The first day of spring was on Monday. For Rock n’ Row, a rowing club in Marblehead, that means their prime season is just around the corner.
“Rock n’ Row is a social rowing club with focus on mind, body, and spirit, and is very community-based,” club member Jean Verbridge said.
While its busiest part of the year for rowing is in late spring and summer, the club has activities year round.
In the wintertime, Verbridge said the group is focused on “forming relationships and friendships.” Rock n’ Row has a monthly pub night, and some of the members have started rowing and swimming in the winter together.
They have also done cross-country ski trips as a group.
“We attract that crowd of adventurous people, and there’s so much focus now on the wolf pack type thing,” Verbridge said.
Besides just rowing in Marblehead, Rock n’ Row does travel rows from time to time. The club has been to New Zealand, France, and Canada, Verbridge said.
“If somebody’s willing to research it and plan it, people are always on board to do it,” Verbridge said.
Rock n’ Row’s next big event is an annual opening party to celebrate the start of the prime rowing season while welcoming new members to the group. The club maxes out at 65 members and there aren’t too many new members this year. Despite that, they will still be celebrating sometime at the beginning of April.
“It’s more to reconnect with people, get together and socialize, and get all excited for the season,” Verbridge said.
During the main season, Rock n’ Row does the “Blackburn Challenge” in Gloucester.
“It’s a 21-mile race around Cape Anne,” Verbridge said. “And likewise, during COVID we created our own challenge, a 21-mile row in the Marblehead waters, so we call that the RockBurn Challenge.”
The route for the RockBurn Challenge takes the group near seal colonies, around Halfway rock and Egg Rock, then back to Little Harbor. Rowers can opt for a route of this challenge that is only half of the distance.
The club also does beach clean ups on Misery Islands, and holds parties to mark the middle and end of summer.
“It’s a great club and we’re lucky to be in Marblehead,” Verbridge said.