Castle Dore Rowing Club is based at Golant on the beautiful River Fowey in Cornwall. Click here to locate us on a map.
The situation of the club offers fantastic opportunities, depending on tides, to row to Lostwithiel, Lerryn, Penpol or down to Fowey harbour and Polruan. Our water is generally well sheltered and calm, while we have a useful range of boats for both recreation and racing. We also have several trained and experienced coaches at the club.
Our membership has been growing well since our new clubhouse was built in 2005. We welcome new members both senior (18-80+) and junior from the age 12 upwards. If you’re new to rowing, please consider our taster sessions, or a Learn2Row course. And if you’re an experienced rower visiting Cornwall then do please join us for an outing.
Castle Dore Rowing Club is fully affiliated to British Rowing the UK governing body for the sport.
History of Castle Dore Rowing Club
Castle Dore Rowing Club (CDRC) was formed in 1974 by a group of friends who came together and acquired a wooden clinker four, thus becoming the first group of sliding seat rowers on the River Fowey. In 1981, the club was formally constituted and the site of the current boathouse was acquired, at which point CDRC was one of only three sliding seat rowing clubs in Cornwall. Membership steadily grew over the early years, reaching 30 members in 1997, during which time crews had competed at such prestigious events as Henley, The Tideway Head (River Thames), National Championships, Inter-regional Championships, and the Boston Marathon.
In 2001 CDRC were awarded ARA Project Oarsome status, linking the club with two local secondary schools with the aim of introducing more young people to the sport of sliding seat rowing. This proved very successful and brought a number of juniors into the club, many of whom represented the club at both regional and national regattas and heads and whilst all of these younger rowers have since grown up and moved on, several are still rowing.
In 2004 Castle Dore Rowing Club was exceptionally fortunate to be awarded Lottery funding of £243,000 in order to completely rebuild the boathouse. This allowed the “old tin shed” to be torn down and the current, much improved boathouse to be built in its place. This was a huge improvement in the facilities available to members, not least because it afforded members basic amenities like lighting and bathrooms. In the words of ex-junior rower and Olympic Silver medallist Annie Vernon (Beijing, 2008), “There was a dark corner in the back of the boathouse that you just didn’t go because you never knew what you might find”. The new boathouse was formally opened in 2005 by Ed Coode, Olympic Gold medallist (Athens, 2004) and the club awarded ClubMark and Registered Charity status.
Over the interceding years membership has steadily risen to over 70 members with an extremely strong junior contingent. Whilst the club remains welcoming to rowers of all ages and abilities, the club also has a clear record of successes at regional events. The club won its first ever West of England (WEARA) Championship in 1985 with a successful Men’s Senior B coxed four. This was then followed by a Sculling Championship in 2003. As the membership has grown, so too has successes at these events, with more recent years bringing wins in the Men’s Novice 4+ (joint with Bideford Blues) in 2012; Women’s Junior14 4X+ in both 2015 and 2017, as well as Women’s Junior16 4X+ Women’s SeniorC 4+ and Women’s SeniorB 4+ in 2017. Culminating in Castle Dore’s best ever year in 2018 with a total of Eight WEARA Championships won.
The club’s success however has not been solely limited to local events. In 2012 CDRC won both the Men’s and Women’s Open Novice coxed fours at the South Coast Championships, a regatta competed between the three south coast regions. The Women then repeated this success in the Novice 4+ at these Championships in 2015. Castle Dore has also successfully won seats to represent the WEARA region at the Junior Inter-regional Championships every year since 2010 and our junior girls have also represented the club at major national events such as the Women’s Eights Head of the River. Not to be outdone, our senior ladies squad also fielded a Novice Quad at the Veteran Fours Head in both 2017 & 2018, recording a win in their category in 2017.
The club has also enjoyed watching junior rowers further their rowing careers at an international level. We are extremely proud to be able to boast of medal winners in the Under 18 and Under 23 Great Britain squad as well as Olympic medal winner Annie Vernon, who represented team GB in the Women’s Quadruple Sculls at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, finishing in the silver medal position. Annie then went on to represent GB in the Women’s Eight at London 2012, finishing fifth in the A final.