Victoria is a major center for competitive rowing in Canada. It’s mild climate allows for year round access to the waterways.
There are two major rowing centers in Victoria, one at Elk Lake and the other on the Selkirk Waterway close to downtown. Victoria hosts a number of regattas each year including the very exciting Gorge Regatta in October. Hosted by the University of Victoria Men’s and Women’s Rowing Programs, the Head of the Gorge starts just shy of the Johnson Street Bridge and runs under three bridges to the finish line in front of Esquimalt Park. The Tail of the Gorge starts in beautiful Portage Inlet, runs under the Craigflower Bridge, and finishes just shy of the Esquimalt Gorge Park. Since this event occurs near Halloween, the Head of the Gorge organizers encourages costumes which gives the event a festival atmosphere.
Rowing Clubs In Victoria
Whitehall Spirit Rowing Club
Whitehall offers a unique rowing experience to those of you who love to row. They are Victoria’s first ‘All Water’ Rowing Club giving you affordable and easy access to fun on the water while building strength, stamina, and fitness. Whitehall uses their own state-of-the-art ‘All Water’ boats, which are safe, stable and unsinkable. They are equipped with the latest technology, including slide seat sculling gear, 9’6″ carbon fiber sculling oars and even rear view mirrors so you can safely see where you’re headed. They are the ‘mountain bikes of the sea’.
This is a members-only club, which means that all rowers must first take their Introductory Orientation and Training session with one of the Club’s ‘All Water’ Rowing Instructors. Only WSRC members may use the Club boats. There are no rentals of boats available to the general public. An initial one-on-one training session is required, and helps ensure that members know the procedures and are skilled enough to launch, row or paddle clear of the dock, and keep out of harm’s way in the busy harbour.
Whitehall has two locations, one in Victoria Harbour and the other at Oak Bay Marina.
website: Whitehall Spirit Rowing Club
Victoria City Rowing Club (VCRC)
VCRC is a not-for-profit rowing club located at Elk Lake in Victoria, BC, Canada. VCRC offers introductory, recreational, and competitive rowing programs for athletes of all ages (12 -80+ yrs) and skill levels.
Gorge Narrows Rowing Club
The Gorge Narrows Rowing Club also operates as a community rowing club out of the SMUS CRC (St. Michaels University School Community Rowing Centre), which is located on the historic Gorge Waterway, just south of the Selkirk Trestle Bridge. The club offers youth and adult rowing programs for all experience levels, including Learn-to-Rows! They are growing programs to meet the needs of members, and if you cannot find a program that suits your needs, please call the facility manager to see if one can be build for you.
They offer a variety rowing programs, including fall, winter, spring and summer programs for adults and youth, including SMUS student specific programs as well as community based learn-to-row, junior, senior and masters programs offered through the Gorge Narrows Rowing Club. We host private corporate events and can facilitate independent rowing clubs’ training needs.
Other Rowing Resources
Rowing Canada (RCA) is a non-profit organization recognized by the Government of Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee as the national governing body for the sport of rowing in Canada. RCA represents 15,000 registered members at all levels, novices, juniors, university students, seniors and masters, and people with disabilities, whether they row for recreation, health and fitness or competition.
website: Rowing Canada
Rowing British Columbia
Rowing BC is the Provincial governing body for the sport of rowing in British Columbia. As a non-profit organization, over 3,400 participants within the BC rowing community benefit from many Rowing BC services, including coach education and development, regatta sanctioning, and delivery of Provincial Team initiatives.
website: Rowing BC
The Greater Victoria Youth Rowing Society
The GVYRS constitution states that the purpose of the our non-profit society is to “encourage high school rowing and youth rowing in the Greater Victoria area”.