OF THE JACKSONVILLE ROWING CLUB
Jacksonville Rowing Club (JRC) finds its history rooted in the tradition
of two early Jacksonville rowing clubs; the Remex Rowing Club and the
St. John's Few Rowing Club. Remex Rowing Club was the first rowing club
organized in Jacksonville and was founded by Robert Negaard in the early
seventies. Charlie Platt, who at the time was with Episcopal High School,
also helped Remex get started. Remex was officially incorporated in
the State of Florida in June 10, 1975. During its existence the club
organized the first club regatta in Jacksonville, the Remex Regatta
that ran on the St. John's River through downtown, finishing at the
Hilton Hotel. At that time the Hilton had a Remex inspired rowing-themed
pub in the hotel where participants could watch the race, enjoy refreshment
and look over the rowing memorabilia. Although in the early eighties,
the Remex Rowing Club ceased to operate as a club, under the tutelage
of Dr. A. Sanchez-Salazar, it did produce a number of National Champions
and National Team members; Kristen Negaard in the 1977 Junior Single,
Louise Novey in the 1979 Junior Single, Billie Brown in the 1979 Lightweight
Single, Clay Ziegler in the 1980 Lightweight Double and Barbara Sanchez-Salazar
for the 1978 Junior National Team.
In mid 1986, the predecessor organization of the JRC was created by
a group of people including Pete Keegan, Brad & Kristen & Bob
Negaard, Mark & Jackie Beckenback, Gail Ferguson, Brett Williams
and Bob Mustafa. This club was called the St. Johns Few.
In 1987, the St. Johns Few successfully put on the Sunshine State Games
out of the Jacksonville University (JU) boathouse and then sometime
shortly after that, the St. Johns Few disbanded.
In the late 1987, the St. Johns Few was reorganized as the Jacksonville
Rowing Club, Inc. The club operated out of JU from a lean-to built on
to the side of the JU boathouse. Dues and any other income were deposited
into an account at JU and expenses paid by JU for the JRC. In September
of 1988, Roy Fuller joined the club and took over "treasurer"
duties and opened the club's first bank account and took over the accounting
functions from JU. The JRC began to stand on its own.
around late 1988, the club purchased its original boats from Bob Negaard.
The club's flotilla consisted of two Wing It singles, one Seashell,
one Boston, one Smallcraft, one double Smallcraft and one Laser, for
the most part, all recreational boats.
Due to the
water conditions on the St. John's, in early 1989, Pete Keegan and Mark
Beckenback approached Episcopal High School and with the help of Kurt
Logan, State Representative, Jim Tullis and Garnett Ashby, JRC petitioned
Episcopal with the idea of building a boathouse on their property on
Pottsburg Creek. In mid 1989, JRC moved to the Episcopal High School
property. Almost immediately after JRC left the JU property the lean-to
was taken over and expanded by the new Stanton Rowing Program formed
by Steve Hitchcock.
JRC was officially
recorded as a corporation in the State of Florida on July 3rd, 1990.
At that time, the first official Board and officers were elected. Since
our inception the Presidents of the Club have been:
1990 - 7/90 Kelly Mannell
7/90 - 7/96 Mark Frampton
7/96 - 7/97 Pete Keegan
7/97 - 1/01 Barbara Sanchez-Salazar
1/01 - 1/03 Mark Beckenbach
1/03 - Present Beth Marten
In 1997 equipment
from the defunct Remex Rowing Club was donated to JRC, unofficially
merging the two clubs. In the last ten years, the JRC has become Northeast's
Florida's true community rowing club. Our members range from as far
as Palatka in the south, to Kings Bay in the north, to the communities
of Neptune, Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beaches. Over the years, the
JRC Board has integrated representatives from all the scholastic and
collegiate rowing programs in the area. Since our founding we have developed
learn to row programs for youth and adults, judge/referee development
programs, coxswain clinics, competitive masters program; conceived and
ran the First Coast Headrace until 19????? when it was handed over to
Stanton Rowing; produced the Trout River Rowing Festival; and organized
a small community youth rowing program. Also, as an aside to the national
caliber oarspeople raised in Jacksonville's rowing clubs, in 2001, Missie
Fiesler a Stanton Rowing Program graduate, rowing in JRC's summer youth
program became National Champion in the Junior Single, 24 years after
the wins of her Jacksonville predecessors.
JRC is sculling and sweep rowing, novice and experienced, recreational
and competitive, youth and adult, individuals, and most importantly,
families. No matter what your rowing experience or interests; there
is something for you at JRC.