In May of 1992, a group of four rowers met for the first time to discuss promoting in the greater Dayton area. The four individuals were Jim Wall, Charles Doyle, Dt Todd Sobol, and Steve Herbert. By November of 1992, the group had incorporated the Greater Dayton Rowing Association (GDRA) as a not for profit corporation.
In 1994 GDRA started the area's first rowing program for high school students, known as the GDRA Juniors. An adult Learn - to - Row program was also established so that those interested in the sport could have access to sculling classes and equipment.
In September 1995, GDRA hosted its first fall regatta. The regatta was originally known as the Five Rivers Fall Regatta and was later renamed the Charlie Doyle Memorial Regatta in honor of GDRA founding member Charles Doyle who passed away in the summer of 2007. The regatta is a 2000 meter course which begins under the I-75 bridge adjacent to Island park and draws High school, college and master rowing teams from the tri-state area.