Penn AC Gold

“Penn AC Gold changed my life…  Go there to become a rower, to learn how to row and live well.”

Ben Chuter, Penn AC Gold 2010

U19 Program Overview

Penn AC Gold (Men’s & Women’s U19 Programs) provides high school male and female athletes with the complete competitive summer racing experience from beginning to end. Our goal is to instruct athletes on all aspects of rowing necessary to prepare for collegiate and national level competition. Penn AC Gold is not a recreational summer rowing camp. Our goal is to promote learning, teamwork, and competitiveness by providing education, common standards and accountability. Additionally we seek to reinforce the concept that achieving success in rowing is not dependent on erg scores or technical skill.  Rather, it requires proficiency in both, mental toughness, and working functionally with others.  Penn AC Gold will provide you the opportunity to challenge yourself in all of those areas.  What you learn here will serve you long after you leave.

Penn AC Gold athletes will be exposed to a level of competition they cannot receive with other high school programs. Penn AC Rowing Association is structured to provide a team atmosphere that is unparalleled. Penn AC Gold athletes are part of a larger structure made up of collegiate athletes as well as Elite athletes that are training to make the US Senior National Team. Penn AC Gold athletes will have the opportunity to train and learn what is necessary to reach that level. At the same time, our program introduces athletes to past and current Penn AC coaches and athletes that are World and Olympic Medalists who still support and compete for Penn AC.

Program Dates
Start Date*End Date
SessionJune 13, 2017July 17, 2017
*Start Date: Rowing starts on June 14th but athletes must arrive in Philadelphia on June 13th.

Final regatta will be the US Rowing Club Nationals in Bethel, OH (near Cincinnati).

Program Details – Coaches

Penn AC Gold is a competitive and intensive  summer rowing program for high school athletes operating out of Penn AC Boat Club in Philadelphia, PA. Penn AC Gold educates and prepares athletes to handle all aspects of rowing necessary for top-level competition:

  • Rowing
  • Technique
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Flexibility
  • Mental Training and Race Preparation
  • Proper Nutrition
  • Coxing – Practice and Race Preparation
  • Team Building – Leadership and Communication Skills

Housing, meals and all travel expenses are included in the cost of the program. Local athletes opting out of room and board will receive a reduced rate.

Coaching Staff and chaperones will live in the dormitories with the athletes.

Programs Director – Paul Coomes
2017 U19 Coaching Staff
Men’s Staff
Head Coach:Alex Binkowski
Assistant Coach:Zachary Ross
Assistant Coach:David Herrick
Women’s Staff
Head Coach:Jackie Kleinhans
Assistant Coach:Jami Montesano
Assistant Coach:Nancy Olewnik

Daily Schedule

Penn AC Gold offers a comprehensive program which provides a daily schedule that simulates the training schedules of collegiate and pre-elite athletes. The final practice schedule will be provided to accepted athletes in their welcome packets:

Practice Sessions

Athletes will practice on the water two times a day, weather permitting. Penn AC has designed a training program that is balanced and allows athletes to recover and progress throughout the summer. On-the-water sessions will be dedicated to rowing technique, aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, as well as racing and regatta preparation.

Team Lectures

Athletes will have scheduled team lectures that cover all aspects of rowing necessary to prepare for top-level competition. Athletes will keep training journals that will allow them to track their progress as well as balance their overall training schedules. Each week athletes will also meet a current or past athlete of Penn AC that will share their experiences of training and racing for Penn AC, and discuss what it takes to be a top-level athlete or coxswain.

Eligible Athletes

For 2017, Penn AC Gold will accept both and male and female applications for the following categories:

U19 “A” Team:Maximum of 18 male athletes; 3 coxswainsMaximum of 18 female athletes; 3 coxswains
High school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who were born between the years 1999 and 2000 who have at least 1 to 2 years of rowing or sculling experience. Novices who are upperclassmen are encouraged to apply.
Junior “B” (U17) Program:Maximum of 8 male athletes; 1 coxswainsMaximum of 8 female athletes; 1 coxswains
High school freshmen and sophomores born between 2001-2003 with at least 1 year of sweep and sculling experience.

Coaching Recommendations

Athlete’s applications must include a coach’s recommendation that verifies all reported physical performance. Coaching recommendations must be emailed to the Director of Summer Programs (, before the close of registration. Applications will not be accepted without a coach’s recommendation.

Erg Time Standards

The following are recommended erg times for male and female athletes who wish to participate and compete for our U19 Program.  We are targeting male and female athletes who have achieved the following erg scores.  This is not the only selection criteria.  Athletes who have not reached these scores can certainly apply.

2k Erg Score6k Erg Score
U19 “A” Men:6:45 or better21:30 or better
U19 “A” Women:7:45 or better25:50 or better
Junior “B” Men:7:00 or better22:40 or better
Junior “B” Women:8:05 or better27:15 or better

Lightweight Rowing

Athletes who are interested in being recruited to collegiate lightweight programs are encouraged to apply, provided they meet the Erg Time Standards and Additional Criteria.

Penn AC will teach athletes how to row as a lightweight athlete safely, and may provide opportunities to row with our U23 lightweights. (There are no U19 lightweight events during the summer regattas)

Program Tuition
TuitionOut-of-town AthletesLocal Athletes
Total$6700 (includes housing and meal plan)$3700 (no housing or meal plan)
Down Payment (due by May 1, 2017)$1500 (non-refundable)$1500 (non-refundable)
Remainder (due by June 1, 2017)$5200$2200
Online Applications

Applications will open January 4, 2017 and end on April 10, 2017. Acceptances will be announced by April 15, 2017.

Athletes who wish to apply to the Penn AC Gold Program must register through Regatta Central.

Team Trophies

Penn AC Gold athletes will also unite with the Penn AC U23 Program, and High Performance Group to compete for the following trophies:

Independence Day RegattaMariner Points Trophy
US Rowing Club NationalsOverall Team Points Trophy
Sulgar-Barnes Points Trophy (Overall Men’s)
Marion D. Ventura Points Trophy (Overall Women’s)