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Club History


After careful consideration ahead of the 2024 Boat Race, the decision was made to unite all four legacy boat clubs into one, Oxford University Boat Club (OUBC), with men and women from both the open-weight and lightweight squads all representing OUBC. This decision was made by the executive committees after an extensive consultation process with the respective clubs, committees, coaches and athletes.  The OUBC also received approval from the University on the new structure. The merger was done to push forward the standard of rowing at Oxford with the aim to be a united and dominant force in the Boat Race.

Club Merger

OUBC - Men - Openweight

OUBC rowers and coxswains come from all backgrounds and levels of experience. The club boasts a number of Olympic champions, including Matthew Pinsent (GBR), Andy Triggs-Hodge (GBR), Peter Reed (GBR), Constantine Louloudis (GBR) and Canadian twins Mark and Mike Evans (CAN), who became Olympic champions after rowing at OUBC, and several who joined OUBC after becoming Olympic champions such as Malcolm Howard (CAN).

However, most OUBC rowers and coxswains have just a few years’ experience prior to joining the club and some learn to row while at university. The club runs a development programme for Oxford students aspiring to reach the level required.

OUBC rowers are subject to the same entry requirements and academic rigour as any other student at the university. To be eligible for The Boat Race, OUBC rowers must also be enrolled on a full-time course at the university. As such, they learn to cope with the enormous pressures of managing strenuous academic and training commitments simultaneously.

Alumni of OUBC are called Old Blues and Isis (OBI) and make a huge contribution to the success of the current squad. OBI often volunteer their time and expertise as coaches or on the Executive Committee that manages the club, and financial donations made by OBI are essential to providing world class facilities and training camps.

The Oxford University Women’s Boat Club (OUWBC) was established in 1927 and under the new combined club, OUBC, continues to encourage healthy, multi-dimensional scholar-athletes to transform their passion for rowing into exceptional athletic performance.

The team is built from trust, a rare individual work ethic, mutual respect and the joy that comes from maximising the power and spirit of women.

We believe the skills of teamwork and true collaborative learning will empower future graduates as they ascend to international competition and confidently launch successful careers. We aspire to be a source of pride for the University of Oxford, its alumni and supporters


OUBC - Women - Openweight

OUBC - Men - Lightweight

From its origins as Oxford University Lightweight Rowing Club (OULRC), the club has trained scholar athletes and fielded crews to compete against and beat Cambridge at the Lightweight Boat Races since 1975. Since its founding, the Club developed into one of the premier lightweight rowing programmes in the country, consistently ranking in the top university crews in the UK at BUCS and in Europe at the European University Games. The lightweight athletes train alongside the openweights; the maximum weight for a lightweight athlete on race day is 72.5kg.

Photo credit: Benedict Tuffnell

BR24 MLwt.jpg

OUBC - Women - Lightweight

The first Oxford vs Cambridge Women’s Lightweight Boat Race took place in 1984 on the historic Henley stretch of the River Thames, twelve years before Lightweight Rowing was established as an Olympic sport. Under the auspices of the former club, OUWLRC, Oxford developed one of the best lightweight women’s rowing programmes in the UK, offering athletes the opportunity to compete at elite levels, with alumnae having been selected for both the GB and US national teams.

There is little to differentiate between the Oxford squads in terms of commitment as all athletes are expected to complete between 10 and 12 training sessions a week, on land or water. However, lightweight rowing is a specialist class of rowing in which athletes compete below a maximum weight of 59kg to qualify for the races.

Photo credit: Benedict Tuffnell

BR24 WLwt.jpg
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