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The Historical Background

History of Rowing in Norwich: Alan Wells has kindly compiled a detailed history of rowing in Norwich covering four centuries.  You can read Alan’s history here:   THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND  

View a series of great historical rowing photos here


  • Norwich Rowing Club was formed in 1973 from Norwich Amateur Rowing Association, Yare Rowing Club and Norwich Union RC. The boathouse (now used by Norwich School) was erected by members, housing a fleet of clinker fours, coxed pairs, sculls, old shell eights and fours.

  • Massive storm demolishes the old boathouse and many boats damaged. Insurance is a wonderful thing!!! So a second boathouse was constructed.

  • The oil storage depot was converted into the current clubhouse with indoor toilets, new kitchen, club area, gym area and ladies changing rooms.

  • Crews represent Norwich Rowing Club at Henley Royal Regatta in eights, fours and pairs. The club win medals nationally and internationally in coxless pairs (Alan Wells and Robert Weston)

  • First plastic boats purchased by rowing club. These ‘Carbocrafts’ ensure Norwich Rowing Club are highly competitive nationally.

  • Norfolk Sculls (Surlingham Ferry) and the summer regatta regularly attracts scullers from London RC, Leander, Tideway Scullers, Broxbourne and Nottingham.



  • Membership continues to grow and the club purchases many new boats. These are the new ‘Janouseks’ and comprise eights, fours (coxed and coxless) and pairs / double sculls.

  • An early morning sculling school started – which continues today. Sculling boats have become more affordable so many members purchase their own.

  • Club purchases two Concept 2 Model B ergometers. As Redgrave wins two of his five gold medals, training methods become more professional.

  • Veteran Rowing takes off and crews win medals both nationally and internationally.

  • Crews represent NRC at Henley Royal Regatta in eights and fours.

  • Feasibility studies consider  the options for a new rowing club, golf club, riding stables and rowing/canoe course.  



  • Norwich Bypass is built using gravel from marsh land at Whitlingham, creating the Broad.  There was talk of a 4 lane 1500m rowing course and a new club house.  The Small Broad changes route from club house to boathouses and large lake becomes a nature reserve.

  • Junior section started. Within a few years, club represented internationally and has wins at Henley Royal Regatta and Henley Women’s regatta.

  • Veteran men and women wins at Henley Veterans, National Championships and Fisa World Masters Regatta.

  • Club boasts women’s and men’s crews at both HORR and WHORR.

  • Fleet expanded to replace old boats. Carbon Fibre blades are now standard: and macons replaced with cleavers.

  • Structured training now for men’s, women’s and junior squads.

  • Norwich Regatta sadly flounders because of poor facilities and cruiser traffic.



  • Paid coaches for juniors results in a significant expansion of the squad which is now competitive from 14y to 18y. Medals won at National Schools and many local events.

  • Club represented at Henley Royal Regatta in eights, fours, quads and doubles.

  • Women novices win medals at Veteran Fours Head.

  • Whitlingham Boathouse Foundation set up and fund raising for £1.2m started. Plans drawn up for new club.

  • Taster rowing courses for new members started.

  • Rowing and canoeing amalgamate for training.

  • Club buys new fours/quads, doubles and second hand singles for new members.

  • Membership around 100.



  • New Club house opens. Club have final push and raise money for 1st floor facilities.

  • A fire in the clubhouse presents a barrier to land training.

  • Women represented at Henley Women's regatta and Whitlingham Week resurrected.

  • Gold and silver medals galore at Henley veterans and National veterans championships. Juniors scull at Henley Royal Regatta and men compete in eights.

  • Many new members now rowing competitively. Club membership reaches 200 plus.


  • New boats for Club level purchased

  • Covid-19 results in a temporary club shutdown and numerous cancelled events. Membership numbers drop as a result

  • Women start to outnumber the men in the Open sweep and sculling program's

  • Crews are once again represented at national level events such as Henley Royal Regatta, Henley Woman's Regatta and international events such as the FISA World Masters Regatta and Head of the Charles

View a series of great historical rowing photos here

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