OUBC was established in 1829 with the sole objective of winning The Boat Race. This annual event against Cambridge University is now one of the oldest sporting rivalries and the world’s most famous rowing race.

The Club's objective remains unchanged since 1829. Like other clubs and societies at Oxford University, OUBC is officially run by the student President who is elected on an annual basis. The President is aided by a number of staff, including a Chief Coach, who is responsible for all aspects of training, coaching and crew selection.

Oxford trails Cambridge by just two races in the overall head-to-head, but Oxford has enjoyed considerable success in recent years, winning 10 of the last 15 races. Oxford also trail Cambridge in the reserve boats race, but the Oxford reserve crew has also enjoyed greater success recently, winning 6 of the last 7 races.

Sean Bowden

OUBC Head Coach

Sean has been Head Coach since 1997 and is one of the most successful Boat Race coaches. His first win in 2000 put an end to Cambridge's seven year winning streak and started a period of Oxford supremacy, winning 12 of the last 18 races.

Felix Drinkall

OUBC President

A junior world champion and former Eton college schoolboy, Felix is one of the UK’s brightest young rowers. He studies engineering and made the Blue Boat at his first attempt as a fresher in 2018.

OUBC Squad

Benedict Aldous


Nationality British
Course MEng Engineering Science
College Christ Church

Joshua Bowesman-Jones


Nationality British
Course Chemistry MChem
College Keble

Devon Brameier


Nationality American
Course Graduate Entry Medicine, BM BCh
College Pembroke

Carlo Brunold


Nationality German
Course MPhil in Law
College St Cross

Charlie Buchanan


Nationality British
Course MSc(Res) Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
College Pembroke

Anna Carbery


Nationality British/Greek
Course Biochemistry MBiochem
College Pembroke

Felix Drinkall


Nationality British
Course MEng in Engineering Science
College Lady Margaret Hall

Toby de Mendonca


Nationality British
Course Chemistry MChem
College Brasenose

Nick Elkington


Nationality British/German
Course Physics MPhys
College Christ Church

Hal Frigaard


Nationality British/Australian
Course MMathsComsci Mathematics and Computer Science
College Oriel

Achim Harzheim


Nationality German
Course DPhil Materials
College Oriel

Daniel Holod


Nationality American
Course MSc
College St. Cross College

Ben Landis


Nationality German/American
Course MSc Migration Studies
College Lincoln College

Charlie Pearson


Nationality British
Course MEng Materials Science
College Trinity

Luke Robinson


Nationality British
Course MEng Engineering Science
College Trinity

Tobias Schroder


Nationality British/Estonian
Course Chemistry MChem
College Magdalen

Patrick Sullivan


Nationality British
Course MSc Water Science, Policy & Management
College Wadham

Ben Thomson


Nationality British
Course Chemistry MChem
College Pembroke

Charlie Thurston


Nationality British
Course Engineering Science MEng
College Keble

Isaac Turner


Nationality British
Course MEng Engineering Science
College Keble

Leo von Malaisé


Nationality British/German
Course BA Philosophy, Politics & Economics
College Oriel

Augustin Wambersie


Nationality Belgian
Course MSc Engineering Science
College St Catherine’s

Alex Wythe


Nationality British
Course Biological Sciences
College Christ Church
OUBC trains and prepares two crews for The Boat Race: the Blue Boat and a reserve crew, called Isis. The squad of twenty to thirty rowers train together for the duration of the season, which runs from September to March.

The Fleming Boathouse on the River ThamesThe squad train twice a day, six days a week, often travelling to row on The Boat Race course a little over an hour away in London. Most training is done from the Fleming Boathouse, OUBC’s state of the art facility on the River Thames built in 2006 thanks to a large number of generous donations, most notably from the Fleming Foundation. Land training is done at the Iffley Road Sports Complex in Oxford. The club also carries out extensive physiological testing during the season, the majority of which takes place at Iffley Road. There are two winter training camps during the season: a cross-country skiing camp to Davos in Switzerland just before Christmas; and a January rowing camp to Temple-sur-Lot in France.

The squad compete in two major races in the first half of the season – the Fours Head of the River in November and Trial Eights in December. These races are primarily used to gain valuable Tideway racing experience and for selection, with provisional crews being announced in late January. In the final month before The Boat Race, the provisional crews compete in fixtures against universities and international crews from around the world to hone their race strategies and tactics.
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) 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, 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 full-time students at Oxford UniversityOUBC 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.
OUBC runs a Development Squad to provide coaching, training and racing experience for aspiring novice rowers and coxswains. Although the OUBC squad often includes experienced internationals, the squads also include a number of rowers and coxswains who learnt to row while at university and have just one or two years experience with the Development Squad.

Although the OUBC squad often includes experienced internationals, the squads also include a number of rowers and coxswains who learnt to row while at university and have just one or two years experience.



In 2003, Oxford won the closest ever Boat Race by just one foot.



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