First Coast Rowing (FCR) began as Stanton Rowing in 1990 when students approached two Stanton College Preparatory School biology teachers (Steve Hitchcock, who rowed and coached at Jacksonville University and Tess Durant) to ask if they would start a crew. Since that time, these individuals have inspired FCR to row at nationally and internationally competitive levels.
The Early Years
During the summer of 1990, parents and rowers worked with the coaches to repair the program’s first boats, acquired by parents on a weekend road trip to Atlantic City, NJ. These wooden boats were in poor condition, dating from the early 1970s and 1980s, but they were rowed with pride that fall in Stanton’s first race, the 1990 Florida First Coast Head Race. In 1993 the Duval County School Board’s approval of Crew as a Varsity Sport at Stanton came with the proviso that the Board would not provide any direct financial support. The coaches, rowers and parents established a fantastic program entirely through volunteer efforts. SRB’s first home, a lean-to at Jacksonville University, was built by parents and rowers in 1990. In 1996, with the help of the City of Jacksonville, the Stanton Rowing Foundation purchased a rowing location at River Bank Court on the Arlington River.
In the fall of 2010, the program moved to its new site, 645 Cesery Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32211, on the quieter waters of Big Pottsburg Creek. From its inception, athletes from other schools requested to participate. After establishing a separate team, River Bank Rowing, the two joined as Stanton River Bank Rowing (SRB) in 2009. Today FCR is open to any interested middle or high school student. After beginning in a borrowed barge with wooden oars, we now have a fleet of competition-grade shells, thanks to the hard work and generosity of our parents and donors. Our fleet includes many rowing shells, (including eights, fours, quads, pair/doubles and singles); four wake-less launches and a wonderful floating dock. We have dressing rooms and bathrooms, a training room, and a covered shelter for our small sculling boats. Since 1994, FCR has won five national titles and more than 100 State Championships. SRB rowers have participated in gold medal wins at the Junior World Rowing Championships as part of the Junior National Team and SRB Alumni have raced and won in the collegiate division of the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta in England. Many FCR rowers continue to row in college, some with full scholarships. Several alumni are coaching rowing at the high school and collegiate levels.
What Sets Us Apart
First Coast Rowing is a nonprofit established to promote junior, adult, and adaptive rowing to its community by providing rowing equipment, facilities, and instruction. Charitable contributions to SRB Rowing are tax deductible.
To help children establish strong character, learn life skills and develop physically and emotionally through the sports of rowing.
Through the skill and discipline needed to excel in the sport of rowing, you can learn the skills to grow as an athlete, leader and time manager.
With more than 100 state titles and 5 national championships, our team is proven.