Club History

The McGill University Rowing Club has a long and decorated history. In 1924 the Lachine Boat Club gave McGill room to practice its “oaring.” The first ever Canadian intercollegiate regatta was held between McGill and the University of Toronto; McGill was the victor in this inaugural event. Years passed, and so the oaring continued. Unfortunately, battles on the water gave way to battles of a more serious nature. With the outbreak of war in 1939, the Club’s activities came to an end. After an extended hiatus the Club resurfaced in 1976, taking advantage of the new Olympic facilities on Ile Notre-Dame. The team started with sixteen people, men and women, out of which only one men’s racing crew was formed. By 1980 the club saw the appearance of the first women’s crew. In 1981 the first Canadian University Rowing Championships were held in Montreal, hosted by McGill University. Since that time, the McGill University Rowing Club has emerged as one of the premier programmes in the nation, consistently fielding top crews. It has further produced some of the finest oarspeople the nation has seen. In the Athens 2004 Olympic Games alone, Sarah Pape, Doug Vandor, Mara Jones and Gen Meredith represented the red-and-white of Canada. And the list continues to grow; click here for a list of our past alumni that have gone on to the national team. Of course, every good athlete is not without a great coach. McGill Crew has had many. OUA Coach of the Year and recruitment to the National Team are among the accolades bestowed on McGill coaches past and present. Prospective coaches are invited to contact the Club. McGill Crew has a strong history of tradition and excellence. We invite you to become a part of it!