The Port Jefferson Rowing Club is a great addition to the Village. Coach James’ commitment to the oarsmen, the club and the families of the athletes is top notch. The kids have developed a great sense of team loyalty, and great friendships.
PJRC is making waves. I was proud that we were one of the first teams to kick off interclub online racing this past spring. Innovation and creative vision has powered this program through 2020's adversity better than more established clubs. The Masters Program receives more coaching insights than I've experienced in any other boathouse. I'm learning essential techniques for the first time that I should have learned as a Division I College rower 20 + years ago. There is a great comradery and enthusiasm for one another that comes from having pushed past previous limits together.
The dedication of Coach James and his staff at PJRC create a family like atmosphere while encouraging the rowers with positive energy to give it their all. It has been amazing to watch the club grow into a competitive team that values each member as they grow and learn together. This has truly been a wonderful opportunity - Thank you!
Just a note from a happy mom. Just wanted to say thank you, my sons experience with PJRC has changed his life. Gone are the days of junk food and video games, he’s actually training every day, and conscious of his health, and happy to do it. Thank you! Thank you! Joining was best decision we could have made for him.
I decided to join the Port Jefferson Rowing club Masters program after doing one of the Adult Learn to Row classes. I was hesitant to join because I had no previous experience rowing and because of the time conflicts with my job and the practice schedule. However, I drew upon my great experience with the Learn to Row class and how great it felt to be in the boat and out on the water. As it turns out, some of the other team members have no experience, just like me. Others have rowed in college. Everyone is very supportive and there is a great feeling of dedication to the team. James is a great coach. When we were able to row together as a team, he would walk around and point out what each person was doing right and what aspects of our stroke we could do differently. Now we row "together" as a team virtually on Zoom. James still provides us with support and different methods to improve our stroke. Joining the team has been a great experience. I can't wait to be back out on the water and I am looking forward to participating in regattas!
Port Jefferson Rowing Club is possibly one of the best sports club on Long Island, both for juniors and masters. Juniors get successfully trained to be competitive not just for races, but also rowing scholarships. Masters develop their skills, stamina and fitness. As a novice master, James (our coach) has quite literally done the impossible by making me a fitter, more skilful rower from no experience at all. His patience and his attention to details keep amazing me and helps me achieve my rowing and fitness goals. He is endlessly encouraging and I could not be happier to have joined the club. Even with the challenges of COVID, James immediately switched to remote-teach us, distributing ergs to the group and coaching us 3 times a week on zoom, so we wouldn’t lose our gains from our IRL trading. Not many coach would be able to achieve what he has and continues to do. We have a great team spirit, an amazing coach, and a fleet of ergs and boats that would be the envy of many. Why aren’t you signed up already?!
This past year has been a great experience. Rowing has been a lot more challenging than I imagined. Coach James has been so polite, patient, and organized with all of us. He has really made me fall in love with the sport.
It had been a while since I had rowed regularly before I joined Port Jeff Rowing Club, but I am happy to have the opportunity to get back into this incredible sport after college-hood memories. There is no embellishing: James is a great coach and I feel like I'm part of an athletic community again. This matters to me as a Masters rower. PJRC Masters is a hybridized crew by nature; many of us have families and careers, but all of us are committed to the team and look forward to the training sessions to hone skills and push ourselves together. With such a young club, we are building quickly and are looking forward to being competitive in the coming months and years.
We have been with The Port Jefferson Rowing Club since the very first week of ‘Learn to Row’ back in March 2019. Our son began rowing with The Port Jefferson Rowing Club (PJRC) in his junior year of high school and has been rowing for over a year. He has learned so much during this time with Coach James and enjoys the sport so much, that he will continue to row at the collegiate level upon entering college this fall. Coach/director James Finke has a very clear vision for the club and exudes so much energy and enthusiasm when coaching the juniors. Coach James and his coaching staff have a great rapport with the junior members and they make it a fun environment within which to learn and develop as junior rowers. The junior club members have formed a wonderful bond since the club’s inception and have a great time at practice and at regattas. I am so very thankful to have seen Director/Coach James Finke’s bio on my Facebook feed back in February 2019!!! Thank you Coach James for all of your hard work in making the club such a wonderful place for our children to learn/develop, compete and excel!!
Our son joined PJ Rowing Club during the 1st Learn to Row in Spring 2019 and developed a passion for this beautiful sport. As high school freshman and sophomores, the kids were all starting at the same novice level. As parents, we were satisfied with the safety measures and training provided before the kids could go onto the water. We were also impressed with James' coaching style, professionalism, and ability to connect with these kids. James fostered a fun while competitive culture for these new athletes throughout these Learn to Row and Summer Camp sessions. Our son has developed more confidence in himself and his athletic abilities, along with some deep-rooted friendships. James develops a sense of accountability from his athletes both on and off the water. As parents, it's been exciting to watch the club grow while watching these our athletes mature and train to compete at next level.
From the advertisement of a new rowing club forming, to the positive like-minded camaraderie of rowing mates…this past year has provided a fun synergy of social outdoor activity and reasonably achievable cardiovascular exercise, with both personal and group accomplishments. Rowing, being relatively new to me, was made reasonable with the coaching provided by James and fellow rowers. I describe it as ‘therapeutic’ to be rowing with the Masters adults after a day at work, which is combined with the serenity of being on the Port Jefferson Harbor as the sun is absorbed by the horizon. Bonus is Saturday mornings after the sun has risen. What a way to start the weekend!
I am a newbie (only joining in March for Masters in preparation for a return to coxing) and have only experience virtual erg sessions so far, but have been delighted to participate. So far, the rowers are such a committed group, and I am really impressed by the level of attention and coaching James gives to everyone, as well as the sense of camaraderie that has developed. James clearly takes the long view in building up the Port Jefferson Rowing Club, and I am looking forward to the year to come and to coxing again.
Jim had been one of our son's first coaches when he started to row, and built the initial foundation from which our son eventually won the NYS Junior Championships in the Lightweight 2x and 4+, and competed in Youth Nationals. We then caught the rowing bug, and this past winter, attended Jim's masters erg program to train for the upcoming competitive season on the water. Jim has deep knowledge of the science and the art of rowing, and understands how to build rowers. He expects much from you, but the rewards are immense. While he works his rowers hard, he fosters a team spirit in which teammates support each other. The venue at which his club is located is well-protected, with the length necessary to train properly, little contact with boat traffic, and easy access to the beach along the entire course. We highly recommend Jim as a coach, and his club.
I have to say my daughter has found a home with the Port Jefferson Rowing Club. Even with staying at home, she works out online with the group and is very happy. As a parent it is obvious that Coach James is providing a high quality program that is motivating and rewarding for all the kids. Thanks!
I am in the master program at the Port Jefferson Rowing Club, which I joined last year. Back to row after 40 years, I am so excited and happy and the entire master group is bonded and collegial. James‘s professionalism, knowledge, support and availability are simply the best.
I joined the PJRC this past December but due to my work schedule I initially could only attend the Master’s workout sessions very intermittently. James was very accommodating. The club has far exceeded my expectations! As a total beginner, and an “older masters” who is not aerobically fit, James has been incredibly supportive and encouraging. He obviously loves the sport of rowing and his dedication, expertise and desire to coach and help each and everyone, regardless of level, is exceptional. I am amazed at what the club has achieved in one short year and look forward to becoming more involved now that I am retired. All the people I have met in my short 2 months of full involvement are great! James has gone above and beyond, especially during this COVID pandemic to make as much available as possible in these difficult times. Thanks for all you do James! See you Sat morning!
James Finke has the rare ability to create a fun and empowering environment without sacrificing the competitive spirit it takes to have an elite rowing program. He is a rowing technique savant that knows how to get every ounce of speed out of his crews. James encourages his coaching staff to find ways to push the status quo and provides the insights and tools to become a first class coach.