Club Rowing Committee
Steeped in rich history, Potomac Boat Club was founded in 1869 by a few visionary individuals. Their passionate dedication to the sport of rowing on the Potomac River stirred a vibrant tradition and legacy that thrives now for nearly 150 years. Over these many decades, PBC evolved into a premier rowing venue on the eastern seaboard. The club provides its members, which range from world-class, elite athletes to competitive masters and recreational rowers, exciting and broad opportunities. Being located in the nation’s capital, the club is also strongly intertwined with political history, with members involved in local, national, and international rowing organizations and events.
Club Rowing and the CRC (Club Rowing Committee): Club Rowing entails all boat-related activities at PBC that are not conducted under the aegis of the Racing Committee. As such, the participants in Club Rowing comprise a diverse spectrum of PBC members ranging from scullers and sweepers to paddlers; from aspiring to former Olympians; and from highly competitive masters to members simply out on the Potomac for recreation. With the exception of those strictly rowing private boats, these PBC members make manifold use of equipment procured, managed, allocated and maintained by the CRC. This Club fleet currently consists of 10 singles, 9 doubles (4 of which are convertible into pairs) and 3 quads (one of which can be rigged as a straight four) of various weight classes. The CRC fleet is complemented by well over a dozen sets of sculls, 4 sweep oars, and several canoes and paddle boards.
PBC’s Club Rowing infrastructure and current fleet are the evolving products of truly dedicated volunteers. Among the stalwarts for many years, Jim Edmunds, Steve Weiss, Chuck Selden and Elizabeth Becton bear special recognition. Sylvia Frayne was CRC Chair for many years, as was Karen Lyons, and both oversaw great improvements. They were followed by Michael Malone, who until recently continued this trend of achievements.
The CRC fleets is generally available on a first-come, first-served basis to all Senior club members and boats can also be reserved in advance for specific events, such as regattas, by contacting the CRC chair. Due to limitations imposed by PBC’s physical size and shape, boat handling at the club is often challenging and requires dedicated attention; members are encouraged to ask for assistance when needed. Most of the CRC singles and all 3 quads are located in the main bay of the boathouse, at reasonable rack heights, making them as accessible as possible. This is also the case for 4 of the CRC doubles, which are in the adjacent upstream bay, with remainder stored under the nearby aqueduct. The CRC sculling oars are in the clubhouse’s downstream-most bay.
A complete inventory of the current CRC fleet, including brands of boats and weight classes, is found in the club boat inventory. This sheet also provides instructions on how to use the adjustable shoes found in many of the CRC boats.
PBC generally does not support true beginners in rowing, but learn-to-row opportunities can be found at neighboring organizations, including Capital Rowing Club, Thompson Boat Center, and Alexandria Community Rowing. Rowers interested in participating in formal Racing Committee-supported programs at PBC, which lie outside CRC’s auspices, should refer to descriptions provided on the Racing Committee section of the website.
Visitors to the area, who are bona fide members of other clubs and would like to train and row at PBC while temporarily in the DC area, should contact the PBC Secretary for information. Such visitors need to be sponsored and chaperoned at all times by Senior Members, or acquire temporary club membership, to be eligible to row in CRC boats and utilize the facility. Members’ guests are required to sign waivers and respect rules outlined for guest rowing at the club. CRC boats are available to club members first, and reserved use may be requested from the CRC chair. Request for use of CRC boats by racing teams shall also be made directly to the CRC chair.
The CRC is deeply indebted to volunteers, who not only help maintain the equipment in great shape, but who also are active in myriad of other ways, as befits a successful, world-class rowing club. We thank them for their hard work, participation, and interest in helping to support the mission of the committee. You too could be part of this great team. Indeed, if you use CRC equipment, please consider pitching in and helping shape the future of the club. Your comments, questions, suggestions and help are seriously appreciated and the CRC chair can be contacted using the form below.
Chair, Club Rowing Committee
and Members of the Committee