About ORC

About ORC

As a 501(c)(3) corporation organized for charitable and educational purpose, it is the mission of the Orlando Rowing Club to promote the sport of rowing in the Central Florida community.

Orlando Rowing Club (ORC) offers competitive and recreational rowing at all levels, learn to row programs, dragon boating, sculling, and team-building events. If you are interested in rowing or paddling for fitness or to add to your medal count, ORC has an open seat for you.

Orlando Rowing Club’s Classes:


Sweep Rowing … in sweep, each rower has one oar (blade), held with both hands.  Sweep rowing is done in pairs, fours and eights, and typically the crew includes a coxswain who directs the rowers.  Each rower takes one side and is referred to as a port (oar extends to the right side of the boat) or starboard (oar extends to the left side of the boat).  Learn to Row

Sculling ... in sculling, each rower has two oars (or sculls), one in each hand.  Sculling is usually done in quads (4x), doubles (2x) or singles (1x).  The oar in the sculler’s right hand extends to port and the oar in the left hand extends to starboard.  Sculling is typically done without a coxswain, with steering done with varying amount of pull on each side. Learn to Scull

Dragon Boating … in dragon boating, the paddlers face forward (unlike in sweep rowing and sculling), and use a specific type of paddle.  The typical dragon boat complement consists of 20 paddlers in pairs, 1 drummer or caller at the bow facing toward the paddlers, and 1 steer or tiller who controls the dragon boat with a sweep oar rigged at the rear of the boat.

Please contact us with questions about which program is right for you at Info@OrlandoRowingClub.com 


ORC is classified as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and contributions to it are deductible from Federal Income Tax to the extent permitted by law. The club is also registered as a charitable organization by the Florida Department of Consumer Services.

ORC is an organizational member of USRowing, the national governing body of the sport and a charter member of the Florida Masters Rowing Association. ORC members compete in over 10 USRowing-sponsored regattas annually. ORC members have won national championships and regional races, bringing recognition to the club and the local rowing community in general. Recent notable wins include: 2009 Master’s Nationals in Camden, N.J., (Women’s 8+ Silver Medalists); 2009 Head of the Charles in Cambridge, Mass., (Women’s 8+ Sixth Place finish); 2009 Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, Tenn., (Women 8+ Gold Medalists);  2010 Master’s Nationals in Camden, N.J., (Women’s 8+ Gold Medalists); 2010 FISA World Rowing Masters in St. Catharines, Canada (Women’s 8+ Gold Medalists); 2010 Head of the Charles, Cambridge, Mass., (Women’s 8+ Seventh Place finish); 2010-2011 Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, Tenn., (Women 8+ Gold Medalists); and 2010-2012 Head of the Hooch All Team Points trophy.

Consistent with its corporate charter, ORC is organized to operate a rowing club that: supports and develops amateur athletes for local, national or international rowing competition; fosters amateur rowing through education and instruction; implements effective educational programs, sports training principles and strategies; hires qualified Coaches and professionals to develop programs or to teach rowing; and conducts such other activities that are consistent with the organization’s charitable purposes.

ORC is run by a volunteer Board of Directors elected by the membership annually and governed by its Bylaws. With an annual budget of approximately $85,000 and assets of approx. $153,000 (mostly equipment), Membership fees cover the costs of club-sponsored events, maintaining existing equipment, and purchasing new equipment so that the club may offer its programs to a greater number of potential rowers. As of June 2012, ORC has approximately 100 dues-paying adult members (over age 18). These members represent a diverse group of rowing interests from recreational to competitive rowing, and all levels of experience. The club also offers limited memberships to college-age rowers who are home for the summer, as well as opportunities for rowers visiting from out of town to access club-owned equipment while in the area. A small portion of the boathouse space is subleased to a local youth rowing club with 40 participants.


Founded in 1968, Orlando Rowing Club Inc. (ORC) was originally known as the Florida Athletic Club (FAC). Dennis Kamrad helped build the original boathouse at the VFW property on Lake Fairview. The program officially launched in 1972. Early participants attended Winter Park HS, Edgewater HS, and Florida Tech (now UCF), with multiple levels and coaches. FAC members won medals at the Olympic Sports Festival, Canadian Henley Regatta, Miami International Regatta, multiple Head of the Charles medals, international races in Mexico and England as well as representation in the Olympic Trials.

FAC grew as more people became interested in competing in the sport of rowing after their college years. By 1987, club members decided to incorporate and did so as Orlando Rowing Club Inc. Over time, the organization accumulated a fair amount of equipment-boats, oars and other related equipment and outgrew the VFW property.

In 1994, ORC entered into an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Orlando and Orange County, Florida. Through this Agreement, those public entities funded the building of a boathouse on Lake Fairview which ORC now operates under a long-term Leasing Agreement with the City of Orlando.

Members of ORC and several other rowing organizations provided the “sweat equity” necessary to build the boathouse. The building was completed and dedicated in 1996. The three-bay boathouse was named after the late Charles Kenneth Corkery, a great friend to local rowing who was active in the sport as a competitor, coach and national referee of USRowing, the national governing body. Ken was a strong alumnus of Temple University, where he rowed as a student. Sadly, Ken passed away just before the boathouse was completed. Now, it is dedicated in his memory and to his passion for the sport.

In 1996, ORC began regularly sponsoring, promoting and running regattas for local high schools, colleges, master rowers, and open-age rowers. The organization also began regularly offering a Summer Rowing Program designed to teach novices of all ages the sport of rowing and to provide high school rowers a place to row in the summer time. As the number of high school rowing clubs grew in Florida and the sport matured, it became evident that the role ORC played as a regatta sponsor/organizer at the high school level no longer fit its mission. Many of the regattas were being organized and run by the high schools themselves. As a result, ORC discontinued this activity in 2001 and focused exclusively on regattas for masters-level (adult) competition.