Charlie Butt Regatta
The Charlie Butt Regatta is a Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association (VASRA) Regatta held annually on the Potomac in honor of legendary coach Charlie Butt. Charlie was the founder of Washington-Lee High School’s Crew program in 1949, coached our crew team for 41 years, and helped to organize many of the rowing programs in our area. This is our signature regatta of the season, so we hope parents and families can attend and participate.
For this special day, W-L Boosters will set up at Potomac Boat Club (PBC), where we host alumni, families and friends for a barbecue while we watch the race from the beautifully restored porch of the PBC boathouse. Other participating high school crew teams will have their tents closer to Washington Harbor and Thompson’s Boat Club.
George Kirschbaum, one of our past coaches and a W-L crew alumni, summarized Charlie’s impact on rowing quite well…….“I’ll add that that is why we do this. Why Derek, and I along with the other coaches (and alumni) are so passionate about this team and span of 65 years of tradition. It’s not all about glory, or medals, or being right and having it our way… it’s about doing the right thing the best that we can for the betterment of those around us…….. We learned commitment, leadership, selflessness, drive, and determination. We learned to do it with our heads up and our hands outstretched to our friends and competitors alike. It is neither hyperbole nor boast. It is simply fact. We are W-L Crew because of Charlie, from start to finish. GO W-L!”
The approximate time of the regatta is about 8:30AM to 3:30PM. Coaches will tell rowers what time to report to PBC (typically at least two hours before their race time). Final race schedule should be emailed out the Friday before race day.
There is NO TRANSPORT TO OR FROM W-L. It is a good idea to plan ahead and see if you can arrange a carpool to take your rower(s) down to PBC. They could also be dropped off at the Marriott and walk across the bridge (for safety, they should be in a group – not alone – to cross the bridge and down the stairs to PBC).
For those who haven’t been able to make it to the boat house in Georgetown yet, the Potomac Boat Club is located at 3530 Water Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20007.
Due to the large number of schools participating in this regatta, there will be a lot of spectators attending. Plan ahead for parking.
There is a public garage 2-3 blocks down from PBC on Water Street. More information on parking in Georgetown parking can be found here.
The Key Bridge Marriott has a parking garage. You can park at the Marriott and walk over Key Bridge (ask your rower how they cross the bridge and where to find the stairs that will take you directly to the PBC). Some park in the Dawson Terrace neighborhood (where the old Bergman’s Dry Cleaners used to be). There is street parking right next to the biking trail that leads down to the Marriott and to Key Bridge. This was also an easy walk (about 20 minutes).
Also – you could consider using the trail that runs along Lee Highway to the Key Bridge to bike, jog, or walk to the event.
Lastly – consider just taking Uber or Lyft.