Whaleboats were small vessels originally designed for hunting whales. Our boats, called “Monomoys,” are based on a Coast Guard design used in life-saving for most of the 20th century. They are 26' long and weigh 2,000 pounds. They carry a team of 10, including a coxswain who steers with a 16' oar, a bowhook, and 8 rowers who provide the power using 12' oars. The boat has 4 stationary benches that hold 2 rowers each.
Whaleboat racing as a team sport has been a part of the San Francisco Bay Area waterfront life since the early 1800s reaching a zenith of popularity in 1873. Whaleboat racing competition took its current form in the Bay Area in 1965 under the sponsorship of maritime companies, using U.S. Coast Guard “Monomoy Surf Boats” built in the 1930s and 40s. By 1982, the Bay Area Whaleboat Rowing Association (BAWRA) was formed to provide standards for safety and competition. Membership was now also made up of private teams. In the early 80s, new whaleboats were being built for the specific purpose of racing.
SRC has access to the whaleboat Espiritu de Jonas, aka “Joey”. Joey was named after the brother of one of our founding members, a man whose athleticism and enduring courage continue to inspire us.
Port? Starboard? Boat positions and their names.
Bring drinking water and wear:
• Clothes that will not rub such as biker shorts/ seamless exercise wear (no jeans!)
• Rubber-soled athletic shoe
• Fingerless glove
• Sunscreen, hats and/or sunglasse
• Layer, layer, layer. The weather in the Bay Area is unpredictable so it’s best to layer your clothes!