Colombo Rowing Club

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Colombo Rowing Club
Image showing the rowing club's emblem
Location Colombo, Sri Lanka
Home water Beira Lake
Founded 1864 (1864)
Affiliations AREA, FEARA, ARASL
  • Madras-Colombo
  • Harry Creasy Fours
  • Centenary Oars
  • Herman Sirimanne Sculls
  • V.A. Julius Pairs
AREA Champions 2010
Notable members
The First Ceylonese (Sri Lankan) President of the Colombo Rowing Club was G.A.C(Colvin) Sirimanne, the then Government Analyst of Ceylon.

The Colombo Rowing Club (commonly known as CRC) is the premier boat club in Sri Lanka having been founded in 1864. Its clubhouse and boat house are located on the edge of the northern Beira Lake, at Sir Chittapalam A. Gardiner Mawatha (formerly Parsons Road), in Colombo.

Since its inception the Colombo Rowing Club has progressed into one of the most prestigious and active private member clubs in Sri Lanka. A distinctive feature has been that while the club's main sporting focus remains in rowing, social interaction and fellowship is also an important aspect. The club claims to be the cradle of rowing in Sri Lanka since most affiliated clubs of the Amateur Rowing Association of Sri Lanka, governing body for rowing in Sri Lanka, started from the facilities and infrastructure that is available at the Colombo Rowing Club.


The club was founded on the July 15, 1864 by Sir Edward Creasy, the former Chief Justice of Ceylon and based on available records, the CRC claims to be the oldest club in the island. The Colombo Rowing Club adopted the club colours of Oxford: Oxford Blue and White. The membership of club was predominately made up on colonialists affiliated with the many government departments and plantations in the island.

In 1898, the first Boat Race took place between the Colombo Rowing Club and the Madras Boat Club (now Chennai, India) and rivalry prevails until the present day. Thus, the boat race is considered second in vintage only to the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge boat race which is the world's oldest, continuing inter-institutional event.

With Ceylon gaining independence the club was opened up to more locals and Alavi Mohomed was selected as the first Ceylonese captain of the Club. In the 1950s and 1960s the club helped to introduce the sport to Royal College, S' Thomas' College and University of Colombo. The Club has hosted the annual Royal Thomian Regatta since 1962. The club commemorated its centenary year in 1964. The Colombo Rowing Club and the surrounding Beira Lake have hosted the Sri Lanka National Rowing Championships on twenty-four occasions till 2008. The National Championships have since moved to Bolgoda Lake which boasts a 2000m international distance course.

Present situation[edit]

There are 14 institutions currently using the facilities at the Colombo Rowing Club and the club extends all levels of support for the development of rowing. The club hosts many as 7 regattas throughout the year catering to novices, intermediates and senior oarsmen/women. The current president is Lushantha De Silva with Sanjay Mendis as captain. The current Manager of the club is Mrs Marie

CRC won the overall championship at the Amateur Rowing Association of East Regatta 2011, which was hosted by the Bolgoda Lake Rowing Club, Sri Lanka

Regattas conducted[edit]

  • Inaugural Regatta
  • South-West Monsoon Regatta
  • Head of the Beira Regatta
  • Ranfer Sprints
  • Inter-Monsoon Regatta
  • North East Monsoon Regatta
  • Closing Regatta
  • Madras-Colombo Regatta
  • Karachi-Colombo Regatta
  • Amateur Rowing Association of East Regatta

Regattas conducted at the Colombo Rowing Club[edit]

Typical crowd at the Colombo Rowing Club during the Royal Thomian Regatta
Royal (nearside) winning Junior Pairs at the 2007 Royal Thomian Regatta

Janaka Peiris[edit]

Janaka Peiris, fondly known as Peiris, has been a boat boy of the rowing club for over 30 years and is considered a permanent fixture of the club with many members and oarsmen having their own "Peiris story"