In 1892, when San Diego was still a sleepy little town, four adventuresome young women spent hours rowing together on the bay. They decided to start a club just for women – at a time when a that was a completely novel idea. These four San Diego women—Zulette Lamb, and sisters Lena, Agnes, and Caroline Polhamus—used the initials of their first names to form the acronym “ZLAC.”

In the early 1900s, many women’s rowing clubs and college teams were established on both coasts in an effort to improve physical fitness and to compete in a sport made popular by men. At that time, there were 22 women’s rowing clubs in San Diego, and ZLAC is the only one that is still active. Today, ZLAC is the oldest women’s rowing club in continuous operation in the world.

The women initially rowed in wooden barges, from a boathouse at the western end of Market Street, on San Diego Bay. This boathouse was dedicated in 1895 and maintained for 37 years. In 1932, the club moved to its current location on Mission Bay, into a beautiful new clubhouse designed by noted architect Lilian Rice (ZLAC President 1915-1916), and landscaped by Kate Sessions (“Mother of Balboa Park”).

The club currently maintains 25-30 boats, including 8-person, 4-person, 2-person, and single shells. An 8-person rowing shell is typically 60 feet long and weighs about 200 lbs. A single rowing shell weighs about 23 lbs, and can be as narrow as 10 inches across.

ZLAC counts around 400 members, ranging in age from teens to nineties. Over the years, ZLAC programs have produced U.S. National Team members, top college rowers, Olympians, and thousands of recreational rowers. Promoting rowing and social activities among our members has always been at the heart of ZLAC mission.     

According to; Source of photos: internet