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Novice Rowing Program Summary

This program is for:

  • Rowers that have recently completed a Learn to Row class, either at Mendota RC or another rowing club
  • Rowers looking to work on technique and build fitness
  • Rowers who are rowing with the advanced program but want to get more water time or hone their coxing skills
  • Rowers who for scheduling reasons cannot attend morning practices

Program Details

Our novice program targets our recent learn-to-row graduates, but is also a great program for those with basic to intermediate rowing experience. It is an opportunity to put into practice what you learned in your learn-to-row class and to improve your rowing & coxing skills. 

We row primarily in sweep boats, either 4's or 8's, depending on attendance. Occasionally we may try sculling in quads. The focus of the group is on technique and on having fun on the water! You will also begin to build fitness as the season progresses. If you wish, you will have the opportunity to participate in your first regatta in September or October.

Note: Recent graduates of Learn-to-Row, get a free two-week trial period after finishing the class.

Practice Schedule

Beginning in May 15 our novice practice schedule is:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 6:15 - 8:15 pm

Saturday: 8:00-10:00 am 

Rowers should sign up for practice on our Google spreadsheet by 5pm the night before practice on. 

Please show up at the boathouse on time, or even better a few minutes early, so that we can get the launch & oars ready to make the most of our time on the water. 

On days you are uncertain about the weather, still plan on showing up - sometimes the conditions turn out better than anticipated. We will also be able to work on our fitness on days we are not able to got out on the water. Even if you missed several days or weeks in a row, you are always welcome. You can easily pick up where you left off as new learn-to-row graduates will be joining the group at the beginning of each month throughout the summer.

Racing and Regattas

For information on racing and regattas check out our Racing page.

Novice Boot Camp Refresher

Free! Open to anyone with some rowing experience. If you took Learn to Row at Mendota (or another club) or rowed in the past but have take some time off, this program is for you.

The camp is an opportunity for you to refresh your rowing skills, and decide if rowing is for you even if you did not join the club as a Novice member or haven’t rowed since you took your learn to row class or since college or high school. Coaches and instructors will be on hand to assess your skills and help you figure out the program that meets your needs and skills.

Tues -Thurs evenings May 8-10 from 6:00-8:00 PM and Saturday morning May 12 from 8:00-10:00 AM.

Register here

Meet the coaches

The Novice Program is coached Lizzy Klapheke and Danielle Scodellaro.

Lizzy Klapheke

Coach Elizabeth is a native of Baldwinsville, NY, and came to Mendota RC via Americorps and UW-Madison. She first dipped her foot in the rowing water at National Learn to Row Day when she was 10, and was absolutely hooked. She rowed with the Syracuse Chargers for 4 years before joining her high school team, the Baldwinsville Girls Crew, where she turned from a rower to a coxswain. Coach Elizabeth went on to cox for the University of Scranton team for a year in college. After missing the sport for some time, she picked up coxing again, with a touch of rowing, in 2015 with the Mendota Rowing club. Coach K has raced many levels of rowing, and at such notable races and courses as the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, SRAA Scholastic Nationals, the Head of the Charles Regatta, and the Canadian Henley Masters Regatta. Her background as a rower has brought incredible insight to the coxswain seat, and now to the coaching seat as well. Between the peace of being on the water, connecting with her boatmates, and her calm, approachable perspective, Coach K is an invaluable asset to the coaching staff at Mendota RC. She hopes to inspire others to love and enjoy rowing as much as she does.


Danielle Scodellaro

Danielle has been rowing for 13 years, starting with High School and Club with Grosse Ile High School and the Wyandotte Boat Club. From there she rowed two years at the University of Wisconsin. After a short break, she has  returned full time to rowing with Mendota Rowing Club. Danielle has coached learn to row and corporate learn to row clinics. She has competed in many levels of rowing competitions, from scholastic to college, on both the national and international level, including club Nationals were she won the Woman’s pair. Danielle has placed internationally at the Royal Canadian Henley and also won a bid to the English Henley. 

Danielle plans to continue her love of rowing with Mendota Rowing Club as both a rower and a coach. There is no place she'd rather be than to keep the dreams alive of this rowing community. 



622 E Gorham St
Madison, WI

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