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Rowing at Potomac Boat Club

Members of Potomac Boat Club range from recreational rowers to those who compete on a regular basis either individually or through a PBC competitive program.  For recreational rowers, the club maintains a fleet of sculling and paddling equipment (including standup paddle boards, kayaks and canoes) managed by the Club Rowing Committee (CRC).  Those who compete outside of a program have access to CRC managed equipment.

PBC teams compete during the Summer sprint season and the Fall head racing season and conduct on and off-water strength and conditioning sessions during the months when no races are scheduled. The teams share PBC’s racing fleet that includes both sculling and sweep equipment, and coordinates other equipment resources with Washington-Lee High School Crew based on the longest, most successful club and high school resource sharing agreements in U.S. rowing history. 

For more information regarding our Club Rowing Committee fleet or a particular Racing Committee managed competitive program, please click on a link below.  If you are a PBC program unaffiliated racer who would like to coordinate on the use of racing equipment, please contact the Racing Committee.

Club Boat Inventory

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. 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 ClubThompson 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.

River Neighbors

Half a mile downstream from PBC is Thompson Boat Center, the only other D.C.-sited rowing facility on the Potomac River. Thompson’s is home to a large number of high school and university crews, and also runs its own sweep and sculling programs.

Next door to the Potomac boathouse is the similar-vintage Washington Canoe Club, the area’s largest group of canoeists and kayakers. PBC maintains a friendly relationship with WCC, rooted in common interests in protecting recreational use of local waterways, including the Potomac River and C&O Canal.