BAHAMA, N.C. -- The Duke rowing program unveiled its new boathouse Saturday during a ceremony that drew together current rowers, Duke rowing alumni and friends of the program to celebrate the landmark event.
Emblazoned with a "DUKE ROWING" insignia, the two-story boathouse has the capacity to house 56 boats and equipment as well as a separate training room, stretching room and storage space. The structure was completed in March and replaces the old Duke boathouse, which served the team's storage needs for the first 14-plus years of existence.
“This is a really happy day for our program,” said head coach Robyn Horner, who started the Duke program in 1998-99. “It gives us a more permanent home on the lake. We couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who made it happen.”
Duke raised the money for the boathouse through donations from alumni, alumni parents and Duke University campus recreation. The Blue Devil program also shares the structure with the Duke men's crew club team, which was on hand Saturday as well.
“It’s great to finally have a structure to show just how much potential this team has to go to the next level,” senior captain Caroline Kiritsy said. “The senior class only gets to be in the boathouse for one more month, but it’s great knowing that we’re going to leave the team in such an upward trend not only in our competition and race results, but also with a place where our equipment can stay safe. Knowing that I’m going to be able to come back and see this structure standing years from now is really, really exciting.”
The boathouse is part of a major initiative for Duke rowing and all women's sports at Duke. The rowing program, along with Duke's other women's program, recently announced plans to full fund all women's sports over the next several years.
The Blue Devils continue their spring campaign this weekend a the Clemson Invitational on Lake Hartwell, Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20. Duke has already cracked the CRCA/US Rowing Top 20 Poll this season and will look to gain more ground in the national standings this weekend.