Commercial Rowing Club Dublin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Commercial Rowing Club
Image showing the rowing club's emblem
Image showing the rowing club's blade colours
Location Islandbridge, Dublin, Ireland
Coordinates 53°20′47″N 6°19′12″W / 53.346474°N 6.319968°W / 53.346474; -6.319968
Home water River Liffey
Founded 1856
Affiliations Rowing Ireland
Commercial Regatta, Metro Regatta
Notable members
Niall O'Toole, George Rae

Commercial Rowing Club is a sports club located in Dublin, affiliated with Rowing Ireland.[1] Commercial Rowing Club facilitates competitive rowing for Juniors (under 18 years of age)and Adults (including Novices, Intermediates, Seniors and Veterans). The Club is open to male and female athletes. The club colours are Myrtle Green, White & Azure Blue.

The Commercial Rowing Club Boathouse is located at Islandbridge, where the calm protected waters of the upper Liffey enable rowing year-round. Commercial also has access to the shared boathouse on Blessington Lake in Wicklow.


Commercial Rowing Club was founded in Ringsend in 1856.[2] It is the second oldest rowing club in Ireland. The name dates an era when all non-university clubs were designated ‘commercial’. The original membership was drawn from the Commercial heart of Dublin, tailors, bankers and other shopkeepers of Henry Street and Grafton Street and the boat house was originally located in Ringsend.[3] To avoid the inconvenience and dangers of the Tides and the port traffic, Commercial moved upstream from Ringsend to the peaceful waters of Islandbridge in 1942 [4] to take over the premises of Dublin Rowing Club, which had become insolvent.

In the sixties recruitment was predominantly among young working men who rowed mainly in Novice grades. With the boathouse locked up for the 1969 season the club decided to go in an entirely different direction and bring in juniors in Big Numbers in the seventies.[5] Oarswomen had to be secretly introduced and trained to a standard where they would win at their first regatta. The site of a Commercial “ladies” crew in front on the winning straight was too much for even the most hardened misogynist and the girls were finally accepted in the club. In no time at all the membership went from 3 to 50 or 60 of all ages and both sexes. [6]

Video History of Commercial Rowing Club


In 2015, Commercial Boathouse contained the following fleet of boats for members' use:[7] -

  • 46 single sculls
  • 6 double sculls
  • 4 pairs
  • 3 coxless quads
  • 5 coxed quads
  • 2 coxed fours
  • 8 eights
  • 21 Concept II ergometers


The development of Commercial coincided with a new policy of the IARU to encourage small boat rowing. By the year 2000, Commercial Rowing Club had won nearly 100 Irish National Championship medals.[citation needed] This placed the club in second place in Ireland.

In 1991, at the World Rowing Championships in Vienna a sculler from Commercial RC named Niall O'Toole won a Gold Medal in the Men's Lightweight Single Scull, breaking the world record in time of 6m:49.49s in the process. This was Ireland's first Gold medal in any Rowing World Championship event. Niall went on to compete in three Olympic Games. In 1991 and 1994, Niall was presented with the Texaco All Star award. .[8] The nineties brought in a total of 5 World Championship medals and numerous u/23 medals.[9]


Commercial Rowing Club has been strongly represented on the organizing committee for the Dublin Metropolitan Regatta (aka "Metro") since 1869.[10] Outside of Metro, Commercial also regularly hosts its own regatta and, by 2008, Commercial had hosted its 26th regatta. Initially the regatta was for women's events only, but men's events were added in 1986.[11]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Dublin Rowing Clubs III, Commercial" (June 7, 1924), Saturday Herald, pp 8."
  3. ^ "The Commercial Rowing Club". (September 10, 1875). The Irish Times, pp. 12.
  4. ^ "The Empire News, First with News". (April 16, 1944). The Irish Times, pp. 16.
  5. ^ "Do you want to have a sport". (September 29, 1977). The Irish Times, pp. 21.
  6. ^ "dehumidifiers".  Wednesday, 18 January 2017
  7. ^
  8. ^ Bunbury, T. & Fennell, J. (2010). Sporting Legends Of Ireland, Mainstream Publishing, ISBN 1845965027.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Metropolitan Regatta".(July 7th, 1944). The Irish Times, pp 21"
  11. ^ "Commercial Regatta". (May 1st, 1986). Regatta Magazine, pp. 18.