Potomac Boat Club is proud to support and partner with Washington-Lee High School Crew of Arlington, VA, one of the most successful and longest running crew programs in the country, rowing from the club since its start.  In 1949, the first year of existence under legendary Coach, and PBC senior member Charlie Butt, the Washington-Lee crew team won the two major rowing championships, the prestigious Stotesbury Cup Regatta in Philadelphia and the Scholastic Nationals. In the 1950s and 1960s, Washington-Lee men’s crew was one of the dominant programs in the country.

W-L Crew earned national headlines for winning the Royal Henley Regatta in England in 1964 (the first year American scholastic high schools were allowed to participate) and in 1969. The team has made the trip 7 times and competed there most recently in 1989. In addition, W-L crew was the National Champions 12 times between 1949 and 1987. In 1965, the greatest single day in the Washington-Lee rowing history occurred when the boys won every sweep race at the Stotesbury. More recently, the lightweight men were undefeated in their 2004 season, taking the Stotesbury Cup from long-reigning champions St. Joseph’s Prep.  In 2005 the lightweight men were National Champions. In 2011 the Junior 8 men won gold at States and medaled third at Nationals.

In 1975, Washington-Lee’s proud crew tradition was expanded with the establishment of the women’s team. The first coach was Tom Chisnell, a Washington-Lee alumni who rowed on the 1969 Henley championship boat (and PBC senior member).  The women’s team has been a strong program over the years.  From 1984 through 1986, their lightweight eight was nearly unbeatable and won consecutive National Championships.  In 1987, the junior eight took second place at Stotesbury and won the National Championship. In 2000, the girls’ mid weight eight won third place in the Scholastic Rowing Association Nationals.

Perhaps even more impressive, Washington-Lee Crew, has selflessly shared its rowing expertise with other Arlington and Washington area schools. Washington-Lee’s assistance, through Charlie’s guidance, has been instrumental in helping Yorktown HS, Wakefield HS, Mathews HS, George Washington University, American University and many other area high schools and colleges begin their rowing programs. W-L is essential to many PBC successes through the use of the boats and launches paid for by the team and shared with the club. Many PBC senior members find their roots as Washington-Lee Crew coxswains and rowers.


For more information about Washington-Lee Crew, please visit: W-L Crew and W-L Crew Boosters.