The spectacular John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse, home of the UBC Thunderbirds rowing program, officially opened on September 30, 2006, in Richmond.
The 11,000 sq. foot, two-tiered structure was constructed in dry dock up-river in Delta before being towed to its permanent home, on the Middle Arm of the Fraser River north of the Dinsmore Bridge. The Boathouse houses four boat bays that service the Thunderbird rowing teams, St. George’s School’s rowing program, and active community rowing and paddling programs.
The project is the result of nearly five years of dedicated work and vision on the part of the Gold for Life Committee, chaired by former Thunderbird rower and Canadian Olympic gold medalist George Hungerford.
The John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse, named in memory of the former UBC rower who won a silver medal in the men’s eight at the 1960 Rome Olympics, and represents the first ever UBC Athletics facility funded entirely by outside sources. John Lecky passed away suddenly in the spring of 2003.
Significant contributions that allowed the facility to be built came from the John M.S. Lecky Foundation, City of Richmond, St. George’s School, Province of BC, and many UBC supporters and alumni rowers.
Five thousand metres of uninterrupted water, free from mechanized boat traffic, makes the location ideal for head-race style racing and
training, and a trail along the dike in Richmond stretches the entire length of the course, providing a perfect viewing opportunity for thousands to watch regattas and community events.
The John M.S. Lecky Boathouse now serves as host for the Head of the Fraser Fours Regatta where local rowing clubs compete in one of the first fall regattas, the Saints/College Race where St. George’s School crews competes against Vancouver College crews, the Brown Cup where UBC crews compete against crews from UVIC. The John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse has also grown to become one of the premiere locations for wedding ceremonies and receptions in Metro Vancouver.