The East Lyme High School crew team was one of several in the region established with the assistance of the late Fred Emerson, a prominent local rowing advocate. The team operated out of Emerson’s boathouse on Blood Street in Old Lyme until East Lyme established its own boathouse on Lake Pattagansett in 1982.
In 1979, the East Lyme Rowing Association was founded to help support crew in East Lyme. As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, ELRA works with the East Lyme High School crew teams to raise funds for the purchase and maintenance of rowing and training equipment. We also support our young athletes at their regattas by providing food, shelter, and encouragement.
The East Lyme crew teams primarily row “eights,” or eight-person boats, with the sweep style – one oar per person. In addition to an ELHS spring varsity program, ELRA oversees a fall competitive program, two off-season training programs, and winter training sessions. Between 12 and 14 public high schools in Connecticut have crew teams, and East Lyme races these teams as well as competitors from private schools and the greater New England area.
The East Lyme High School girls’ crew team won the state championship in 2005, 2007, 2016, and 2017. This team also won the New England championship in 1984 and placed fourth in 2016.
ELRA’s Board of Directors meets every month during the school year, typically on the second Monday of each month at 6 p.m. in the commons area of East Lyme High School. General meetings are called at least twice a year. All parents and guardians of crew team members are encouraged to come to as many meetings as possible. These meetings last one to two hours, depending on the amount of business at hand.