Georgetown Crew dates back to 1876 with the founding of Georgetown University Boat Club. One of the club's first acts was a vote to adopt blue and gray as the Boat Club colors, to express "unity between the Northern and Southern boys" of the club. The colors were later adopted by the university as a whole. Georgetown won its first intercollegiate race, which was against the US Naval Academy. Around the turn of the century Georgetown participated in the IRA regatta, the highlight of these early years being a second place finish in 1904 by the what was then the youngest crew at the event.
Competing in the Dad Vail championship for many years, Georgetown began a long line of success when Don Cadle arrived from Balliol College, Oxford, to coach the team in 1962. Georgetown won Vails in his first year and even raced in the Olympic Trials. In 1963, the only team Georgetown lost to was the World Champion German National Team, which they dueled on the Potomac.
Georgetown earned more Vail golds in 1962, 1964, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, with Tony Johnson, Frank Benson, Fred Schoch, and J.J. Forster coaching. Dominant in the Dad Vails, Georgetown moved up to the Champion Regatta (later Avayas and now ECACs, against such competition as Trinity, GW, Michigan, Virginia, Williams and Colgate), where they worked their way to the top again, winning ECAC gold in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2001, before moving up to the Eastern Sprints League, where they now compete. Besides Georgetown, the Sprints League consists of BU, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, GW, Harvard, Holy Cross, MIT, Navy, Northeastern, Penn, Princeton, Rutgers, Syracuse, Wisconsin and Yale, and is considered the highest league in the nation. The Georgetown heavyweights have won IRA medals in 1904, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 2005 and 2010. The team boasts many national team alumni, including Mike Vespoli '68, J.J. Forster, '70, Fred Pennekamp '71, Mike Altman '97 and others. Georgetown heavyweights have made many trips to the Henley Royal Regatta in England, including trips in 1979, 1982, 1985, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2003 and 2010.