Kent School Boat Club

Kent School Boat Club

The Kent School Boat Club was founded in 1922 on the banks of the Housatonic River as Kent School's rowing team. Originally all-male, as was the school, KSBC integrated the girls' crew team, KGBC, in 2003. KSBC has three varsity boats and one fourth boat, which races in a few of the varsity races. KSBC only races in the spring, and conducts its spring training in Florida during spring break.

History and Tradition

Kent School is known far beyond the banks of the Housatonic River in Kent, Connecticut. Kent is as well known at England's Henley Royal Regatta, where its crews have rowed many times since first winning the Thames Cup in 1933. Kent School was the first American secondary school to race at the Henley Royal Regatta. The NEIRA (New England Interscholastic Rowing Association) championship silver bowls for the first and second boats bear the names of Kent's founder and first head coach, Father Frederick H. Sill and his successor, "Tote" Dixon Walker. Every KSBC oarsman knows the importance of sportsmanship and winning to the school. Father Sill was a coxswain at Columbia University and built his school directly on the Housatonic so that with a river runninng through it, there could be rowing one day.

While Kent School has had five headmasters since 1906, KSBC has had only four coaches, including Father Sill, "Tote" Walker, W. Hartwell Perry and Eric Houston.

Kent's impact on scholastic and collegiate rowing is vastly disproportionate to its size. Among others, Hart Perry has been past president of the NAAO and is a founder of the National Rowing Foundation and the rowing collection at Mystic Seaport. He remains the first and only American steward at the Henley RR. Steve Gladstone has headed rowing programs at Princeton, Harvard, Brown and currently at Cal Berkeley. Curtis Jordan heads Princeton's rowing program. Bill Stowe once ran the Columbia and the Coast Guard's program, and he stroked the Vesper BC eight to olympic gold in Tokyo in 1964. Fred Schoch has won many national and international races, and directs the world's largest rowing event, the Head of the Charles Regatta. Many others have rowed in world championships and in the olympics, both establishing Kent's legacy in the 20th century and ensuring it will continue into the next one.

Boat Houses

Old Boathouse

The First boat house used by KSBC was nothing more than a large shed. Today one would pass it by with little thought of its tremendous history. It is located farther down river than the newer boat houses on the other side of the Macedonia brook.

The Second boat house was used by KSBC for more than 50 years. Unlike the original boat house this boat house had a permanent foundation and consisted of two floors: the first floor is a bay for all of the boats; the basement has the erg room and the locker room for boys.

New Boathouse

Kent School's new boathouse was dedicated in 2005 and provides oarsmen with a first class, state of the art rowing facility. The new boathouse has a rowing tank, a training room with ergometers, locker rooms for both girls and boys crews, coaches offices, and a trophy room. Hanging above the rowing machines is the "Frederick H. Sill," the wooden eight oared shell that Kent's 1972 crew rowed in to win the Princess Elizabeth Cup at the HRR.

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