The Boat Club

Christ Church Boat Club

Christ Church Boat Club is the college boat club of Christ Church, Oxford, a large and prestigious College and a constituent part of the University of Oxford. It exists, as it has for nearly two centuries, to provide rowing and competition facilities and fellowship for undergraduate and graduate men and women studying up at the 'House'.

Since the summer of 2006 Christ Church Boat Club has extended its membership to include members of Kellogg College in what we hope to be a long and successful association between the two institutions.

Row for Christ Church

Want to get involved with Christ Church Boat Club?

If you’re new to rowing, email:

Novice Captains: Sebastian Hall (, Adam Libby (, Akhila Natarajan (, Eloise Rydell (

Men's Captain: Jacob Williams (

Women's Captain: India Marsden (

If you’ve rowed before, email:

James Bracey – Head Coach (

Come and talk to some of our current rowers, meet the committee and the coaches, try out rowing for the first time and sign up for sessions.

New to rowing?

Whether you're just arriving to Christ Church this year, or have been thinking about trying the classic Oxford sport for a while, we would love to hear from you! Rowing is an amazing way to be part of the largest and most successful sports club at Christ Church, to get fit, to meet lots of new people and to enjoy great social events.

The best thing about learning to row in Michaelmas Term is that everyone is a novice – so you don’t need to worry if you haven’t sat in a boat before or aren’t that fit! At the end of Michaelmas, novice crews from all colleges (over 1,000 people) compete in Christ Church Regatta.

We are always on the look-out for new coxes (a great chance to enjoy all of the perks of rowing with none of the hard work!), and open to welcoming new members throughout the year.

Rowed before?

Every year, a number of experienced rowers and coxes join our senior squads to compete at the highest collegiate level. To date, Christ Church has won more Summer Eights Headships than any other college - 33, as well as winning 13 Torpids Headships. 

For the most experienced and ambitious, there are, of course, the Varsity squads which aim to compete against Cambridge – OUBC (openweight men), OUWBC (openweight women), OULRC (lightweight men) and OUWLRC (lightweight women). Training for the squads commences in September and continues until late March/early April, when the Boat Race takes place over the Championship Course on the Tideway in London. From 2015, the OUWBC will race on the same day, over the same course. OULRC and OUWLRC take part in the Henley Boat Races, over a 2,000m course in Henley.

After the Varsity Races, Blues return to their colleges to compete in Summer Eights. Christ Church is extremely supportive of anyone wishing to trial for the University squads. It has produced more Blues than any other boat club, and granted use of the dark blue blades to the very first OUBC crew – a tradition which carries through to this day. The club has also won more Henley Royal Regatta trophies than any other college, and aims to send crews to this event each year.

Why Row for Christ Church?

  • For the experience: Provided you work hard, rowing for Christ Church is a unique opportunity to compete alongside very accomplished and experienced athletes. You can improve yourself and reach a high level even if you’ve never rowed before.
  • For the competition: Racing in Torpids and Summer Eights (the annual inter-collegiate ‘bumps’ regattas) is an unforgettable experience.
  • For the social scene: Crew dates, end-of-term Boat Club Dinners, nights out – there are always opportunities to socialise and meet new people!
  • For the structure: Many of our athletes find that rowing gives structure to their day and helps them to focus better on their academic work – our rowers tend to do very well in their degrees.
  • For your fitness: Rowing will improve your cardiovascular fitness and strength.
  • For your future: Rowing is well valued by employers, as it demonstrates a range of skills such team work, commitment and determination.

‘You Shouldn’t Row Because…’ – debunking the myths:

  • You have to be over 6’ and built like a tank: Hard work and technical ability are always the most important aspect, for both male and female rowers. Lightweight rowing has its own place in the Varsity programme (see above) and lightweights frequently feature in heavyweight Varsity crews.
  • It will absorb all your time: Rowing is organised around lectures, labs and tutorials, and there are commitment levels to suit everyone, whether they want to aim for the First Eight or enjoy competing in the lower boats. If you’re worried about the workload for a specific subject, get in touch with the captains, who will put you in contact with someone doing the same subject.
  • You will have to wake up at 5am every morning: Not if you’re a novice (unless you want to!). In their first term of rowing, we offer everyone the option of rowing at times to suit them. For the senior squads, there are usually no more than two early weekday morning sessions.