In autumn 2001 a dentist, a gas engineer, a carpenter, a maths teacher, a civil servant and a software technician met at a pub in Swanage to have a discussion about starting a Cornish Pilot Gig rowing club.
They shared a lifelong love of the sea, traditional wooden boats and a desire to see Cornish Pilot Gigs being rowed in Swanage Bay.
They then agreed to put £5 in an empty pint glass as the first contribution... and Swanage Sea Rowing Club was born!
20 years on and the club is a thriving charity with over 120 members, five gigs, six state-of-the-art rowing machines and an iconic boathouse. SSRC is a member of the Cornish Pilot Gig Association (CPGA) and an affiliate member of British Rowing.
Our Trustees manage the club, ensure the health and safety of its members and deliver its charitable objectives. They rely heavily on members and volunteers to deliver a range of activity - from organising fundraising and social events to boat maintenance, coxing and coaching.
Meetings take place monthly throughout the year and elections annually at the club's AGM in October.
If you are interested in becoming a Trustee please contact us.
What we do
The club is very clear in its objectives - to promote the healthy pursuit of sea rowing to its community - and we welcome anyone wishing to participate.
We provide a range of activity from recreational rowing to racing and stage many events throughout the year to encourage people to get out on the water.
This is a very busy and popular section of the club which sees people trying rowing for the first time during our “open rowing’ sessions and venturing out on longer rows to enjoy the wonderful sights of the Jurassic coastline.
Many recreational rowers also enjoy competitive rowing and long distance events such as the Great River Race on the Thames.
For newcomers, recreational rowing is a solid starting point from which to learn rowing technique.
The club is always open to its community and facilitates events throughout the year to bring everyone together.
We run ‘open days’ which enable novices to 'have a go’ and each summer we invite individuals, groups , other clubs and businesses to train for the epic ‘'Carnival Row’ - a fabulous evening of fun racing in the bay.
Members are welcome to 'book a boat’ for other groups. We are pleased to have hosted visitors from France, U3A (University of the Third Age) and the RNLI.
During Swanage Lifeboat Week we arrange a mini regatta in the bay to help raise funds for the RNLI.
Junior Rowing 12 - 16 yrs
Developing Adults 16 - 18 yrs
We have a vibrant junior section supported by committed coaches and volunteer helpers who are all DBS checked.
Many of our junior rowers who learned to row with SSRC have gone on to row for their university clubs. Many who have returned or remained in Swanage now help with organising fitness and training for others. We encourage parents to get involved too!
We are proud to have achieved Clubmark accreditation.
This is the only national cross-sports quality accreditation for clubs with junior sections, ensuring we operate to a set of consistent, accepted and minimum set of operating standards.
You can download a junior membership form here
SSRC provides all the coaching and fitness training necessary for racing on the regatta circuit.
The rowing season offers a wide range of competitive events from the World Pilot Gig Championships on the Isles of Scilly to the County Championships at Newquay.
For members who relish the adrenalin rush of gig racing, the club’s coaches, captains and coxwains will provide support throughout the various stages of rowing development to help you achieve your aims.
SSRC 2016 Regatta in Pictures...