The West End Rowing Club was founded in Ponsonby in 1884, with training taking place in St Mary’s Bay (Westhaven). Success came early to the Club with the first regatta win being recorded in 1885. As the city of Auckland developed so did West End with the growing in numbers and successes over the early decades of the twentieth century. Even the destruction of virtually all of the Club’s boats in a cyclone which struck Auckland in 1914 where large seas flooded the boathouse was overcome.
In 1949 the Club won its first red-coat (Premier title) with victory in the Premier Eight on Lake Karapiro. This entire crew were selected as the New Zealand eight for the 1950 Empire Games where they finished a close second, only a foot behind the Gold Medalists, Australia.
After this first redcoat the 1950’s-70’s were a golden era for West End with the club winning a 47 redcoats and 2 Olympic Golds. West End celebrated its centenary in 1984 with a premier title and another Olympic Gold.
Following a lean time in the early 1990’s the Club has steadily rebuilt and following its move to the Whau River in Avondale (due to redevelopment at Westhaven) has again taken its place as a leader in New Zealand Rowing.
The club has had a proud history of developing athletes that have gone on to represent New Zealand at the highest level. Recent olympians are Mahe Drysdale, Juliette Drysdale (nee Haigh) and Stephen Jones. We also have a number of younger athletes who are training and attending junior international regattas.
The club is also proud to provide competitive rowers who chose not to enter into the RPC system an alternative avenue for their rowing. The club in recent years has sent crews to Henley Royal Regatta as well as Head of the Charles, Boston USA.