The Calcutta Rowing Club as its crest suggests, was founded by a small number of enthusiastic oarsmen in 1858. This makes it one year older than the club founded at Shanghai and probably, the oldest club in the east.
The club lost its history soon after initiation in 1858 to the cyclone that hit the city in the year 1862, including records, documents, minute books, boat house along with boats and more. The only information that was left behind and later on preserved, was the account details of 1858-59 signed by the Honorary Secretary and Treasurer, Mr. John Cowie. It was C.G Norman, who is claimed to be the inventor, has done a lot for the development of the Calcutta Rowing Club. The color of water, i.e. an interesting combination of the blues and the whites was adopted for the club in the year 1864.
Our Calcutta Rowing Club won by three lengths in the first race, organised against the Madras Boat Club in 1869. In the same year, a permanent boat house was constructed on the Strand Road. However, later in the year 1900, the boat house was again shifted to Khidderpore Dock due to the immense pressure of river traffic in the Strand Road area.
In 1901, CRC got the affiliation from the Amateur Rowing Association. CRC’s first paid visit to participate in rowing competition in Rangoon was in the year 1923 and immediately after winning it, the club got affiliation from the London Rowing Club. In the year 1926, the saga of Merchants Cup was initiated with the endowment from the partners of Messrs. for annual competitions and till date, it is continued every year. In 1923, the entire base of our club was shifted to the present location in Dhakuria. In the same year, Rangoon paid their first visit to CRC as challengers of Hooghly cup.
In 1933, the Amateur Rowing Association of East was formed as well as the journey of annual rowing competition called Head of the Lake Regatta began against the newly formed Lake Club. The centenary year of our club was celebrated in a magnificent manner and the joy doubled with the win of the Willingdon Trophy in the silver jubilee regatta of A.R.A.E. While hosting the A.R.A.E regatta in 1961, CRC again won the Willingdon Trophy, Hooghly Cup and Venables Bowl. However, the improvement part of the club continued by adding oars, boats, honour winnings.
Throughout the long journey of the Calcutta Rowing Club, it has been fortunate enough to win accolades from India as well as abroad. Therefore, gifts from abroad kept pouring in as a part of the donation and the reputation is still intact with complete dedication of members.