There was a resurgence of interest in high school rowing programs in Northern Virginia in the mid-1940s and by 1957 there were three high schools with crew teams competing against each other: George Washington High School and Hammond High School in Alexandria, and Washington-Lee High School in Arlington. In 1966, the original three crew competitors were joined by both T.C. Williams and JEB Stuart High School. Very quickly, JEB Stuart’s rowing program became highly competitive, and in 1968 the men’s heavyweight varsity eight crew swept through all opposition both state and national and went on to win the Princess Elizabeth Cup at the Henley Regatta in England. The JEB Stuart Raiders had established themselves as a rowing powerhouse.
1976 Varsity Lightweight 8 won both Stotesbury and Nationals.
1977–78 was the first year women were allowed to join the team, but they were only allowed to be coxswains. In 1978–79, Stuart had their first women’s rowing team.
Over the four decades since it’s establishment, the JEB Stuart Raiders continued to be a competitive crew team, winning at both the States and Nationals over the years. The team relocated from it’s base on the Potomac River to a new boat house which had been built on the banks of the Occoquan Reservoir in the early 1980s, and continues to call Sandy Run home to this day. The current team competes in both sweep rowing and sculling, and as recently as the 2014–15 season Stuart Crew medalled in the men’s varsity quad, women’s varsity double, and the women’s varsity quad at the Virginia States championship.
Stuart Crew. Rowing Strong for 50 Years.
Coach Erv Dodd
Ervin B. Dodd, a former head coach of JEB Stuart Crew, passed away early 2011. Coach Erv Dodd was a native of Alexandria, Va. He attended George Washington High School and rowed with their crew in the early 1950s. He later rowed at the Old Dominion Boat Club in Alexandria. His coaching experience began at Hammond High School and came to JEB Stuart in 1970. Coach Dodd lead the Stuart Raiders from 1970 to 1979 and celebrated several victories at the Nationals and Stotesbury Cup Regattas during his time with JEB Stuart Crew.
Can you help us fill in the history of the JEB Stuart Crew team? We would love to hear your memories of your time on the crew team and if you have any old photos you’d like to share! Please fill out the History Contact Us form to share your memories.
A Look Back — Guest Post from Stuart Oarsman 1976 – 1979
Back in the day I was the stroke on our boat, and I remember the tension as you tried to stay focused on the first ten strokes of the race as well as make adjustments to the boat to stay straight while lining up prior to the start of the race all the while waiting for the judge to scream “Et vous pret, partez!” over the bull horn. You could feel the tension. …
“Everybody Stayed Aboard” — Guest Post from Leif H.
When I started rowing for Stuart, we were still meeting at Thompson’s Boathouse on the Potomac, just upriver from the Kennedy Center. We were still rowing the Bear and the M iss Fairfax. Miss Fairfax was, as I recall, a Pocock 4 rigged for sweeps — all our boats were rigged sweep at the time. …
… At about the 2/3 mark, #2 (Mike Lind)’s rigger came loose. We had carefully adjusted all the gear and the boat fit us like a glove, but Mike was one of the biggest rowers on the entire team, and he proved just a bit too much for the hardware, and it folded up on him. …