(Original post by dobbs)
You're both right, it's very cruel, but unfortunately unless you're in a 'casual' or 'friendly' boat it comes down to winning or not, and getting your club known in the rowing circles as being a successful club, which will then attract more members (and high quality rowers too).
When I was training for HoRR a few years ago, we were told "If an Olympic rower joins the club the day before HoRR, he will take a seat in the boat and the weakest crewmember will go." Shortly before HoRR a guy who had rowed for GB Juniors was invited to row with us, he took a place in the first boat, the guy who lost the seat in that boat moved into our (the second) boat, and one of our guys had to miss out (fortunately it wasn't me, phew!). A shame, but you know what, our boat was significantly improved.
It's always bad for one person, but as cruel as it is, usually better for everyone else involved - the crew, the coach, and the club. It just depends on what your priorities are, which should really be laid out bare at the start of the season - are you going to choose the crew based on commitment, or ability?