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15 W

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59/33 °F
10 WSW

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MRRA Regattas

The MRRA is hosting the following regattas:

Festival Regatta

Textile River Regatta

Rowing News

High School Racing in May - Rowing Restrictions Print E-mail
The following dates in May have rowing restrictions due to Lowell High School hosted regattas. 
The agreement is that MRRA boats are requested to be off the water and docks by the time boats are being launched (roughly 45 min before racing starts).  If you do still want to row, you must present yourself to Jess Hayes Murray who is the regatta director for the LHS races and let her know you would like to go for a row. Then, you are to check in with the Dockmaster and get the OK to launch and proceed upriver and past the power lines for your row.  When you return, you must stop at the DCR ramp or wherever the Sstarting Marshall is located and ask permission to return to the boathouse. When the starter says you may proceed, you row on the extreme starboard shore (South side of river) all the way to the end of the 2K course and cross the river after the race course (so at the Pavilion), and proceed back to the boathouse and docks.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated. 
** If you have time and would like to help with any of these regattas, please contact Jess directly - help is always appreciated.
May 9th and 10th- Lowell Invitational. On Saturday racing starts at 8am, so off docks by 7am;  on Sunday off docks by 7:30am. Racing ends at 2pm on Sunday.
May 16th and 17th- US Rowing Junior Regional's.  Launch times TBD - expect off water by 6:30am.   
May 24th- MPSRA.  Racing starts at 8am so off docks by 7:15am 
Thank you for your cooperation.  Remember that you can still row, we just have to be very respectful and deferential to the races.
- Karen Scammell, MRRA President
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 May 2015 08:20
Masters Rowing Programs Summer 2014 Print E-mail

The Merrimac River Rowing Association will be running several programs this summer -- please sign up on the left under Membership Application and also Programs & Fees:      Learn to Scull will start at the end of May and run for 4 weeks (2 rows/week) and Learn to Row Sweep will start mid-June and run for 4 weeks.  The Learn to Row Sweep is a special introductory price of $99 !!   Come row with us on Saturday June 7th for National Learn to Row day and sign up then!!

MRRA Winter Club Meetings Print E-mail

MRRA regular club meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7pm.

During the winter, we will be meeting at the Chelmsford Police Station, training room.

* please do not park in the visitor spaces; park along the street and in the cul de sac

* winter meetings are Jan 14th, Feb 11th, March 11th


Last Updated on Monday, 06 January 2014 15:49
From seat 34A Print E-mail

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 November 2013 12:01
From the Coswain's seat Print E-mail

Photo by Danny Boy from the cox seat in the msweep 8+ tonight.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 23:59
Textile River Regatta - Sunday October 6th - 8am to 4pm Print E-mail

All details are on the TRR website at

The event this year has more competitors than ever - more parking, more volunteers and more fun for all.  We look forward to see you on the Merrimack River on Sunday October 6th, 2013


Last Updated on Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:27
MRRA at Henley Print E-mail

From Mike Poreba and the MRRA Thoroughbreds

The Merrimac River Rowing Association is a nationally competitive club located in Lowell, Massachusetts. Always looking for new challenges, we decided to send our top 4+ (four with coxswain) to the Royal Henley Regatta in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England. This world-renowned regatta is famous for its world-class competition and well-dressed attendees. The MRRA crew is a true club team made up of Michael Poreba (UNH 2008), Rich Connell (Franklin Pierce 2007), Jon Dwyer (UNH 2012), Tim Cotreau (UMass 2006), and coxwain Sarah Ivey (UMass 2010), all holding jobs in engineering, education, and coaching fields.
As a tune-up race MRRA competed at the nearby Reading Town Regatta, winning the open 4+ event. We were awarded with pewter tankards, perfect for enjoying the local favourite Pimm's Cup beverage. After the race we rowed the 13 kilometers of the curvy Thames river back to Henley, passing through three locks before arriving. 
A few days later the Henley racing began. Based on prior racing experience, we were not required to race at the qualification regatta and were seeded top five in the Britannia Cup Challenge. The race format has only two crews racing at a time, sudden death elimination. MRRA advanced the first day, defeating City of Bristol. The next day we found ourselves in the race of our lives in the quarterfinals. It was a hard fight against the very evenly matched Taurus Boat Club crew. The race was an exciting one, both crews trading places for the lead and making effective moves against one another. In the end we couldn't match Taurus' speed and lost by a narrow 3/4 of a boat length. The rest of the week was spent watching incredible racing, notably including the Grand Challenge Cup where the Great Britain National Team narrowly beat the University of Washington. 

What an amazing trip!

> Watch the official trip video

Editor's Note: The members of the MRRA Open Sweep team racked up significant costs to make this trip and compete at the Royal Henley Regatta as a true club entry under the MRRA name.   Please consider making a donation by check or PayPal to help relieve some of the financial burden.  For PayPal, use the link below. And thank you.


Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2013 08:31
Festival Regatta - Thank you! Print E-mail

The Festival Regatta Co-Directors would like to thank all of the competitors, families and friends who came to our beautiful stretch of Merrimack River on Sunday June 23rd. We hope you enjoyed yourself and found the regatta well run.  We appreciate constructive feedback and encourage you to send comments to:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We look forward to seeing you at the Textile River Regatta October 6th - same convenient venue and friendly MRRA members.           

--- Karen Scammell and Jon Dwyer, Regatta Co Directors

Visit the Festival Regatta webpage for final results.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2013 00:38
Current Rowing Restrictions Print E-mail


Check for updates for spring rowing 2018

Posted by Boat Captain 16 January 2018



Draft Revision JL 4 23 2015


Level I: No Restrictions/All Boats May Row.

(Trigger for rule: water temp is greater than 60 deg and boat captain posts rule.)

In all cases check for daily weather and condition advisories.


Level II: Experienced Solo Singles and all larger boats OK….with CAUTIONS IN PLACE

(Trigger for rule: water temp is greater than 55 deg and boat captain posts rule.)

Novice singles and experienced pairs must be accompanied by another boat.

Mandatory Requirements:

Only experienced rowers* may row in a 2- or in a solo 1x.

1x, 2-, & 2x must carry and preferably wear a PFD; all boats must carry a cell phone.Row only when 100 degree requirement is met. (Water temp plus air temp total at least 100 deg)

NOVICE ROWERS: 1x  novices must row with another rower.

(Row with another rower means within 50 meters of an accompanying boat)


Level III: 4 Oar Rule (2 Singles or 1 Double)

(Trigger for rule: Over 50 degree water temp and posting by BC)

100 deg total requirement (water temp plus air temp total at least 100 deg)

Two singles may row together or with a larger boat.

Doubles and larger boats may row alone.

Mandatory Requirements:

Only experienced rowers* may row in a 1x; one experienced rower must “captain” a 2x.

1x and 2x must carry and should wear a PFD; all boats must carry a cell phone.

Pairs and unescorted singles may NOT row unless under the direct supervision of a launch.


Only experienced rowers should row in singles or in unescorted doubles.

Consider your condition and abilities.

Consider rowing during daylight hours only; give care and pay attention to daily weather and river conditions.
Row conservatively; avoid rowing on the square and other drills that decrease stability.

Keep cell phone is a waterproof container.


Level IV: Big boats only 

(Trigger for rule: Docks are in, water temp is over 45 degree water and posting by BC)

Quads, fours, and eights only.

All boats must be under the direct supervision of a launch.

In the event that BC waives the launch requirement, all boats must carry and should wear PFDs and must carry a phone.


In all cases check for daily weather and condition advisories.


*”Experienced rower”: Temporary rule: until further defined experienced rower means either five years minimum experience in sculling boats or with the permission of boat captain. (If you have been a member less than 5 years or have any questions as to your level of competence contact the boat captain for permission to row.)

100 degree requirement:  once water temperature is not less than 50° F any combination of air temp + water temp equaling 100° F satisfies 100 deg requirement.

Direct launch supervision and “with another rower” for purpose of cold water restrictions means accompanying launch or shell  is within 50 meters of the rower.

“With another rower” for purpose of cold water restrictions means each within 50 meters of the other.

Suggestion: choose your boat wisely!  cold water rowing to attempt to select a less stable boat, unless supervised. If you are not completely comfortable in the boat you plan to row, consider changing to a more stable boat, such as Zephyr or from a single to double, Quad or Four.



Cautions: Safety lines near dam/falls  are not in place until late spring and come out in the late fall; safety lines may not be in place. Do not to go below the 1500 m mark, unless supervised by a launch; launch supervised boats may proceed to the 2000m course finish line.

****COLD AIR AND COOLING WATER*****: Be aware of the conditions; especially in early morning.Dress appropriately and have a change of warm cloths available.
Check and be aware of current flow and ****debris**** in river, as well as weather and river traffic conditions before deciding to launch.

Note: Rain yesterday…means rising water the following day…rising water brings…STUFF!!! 
USE LIGHTS: Please use BOW red/green  and STERN facing or all around white lights.

Be vocal! If another boat is approaching your stern make your presence known!!! (Yell)
Follow traffic pattern: stay close to starboard shore, stay out of center of river…leave the center as a traffic separation zone. Only use the first bridge arch (marked with red and green) as an upstream travel arch. 

Watch for SAFETY UPDATES and INCREASING RESTRICTIONS with decreasing temperatures.

** Note on PFD’s: The “belt pack” (limited number) owned by the MRRA are manual inflatable. They do not provide any flotation unless you pull the cord and activate them, or otherwise blow them up. What is good about this is they will not “accidently” inflate if soaked in the hull of a boat. The tradeoff/limitation is to understand if a rower is unconscious or otherwise unable to manually inflate the PFT it will not provide any flotation; addition concern is user error and/or mechanical failure.

Consider wearing the PFD and using an AUTO inflatable model.

Rowers may wish to consider a vest style USCG type III PFD which also provides some warmth, or consider purchasing and wearing an auto inflatable harness style PFD.

MRRA rules do not supersede UMass Lowell
boathouse rules or state and federal boating laws where applicable.

Check for additional restrictions or cautions posted by Boat Captain and changing river wand weather conditions on a daily basis.

Current River Conditions at NOAA AHPS
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 January 2018 16:45
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Open Sweep

Learn more about the MRRA competitive Open Sweep program, a year-round team environment with the goal of racing in many regional regattas.