The Stonewall Regatta
Every summer, we welcome rowers and spectators from around the greater Washington DC area, nation, and globe to Washington, DC for the Stonewall Regatta, hosted by the DC Strokes Rowing Club. Stonewall is the only regatta in North America hosted by an LGBTQ+ rowing team.
The first Stonewall Regatta was held in 1994 during Gay Games IV in New York City. About a year before the Games, DC Strokes learned that the host committee for the NYC Games was dropping rowing from the sports line-up, and we subsequently decided to organize an independent regatta to run concurrently with the Games.
In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in Greenwich Village in 1969, considered the start of the gay civil rights movement, this regatta was named "Stonewall Regatta."
The original regatta occurred at the Orchard beach Race Course in Pelham Bay State Park, site of the 1964 Olympic Rowing Trials. The event was such a success that we decided to bring it home to Washington, D.C., where it has since been held every June, typically coinciding with DC Pride festivities.
Stonewall Regatta follows the commitment of DCSRC to bridge gaps between communities by building an inclusive environment and educating the public not only about rowing, but also contributions by the LGBTQ+ community and DCSRC. The event promotes true sportsmanship in an open and inclusive environment, created not only by the participants themselves, but also by the event sponsors and volunteers.
Stonewall does not just highlight and promote rowing in the LGBTQ+ community. The regatta also kicks off the circuit of adult sprint race competitions in the mid-Atlantic region and draws serious rowers of all stripes from throughout the area.