Our History

Dublin Metropolitan Regatta – 1943, Maiden Four winning a Heat of the Civic Cup event against Bann RC

“In the year 1790 eighteen of Belfast’s watermen raced in six pair-oared boats, each with a coxswain, from the Town Dock at the foot of High Street, to Holywood. The winners received a guinea each from the sovereign”

Belfast Rowing Club, Walter F Mitchell

Belfast has a long history of competitive rowing. While record of the races held between yawls, gigs and punts on Belfast Lough litter the newspapers for over 100 years prior, its first club formed was not formed until 1842. A number of clubs came and went, but the founding of Commercial Boating Club in 1883 or 1884 (exact records no longer exist) is the arguably the genesis of our current club. The club moved location a number of times over the years for various reasons; Laganbank Road, Ormeau Park, Balfour Avenue before relocating to its current site on Hay Island, now known as Lockview Road in Stranmillis in 1974.

1900 Senior Four. Winners of the Subscribers, Pirrie and Connor Cups

The club has won 20 Irish National Championship titles in its history, as well as victory in the Britannia Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta in 1994. It has trained paralympians and FISA World Cup medallists, as as recently as 2016 produced a Silver medallist for Ireland at the Coupe De Jeunesse.

Belfast Rowing Club continues to have a strong active membership at all levels, with crews competing at the highest level of domestic competition.

Our clubs history has been captured in fascinating detail in the book “Belfast Rowing Club 1880-1982” by Walter F. Mitchell. Copies are available from the committee.

Orlagh Duddy – 2007 FISA World Cup Bronze Medalist LW Single Scull – Pictured competing for Ireland at 2008 FISA World Cup I in Poznan, Poland – Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

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