Open Access Articles- Top Results for University rowing (UK)

University rowing (UK)

University rowing in the United Kingdom began when it was introduced to Oxford in the late 18th century.[1][2] The first known university boat race took place at Oxford in 1815 between Brasenose and Jesus and the first race between Oxford and Cambridge was rowed on June 10, 1829.[3][4] Today, many universities have a boat club and at some collegiate universities—Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, and London—each college has its own club as well as a main university club. In Scotland, the rowing clubs of Glasgow University and Edinburgh University initiated an annual race in 1877, making this competition the second oldest in the United Kingdom. Competitive university rowing in Northern Ireland began in the 1940s with the Wylie Cup; the Welsh Boat Race began in 2006.


Crews can get very close to each other when overtaking at BUCS Head

Most universities compete in the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championships with a number of events over the year. For non-indoor events, boats are separated into Championship (where "BUCS points" are available), Intermediate and Beginner (for students in their first year of the sport).

As of June 16, 2008, UCS (who represented the professional staff working in the sector) and BUSA (the lead body for competitive sport in the sector) have merged to form "BUCS" – British Universities & Colleges Sport. Events from 2008/09 onwards therefore come under the BUCS banner, rather than BUSA, e.g., BUCS Regatta.

BUCS Small Boats Head

The Small Boats Head is held in October. The event was introduced in 2004 and first held on the Trent in Nottingham. From 2008 the event has been held on the Witham in Boston, Lincolnshire where it now runs in conjunction with the GB Rowing Team 1st Senior/U23 Assessment.

BUCS Indoor Rowing Series

In 2010, BUCS Rowing managed an indoor rowing series at 11 Universities across the UK. Almost 900 students competed a 2000m test and a similar series is planned for 2011.

BUCS Head of the River

A 5 km head race which was held for many years on the River Trent in Nottingham during February or March. In 2009, the decision was made to move the event to the River Nene in Peterborough, and to split the competition into 2 separate days, with Beginners racing on one day, and Seniors racing on the other. However, due to inclement weather, the event was cancelled. The event was again held in Peterborough in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and was due to be held there in 2013. However, due to flooding, the event was moved to Boston that year.

File:Zbusa regatta 2003 MN8 A1.JPG
The start of a race at BUCS Regatta

BUCS Regatta

A 2 km regatta held (usually at Holme Pierrepont) over the May Day weekend. Points for the Victor Ludorum are awarded for finishing places in the finals (more points for champ events and bigger boats). In 2005 Durham University Boat Club were 1st, followed by Reading University in 2nd place and University of London behind them in 3rd place. DUBC followed up their wins in 2004 and 2005 by taking the title for a third time in 2006, and followed it up with unprecedented fourth and fifth victories in 2007 and 2008 before winning again in 2011 and 2012.

In 2008 the BUSA regatta was held at Strathclyde Country Park, as NWSC was not available that weekend. Two weeks earlier, a BUSA Sprint Regatta was held at Cotswold Water Park, though the regatta had to be held as a time trial because the weather had prevented the course and stakeboats being laid .


Year Victor Ludorum Top of Medal Table Number of Medals
2015 Durham University Boat Club Durham University Boat Club 19 (7 Gold, 8 Silver, 4 Bronze)
2014 University of London Boat Club
2013 Durham University Boat Club Durham University Boat Club 22 (12 Gold, 6 Silver)
2012 Durham University Boat Club Loughborough Students Rowing 10 (7 Gold, 3 Silver)
2011 Durham University Boat Club Reading University Boat Club 16 (9 Gold)
2010 Durham University Boat Club Imperial College Boat Club 7 Gold
2009 Durham University Boat Club Durham University Boat Club 27 (13 Gold)
2008 Durham University Boat Club
2007 Durham University Boat Club
2006 Durham University Boat Club
2005 Durham University Boat Club
2004 Durham University Boat Club

Other competitions

A number of university boat clubs have organised annual races between themselves. These include:

There are separate bumps races held every year for the Cambridge colleges, Oxford colleges, and London medical schools (called the "United Hospitals Bumps"). Durham College Rowing organises two inter-collegiate regattas and a head race between the Durham Colleges.

University boat clubs


Northern Ireland




  1. Sherwood, W. E. (1900). Oxford Rowing – A History of Boat-Racing at Oxford from the Earliest Times, with a Record of the Races. Oxford: Henry Frowde. p. 1. AEZ-7509. Retrieved 2014-08-27. Of the precise date when boating became a common amusement in the University we have no record, but we find T. F. Dibden, who came up in 1793, and took his degree in 1801... 
  2. X (1900). The Speaker, the Liberal Review. 2 – April to September 30, 1900. London: Cassell. p. 23. Retrieved 27 August 2014. ...a history of Oxford rowing from its earliest days, even before the actual racing began—his first extracts relate to the year 1793... 
  3. Treherne G.T., Geo; Goldie, J.H.D. (1884). Record of the University Boat Race, 1829–1883. London: Bickers & Son. p. 6. ark:/13960/t5j96kx8h. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  4. Peacock, Wadham (1900). The Story of the Inter-University Boat Race. London: Grant Richards. p. 2. Retrieved 27 August 2014. Everyone knows that the first race took place at Henley in 1829, but no one has yet been to decide how it was that the idea of a between the two Universities arose. 
  5. "Archived Results". BUCS. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 

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