What Is It Like Rowing For Oxford?

Training Regime and Rowing Season

The Oxford coaches creatively use their competitive experiences and the expertise gained in consultation with trusted coaching colleagues, sports scientists and a comprehensive medical team to shape the training programme for the team. There is an emphasis on developing all-round athletes who will enjoy long careers in the sport of rowing.

Each year the women who row for Oxford enjoy competitive opportunities that are divided into three phases of preparation.

The Boat Race

Beginning in early September in advance of Michaelmas Term, the training focus is on the development and selection of two top eights, the Blue Boat and the reserve crew, known as Osiris.Competition is fierce for the seats in the Blue Boat and Osiris; however the Oxford University Women's Boat Club emphasises the team experience and the healthy personal dynamic that results when strong women work together to pursue performance goals.

During this extended phase of training, athletes race in a variety of long distance autumn races, inter squad match ups and fixtures against other clubs and university teams.

photo credit to Row2k

British University Championship Regatta (BUCS)

Following the Boat Race, Oxford athletes resume training and prepare for races at the national championships. While there is still an emphasis on improving  the overall speed of eights, there is also an emphasis on sculling and rowing small boats. At this regatta, many athletes race in multiple boat classes.

Summer Season

The top Oxford athletes continue training for races at Henley Women's Regatta and Henley Royal Regatta. Concurrently, women who have learned to row at Oxford colleges are identified for the Development Squad, a project devoted to the development of younger athletes who have the capacity to reach for a spot in future University crews.

Henley Women's Regatta 2015


The Facilities

Members of the club train at a variety of venues in and around Oxford.

The Fleming Boat House at Wallingford

The Fleming Boat House opened in 2007 and was built through the generosity of the alumni of the Oxford University Boat Club. The boathouse features four boat bays; club and changing rooms for women and men; coaching and administrative offices, a professional kitchen, a workshop and a wet boathouse for launches.

Wallingford is home base for all Oxford crews, where they train on the longest lock-to-lock stretch of water on the upper Thames, a 10km distance. Members of the Oxford University Women's Boat Club make the 20 minute journey from central Oxford to the boathouse in team minibuses.

The University Sports Complex at Iffley Road

Land based training currently takes place at unique venues in central Oxford. The rowing athletes train in the OUBC gym, OUBC tanks and on the University track at Iffley Road.