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Baltimore Community Rowing promotes the sport of rowing for fitness, competition, and recreation for residents of the Baltimore Metro area. 


Rowing got its start in Baltimore in 1864 when the Ariel Club was founded. First named the Baltimore Rowing Club before changing its name, the Ariel Club was soon followed by the Undine and Zephyr Rowing Clubs. As a group, the local clubs called themselves the Patapsco Navy, just as the rowing organizations in Philadelphia had dubbed themselves the Schuylkill Navy. Annual championships of the Patapsco Navy became a staple of local rowing at least through the 1870s. Through the 1920's, Baltimore clubs hosted several Mid-Atlantic and national championships that attracted crowds of up to 10,000 people and were covered by The Sun and other local newspapers as major sporting events, just as important as Orioles or Ravens games are today. Eventually, waterfront industrialization took the boathouses, and World War II took away the rowers, but not before Baltimore crews had established themselves as major powers on the East Coast circuit, winning numerous national championships and a few international titles as well.  


Rowing in Baltimore was re-established in 1979, when a group of former college oarsmen and other enthusiasts of the sport decided to revive what once had been a extremely popular pastime on the Patapsco River. Since celebrating our Silver Anniversary in 

2004, Baltimore Community Rowing has enjoyed tremendous growth, with programs for rowers of all ages from middle school, high school, collegiate, post-collegiate, to adult. Young or old, experienced rower or new to the sport, interested in competition, health and fitness, or recreation, we have a program for you! 

Reach High Baltimore was established in 2011 to serve students from Baltimore City Public Schools in our middle and high school program, BCR Juniors, and to promote participation among athletes of color. Reach High Baltimore


provides students from Baltimore City Public Schools with access to high-level training and racing in the sport of rowing and focuses on removing barriers to participation by providing scholarships, fee assistance, transportation to the boathouse, and summer job opportunities. 

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Baltimore Community Rowing is a member of the Patapsco Navy, a group that represents all stakeholders who row and paddle out of the Baltimore Rowing & Water Resource Center. Current programs under the boathouse roof include Institute of Notre Dame, Roland Park Country School, Loyola University, and University of Maryland Baltimore County, and the Baltimore City Recreation & Parks canoe and kayak program. The Patapsco Navy organizations collaborate on issues of safety, advocacy, and expanded access to the the Middle Branch of the Patapsco.


- George Pocock

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