Coastal rowing, San Francisco style
We are very excited to read the growing list of competitors from around the world who have already signed up for the 2018 World Rowing Coastal Championships! When a member of the South End Rowing Club in San Francisco commented on social media about having just registered, we reached out to find out more.
Thanks to Kim Peirano for the write-up and to Kim and Joe Boone for the spectacular photos. The orange bridge is San Francisco’s famous Golden Gate Bridge and the silver bridge is the Bay Bridge.
The South End Rowing Club, located in Aquatic Park in San Francisco, was founded in 1873, and has a long history of rowing, open water swimming, handball and running.
We have approximately 1,300 members who participate in our four main sports. Although our club was established by rowers, our swim program makes up the largest part of our club However, our rowing program is undergoing a revival with an influx of new rowers, and excitement is building for our participation in the World Rowing Coastal Championships in Victoria, BC.
We consider ourselves a mainly recreational club with a fun and competitive nature. Everyone’s a little bit strange here, but the thing we all have in common is a love for the San Francisco Bay!
Our rows on the bay generally extend from the Bay Bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge, about 10 nautical miles of rowing. We also do channel crossings around the infamous Alcatraz Island, Angel Island and even over to Sausalito for brunch! Our rowing program also helps to support our swimmers as pilot boats for their swims in the bay.
We have a group of 10 rowers coming to WRCC in 2018: a few mixed doubles, women’s doubles and some men’s singles.
Our club has a long history with wooden rowing boats. We have a fleet of 12 wooden boats including Viking class woodens, built by San Francisco cable car carpenters, police boats which were used by the San Francisco police, and two 6-person sweep ‘barges’ which are over 100 years old.
Part of the mission of the rowing program for the club is the constant upkeep and repair of these beautiful boats.
In addition to our wooden fleet we also row in the Maas open water shells, including Aeros, 24s and Flyweights. These boats are very fun to row out on a bay and instill a deep respect for the water with their touchy nature. We currently don’t have any ‘official’ coastal boats like the ones used at WRCC so it will be an interesting transition with a steep learning curve for most of us once we arrive!
One of our club projects, in addition to fully finishing the recent renovation of the South End Barge, is to acquire some coastal boats so that we can become more of an epicenter for coastal rowing in the future.
Our 2018 rowing commissioner, Oliver Gajda, spearheaded our entry to WRCC. We want to gain more experience in the sport outside of our beautiful bay, and also to advance as coastal rowers with that experience. We’re looking forward to rowing in a completely new environment and with different boats.
South End RC is highly adaptable and love a challenge, so the uncertainty of the event is part of the excitement for us. In addition, we’re looking forward to meeting other rowers from around the world and hopefully getting some new visitors here in the years to come! In the back of many of our minds is the possibility of being a host location for the WRCC in the future.
Thank you Kim!
We look forward to meeting members of the South End Rowing Club in Victoria!
See you in October.