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Rowing at Union Boat Club




In many ways, the story of rowing at the Union Boat Club is interwoven with the history of rowing in Boston and more broadly in the United States.   Founded in 1851, Union is the longest continuously operating rowing club in Boston as well as the third oldest rowing club in the Nation.  One might say that Union is part of the very DNA of rowing in the United States.   Union was one of the delegates at the first meeting of what would become the National Associating of Amateur Oarsmen, the predecessor to USRowing, the organizing body for rowing in the United States.  The Club’s oarsmen and oarswomen continue to be involved in the sport at every level. Union was also home to the first National Team Training camp which produced the 1972 Mens Olympic eight.



UBC is proud to have produced multiple Olympians, national team rowers, and national champions.     But, the Club also welcomes recreational rowers and has a proud history of long open water rows into the Boston Harbor and beyond.  



Today rowing at UBC provides rowing facilities, training and racing opportunities, for club rowers, masters rowers both on the sweep and sculling side as well as an pre-elite training group. 





For the better part of two centuries, Union's scullers have competed nationally and internationally forging the Club's reputation as a top training site for scullers.    Over the many decades of the Club's existence, Union's sculling program has produced members of the United States National Teams, Olympians and, starting with Club member Russell S. Codman's National singles title in 1925, many national titles.


UBC scullers have competed at the prestigious Royal Henley Regatta numerous times beginning with James B. Ayers who raced the single at Henley in 1914.    Since the inaugural Head of the Charles Regatta® in 1965, our scullers have competed in the "Head" each year bring home many medals to the Club.  


Today's sculling program is made up of a diverse group of men and women ranging from recent college graduates to veteran rowers.   The group includes scullers who started rowing in high school or college, former national team members and Olympians as well as athletes who took up the sport as adults.   


Union's scullers compete each year at many local and national and international regattas including the Head of the Charles, Masters Nationals, Club Nationals and, depending on the year Canadian Henley, The Royal Henley Regatta and Elite National.


Development Squad

Union has a long history as a top level sweep development center.   Union was home to the Henley Royal Regatta Grand Challenge Cup finalists in 1914 as well as a National Team Training Center in the 1970s.   The 1970s camps produced the US Mens Eight which competed at the 1972 Munich Olympics.   In recent history Union has seen a resurgence of competitive sweep rowing with strong performances on both the womens and mens side.   Many of our members are recent university graduates who, while settling into their careers in Boston, choose to carry on sweep rowing in a competitive atmosphere.   Union provides an ideal home for this type of athlete with our ability to support and advance their ambitions.   In recent years Union's competitive sweep squad has found itself as a force to be reckoned with at regattas such as the Head of the Charles, the San Diego Crew Classic, and Henley Royal Regatta.   Union's support of a competitive rowing atmosphere allows its members to explore and experience opportunities in the rowing world in a post university atmosphere.   


Men's Masters Rowing

In addition to the general men's sweep development squad, Union also has a strong group of men's masters sweep rowers who participate in a number of Regattas each year. The group has a strong background in the sport of rowing; almost all members of the group rowed at major universities and/or in high school and several members of the groups are former national team members. 

For most of the past decade, Union's masters sweep athletes have raced annually at the San Diego Crew Classic and Head of the Charles Regatta. The Mens Masters Sweep team also often fields boats for Masters Nationals, local regattas like the Cromwell Cup and regional regattas which in the past few years have included:  the Textile Regatta, the Head of the Housatonic, the Schuylkill Navy Regatta and the Head of the Schuylkill.  

Practices for the Men's Masters Sweep team are organized by the Head Coach and usually take place in the weeks leading up to major Regattas such as the SDCC and HOCR.  

Women's Rowing

Women first joined the ranks of the Union Boat Club over twenty years ago when Joan Campbell became Union's first women member.   Since that time, what began with a handful of talented women has blossomed into a vibrant group of Club, Pre-elite and Master oarswomen of all ages.  Women are a core part of the Sculling Group at Union and have seen great success over the years at local, national and international regattas.   The Club's Women Scullers have medaled at Club, Masters and Elite Nationals, Canadian Henley and the Head of the Charles and have also been members of the Junior, U-23, and Senior National Teams.    


In recent years, and especially since the tenure of Michelle Guerette as Head Coach at Union, a strong Women's sweep program has also been established at Union.  While the primary focus of UBC women's rowing has been sculling, since 2005 Union's women have competed in a limited but growing number of sweep events each year.   Union's Women sweep program has fielded boats in every Head of the Charles Regatta since 2009 and finished 6th in the Club Four in 2013, the top non-collegiate finish in the event.   Over the past decade, Union's Women Sweep team has also competed several times in the San Diego Crew Classic, winning the Masters' "A" event in 2012 and 2013 and finishing 2nd in 2014.   Other events often raced by the UBC's women's sweep rowers include:the Cromwell Cup, CBC invitational, Masters Nationals, the Head of the Housatonic and the Head of the Textile regattas.   




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