/calls. If you have a plan before getting on the erg, you will be much calmer.

Visualize the 2k. A technique that is being used by many teams is to visualize the warm-up and 2k in real time. Sit next to your erg in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Visualize yourself taking 10’s in the warm up. Then get on the erg and take your start five and lengthen 20. Think about how you will be feeling at certain points and have motivation ready to counter negative thoughts. By completing the 2k in your mind, there will be no surprises when it comes to the actual test, and you can challenge any mental obstacles before they occur that might inhibit a personal best.

Trust your training. Leading up to a 2k, rowers complete trying workouts such as 8x500m and 3x6x1 minute on one, one minute off, in addition to hours of steady state. Physically, sprint workouts are usually much more demanding than a 2k, yet the mental pressure often gets to the rower. If you have trained properly, your body can take a lot more than you think it can. You must trust at the start that you have prepared all you can to accomplish your goal split.

Take care of your body. Two nights before a 2k is the most important time to get a decent sleep. It will ensure that your body is rested, even if adrenaline keeps you awake the night before your awaited piece. Remember to hydrate (at least 3 bottles a day), and eat some form of carbs (preferably pasta or bread… yum J). Stretching and heating will also prepare your muscles for the workout. This will prevent any injuries from occurring.

Lastly, believe in yourself and know you’re not alone. It’s true that you are completing this erg test alone, but chances are you will be next to your teammates, who are working just as hard you. Every piece you complete will make you stronger for the season, and stronger for the boat. Unless you’re in a single, you have to pull for your fellow oarsmen. Envision your teammates around you and believe in the boat.


Photo Courtesy of Coach Libby Boghossian

[1] Robinson, Dean. 1372705990. “An Oarsman Is a Verb Meaning ‘to Row.’” The 6th Floor Blog.

[2] Ibid

Every “List of things a college freshman should know” will emphasize how different college is from high school. However, the life of a collegiate athlete is not your typical college experience. Today we bring you a list compiled by the Catch & Feather brand ambassadors with everything you need to know about mixing college life with rowing life.

  1. The Keurig is your new best friend.

Let’s face it. As a collegiate rower, you are going to be on a totally different schedule from everyone else. Attempting an early bedtime with your nocturnal roommate who needs music to study and schedules nightly Skype calls with her long distance boyfriend may result in you losing more hours of sleep than you would like. You and your roomie will eventually become best friends and learn to laugh about your differences but for now you may need a little caffeine to jump start your day. Having access to a hot water heater to make dinosaur egg oatmeal, a Cup-O-Noodles, and numerous other college staples will make your life a whole lot easier, especially when all the dining halls are closed after you get back from evening practice. If you are worried about your carbon footprint, try a French press. Everyone on your floor will think you are the coolest hipster around.

  1. Go to class.

Collegiate athletes miss classes. Professors genuinely want you to do well especially when you make an effort. All they ask is that you show up and do your best. A heavy regatta schedule may result in you missing more classes than you would like so it is important that you attend every class you can and stop by office hours to check in on things you have missed or will miss later. Getting to know your professors on a more personal level in office hours will help you in the long run – especially if you need to make up an exam or lab because of a regatta.

  1. Always carry 3 pairs of socks with you.

Carry them in your glove compartment box, backpack side pocket, whatever you choose! Having extra socks will keep you warm and chances are you can be there for a new teammate or a new friend. You can never be over prepared. College is a chance to use all those preparation tools for regattas as well as school.

  1. Be a good sport.

Be fair warned…your old high school rivalries should be put away (for the most part) by the time you get to school. As you may have heard college is nothing like high school. Collegiate sports and rowing specifically are just the same. You will become part of a larger community of athletes competing for a bigger goal, a bigger title and all the glory.

  1. You will never regret buying a regatta t-shirt.  #memories

…but make sure to save up for upcoming regattas. Learning to budget yourself at college can be hard for some. And it can be hard to maintain a job between practice, friends, eating and sleeping.

  1. Don’t be afraid to get involved with things other than rowing.

Getting involved is the best way to meet new people at school. You can find a club for almost anything and it doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. You can usually find clubs for your major that might only meet once a month or clubs who go on trips during breaks. See what your teammates and friends are getting involved with and take a chance. College is the time to explore all of your interests and trying something new could help you discover a new talent or even spark a new career path.

  1. Try not to go home on the weekends.

Everyone gets homesick and if you are only a few hours away it can be tempting to head home with a bag of laundry to hide out for the weekend. It can be hard to get to know the people in your hall when you have practice, class, and team activities throughout the week. The weekends are the best time to hangout and make friends in your dorm. Some of your best college memories will be recounting last night’s shenanigans at Sunday brunch with the friends from your hall.

  1. Get advice from your older teammates.

They might seem scary and big and post a 2k time that blows yours out of the water but that is all just temporary. Remember that everyone starts out as the newbie at some point in his or her career. Look to them for advice and learning the culture of the crew. Remembering to be respectful, eager to learn and ready to pull hard will go a long way.

  1. Remember not to alienate your non-rowing friends

There will be a time when you might just need some space. The boat might not be meshing, you are worried about a seat race and you need to shave 2 whole seconds off your 6k split… Having a friend who has absolutely no clue what catching a crab means is sometimes refreshing and forces you to remember that college is a great big wonderful world with millions of things going on and people to meet. Your rowing friends could be your best friends but remember that variety is bliss.

  1. College rowing is actually the best.

Believe it or not, regatta moms are not really a thing in college. Chances are your coaches won’t be watching over you the way they did in high school. That means no more duct tape on the hotel dorm room and the freedom to make your own decisions. You will be held responsible to know where you need to be and how to act. We know from high school that there is nothing else quite like finishing a race, comparing blisters or winning shirts.

Collegiate rowing will bring you more places that you ever expected.




We are happy to continue our partnership with USRowing with a recent donation to FREEDOM ROWS , a program designed to change the lives of injured veterans and members of the armed services through rowing.

Freedom Rows began in November 2014 with a grant from the Veterans Administration (VA) and has been met with tremendous success to date. Since its inception, USRowing has partnered with seven VA medical therapy programs and has effectively changed the lives of more than 200 of our country’s heroes through the power of rowing.

“Studies have shown that the repetitive nature of the action of rowing decreases the symptoms of PTSD,”
says Debbie Arenberg, Adaptive Programs Development Specialist at US Rowing.

“We have a couple of veterans who have actually gotten off their PTSD medication as a result of rowing.” she continued.

There are obvious physical benefits to adaptive rowing for wounded veterans. Studies show that rowing can help increase lower extremity bone mass, aerobic capacity, and blood lipid profiles. Some hospitals have partnered with rowing clubs to bring specific types of adaptive rowing to wounded veterans.  For example, Spaulding Research Hospital has partnered with Community Rowing Inc. in Boston to bring Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) rowing to individuals with Spinal Cord Injury.  FES is a technology that allows paralyzed muscles to contribute to whole body exercise.

As Freedom Rows prepares to expand into ten more partnerships next year, they stress that once clubs bring adaptive rowing into their boathouse, it will benefit not only the adaptive athletes, but the rowing club as a whole. “Once we buy the equipment for the program, and the veteran needs have been met, the club can use that equipment,” says Debbie. “It’s not exclusively reserved for the vets. There is a mutual benefit.”

Bringing in equipment and fostering an inclusive attitude in boathouses does not come without its challenges. Sometimes, clubs or coaches may not have had experience with adaptive rowers. USRowing has an Adaptive Rowing Manual available to coaches in need of resources when an adaptive rower joins the team. “Our biggest role is spreading the information so that we can educate everyone,” says Debbie of the toolkit. “As we learn more about different disabilities, we can continue to educate coaches and clubs.”

What remains clear is that rowing provides opportunities for all people,
including disadvantaged youth, athletes with disabilities, and people looking for a community.

“What’s unique about the rowing is that despite the disabilities, between a rowing machine and being on the water, we have a way to adapt the equipment,” says Deb. “No matter what your disability is, we can get you rowing. You can’t say that about a lot of sports.”

At Catch & Feather, we believe that everyone should have the freedom to experience the transformative power of rowing, and applaud Freedom Rows for giving veterans an opportunity to get into the boat!

For more info or to make a contribution:


photo courtesy of US Rowing