|Website||IRA official website|
The Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) governs intercollegiate rowing between varsity rowing programs across the United States. It is the direct successor to the Rowing Association of American Colleges, the first collegiate athletic organization in the United States, which operated from 1870-1894.
The IRA was founded by Cornell, Columbia, and Penn in 1894 and its first annual regatta was hosted on June 24, 1895. Today Navy and Syracuse are also part of the association. Each year these five schools choose whom to invite to the IRA National Championship Regatta and are responsible for its organization.
The IRA runs the IRA National Championship Regatta, which is considered to be the United States collegiate national championship of men's rowing. This regatta includes both men's and women's (lightweight) events for sweep boats of all sizes.
The IRA National Championship is the oldest college rowing championship in the United States.
Columbia, Cornell and Pennsylvania were the organizing stewards of the Poughkeepsie Regatta, the IRA Championship until 1949. The first edition was held on the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie, New York, on June 24, 1895.
The format through 1967 with the exception of 1964 was to line all the entries in the race onto stake-boats and fire a shotgun for the start. In the last race of this format in 1967 on Onondaga Lake, in Syracuse, New York, 16 varsity crews waited for the gun to begin their three-mile race--winner take all.
Since the 1920s, when the West Coast crews--notably California and Washington--began to attend and regularly win, most crews considered the Intercollegiate Rowing Association's championship (known as the IRA) to be a de facto national championship. Two important crews, Harvard and Yale, however, did not participate in the heavyweight divisions of the event. (After losing to Cornell in 1897, Harvard and Yale chose to avoid the IRA, so as not to diminish the Harvard-Yale Regatta. It soon became part of each school's tradition not to go). And beginning in 1973, Washington decided to skip the IRA because of change in schedule conflicted with its finals. Washington, however, returned to the regatta in 1995. In 2003, after an absence of over one hundred years, Harvard and Yale decided to participate. The Harvard Freshman eight competed at the 1970 IRA Regatta, finishing seventh in the Freshman event.
|Year and Champion||Year and Champion||Year and Champion||Year and Champion||Year and Champion||Year and Champion||Year and Champion|
|1895 Columbia||1913 Syracuse||1932 California||1951 Wisconsin||1970 Washington||1989 Pennsylvania||2008 Wisconsin|
|1896 Cornell||1914 Columbia||1933 not held *||1952 Navy||1971 Cornell||1990 Wisconsin||2009 Washington|
|1897 (a) Cornell||1915 Cornell||1934 California||1953 Navy||1972 Pennsylvania||1991 Northeastern||2010 California|
|1897 (b) Cornell||1916 Syracuse||1935 California||1954 Winner disqualified +||1973 Wisconsin||1992 Dartmouth, Navy, Penn (tie)||2011 Washington|
|1898 Pennsylvania||1917 - not held||1936 Washington||1955 Cornell||1974 Wisconsin||1993 Brown||2012 Washington|
|1899 Pennsylvania||1918 - not held||1937 Washington||1956 Cornell||1975 Wisconsin||1994 Brown||2013 Washington|
|1900 Pennsylvania||1919 - not held||1938 Navy||1957 Cornell||1976 California||1995 Brown||2014 Washington|
|1901 Cornell||1920 Syracuse||1939 California||1958 Cornell||1977 Cornell||1996 Princeton||2015 Washington|
|1902 Cornell||1921 Navy||1940 Washington||1959 Wisconsin||1978 Syracuse||1997 Washington||2016 California|
|1903 Cornell||1922 Navy||1941 Washington||1960 California||1979 Brown||1998 Princeton||2017 Yale|
|1904 Syracuse||1923 Washington||1942 - not held||1961 California||1980 Navy||1999 California||2018 Yale|
|1905 Cornell||1924 Washington||1943 - not held||1962 Cornell||1981 Cornell||2000 California||2019 Yale|
|1906 Cornell||1925 Navy||1944 - not held||1963 Cornell||1982 Cornell||2001 California||2020 - not held|
|1907 Cornell||1926 Washington||1945 - not held||1964 California||1983 Brown||2002 California||2021|
|1908 Syracuse||1927 Columbia||1946 - not held||1965 Navy||1984 Navy||2003 Harvard||2022|
|1909 Cornell||1928 California||1947 Navy||1966 Wisconsin||1985 Princeton||2004 Harvard||2023|
|1910 Cornell||1929 Columbia||1948 Washington||1967 Pennsylvania||1986 Brown||2005 Harvard||2024|
|1911 Cornell||1930 Cornell||1949 California||1968 Pennsylvania||1987 Brown||2006 California||2025|
|1912 Cornell||1931 Navy||1950 Washington||1969 Pennsylvania||1988 Northeastern||2007 Washington||2026|
* Not held in 1933 due to the Depression. However, the first college 2000-meter national championship ever held was conducted by local businessmen in Long Beach, California, as a substitute. Washington raced both Harvard and Yale for the first time at this event and defeated Yale by eight lengths to win the championship. Washington counts this victory among its string of Men's National Varsity Eight Championships.
+ Navy was disqualified from the IRA Regatta for use of an ineligible coxswain. Trophies won by Navy were forfeited and not awarded. Cornell finished second.