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University of London Boat Club rows to victory!


The University of London Boat Club (ULBC) has made a flying start to a summer of tough competition on the water. With international and domestic success for University of London athletes so far this season, the team is looking towards the final, and most important, races of the domestic and international season. 

Emily Craig, who rows in the GB women's lightweight double scull as a member of ULBC, has won gold in the European Championships in Slovenia and the World Cup II in Italy so far this season, most recently setting a new World Record alongside Imogen Grant. With another World Cup and the World Championship upcoming, they hope to continue their unbeaten season.

The Women’s Eights Head of the River Race (HORR) took place on 4 March 2023. ULBC boated three eights, with the third being a mix of rowers from ULBC and Tyrian, the ULBC alumni club. The Women's Eights Head of the River Race saw four of the first eight awarded their racing whites for the first time.

The men’s team took their turn down the track two weeks later, on 18 March, boating three eights for the men’s Head of the River Race. HORR also saw four whites awarded for the first time in the first eight.

The start of regatta season saw ULBC athletes attending the GB rowing team U23 and senior trials. Following this, two were selected to race internationally in Germany with development and U23 crews in May, and three have also been invited to attend the U23 selection camp in July to compete for the chance to race for Britain at the European and World Championship regattas in summer. 

Following this, the entire ULBC squad travelled to Nottingham for the British University & College Sports regatta. Following tight racing across the three days, ULBC brought two gold, three silver, and three bronze medals back to London. The two gold medals came from the women’s championship four and the men’s intermediate eight, who had a phenomenal race against a strong Oxford Brookes crew. 

With the largest domestic races, Henley Royal Regatta and Henley Women’s Regatta, looming, ULBC ventured abroad to Brive, France for a training camp. Although a new location for ULBC, the coaching team were no strangers to Brive, and their promises of an excellent training location proved to be more than true. The squad also thoroughly enjoyed some non-rowing team bonding time when not on the lake, with highlights including beach volleyball, large games of catch, card games, and cool-off dips in the lake. 

Fresh from camp and ready to race, the Men’s squad took to Dorney Lake for the Marlow regatta, lining up alongside other large university and club programmes, with strong results throughout, whilst the Women’s squad raced in Henley. At Henley Women’s Regatta, ULBC had 21 athletes racing across five crews, with a promising set of results across the board against other domestic and international crews. The weekend ended in an excellent race-off between two University of London athletes racing in composite pairs in the final of the championship pairs event. Emily Lindberg, a final year medical student, and her partner from Imperial won the event for Emily’s second time while at the University of London, having previously also won the event in 2021. 

ULBC now looks to the Henley Royal Regatta next week, marking the end of the season for most of the squad. With 39 athletes qualified across seven crews, it promises to be an exciting six days of knock-out racing down the iconic and prestigious Henley course. The sea of purple blazers on the riverbanks supporting ULBC year-on-year is a wonderful visual reminder of the strength and size of the ULBC alumni and supporter network. It really is the highlight of the season for all rowers past and present. 

The University of London Boat Club is open to students at any of the 18 University of London’s Federation Members. With over 3,700 courses offered by many of the most prestigious universities in the world, our student athletes combine genuine academic success with world-class rowing.

Designated one of seven High Performance Programmes by British Rowing, over 212 University of London athletes have been selected for U23 and Senior representation (including at every Olympic Games since 1960).
With 45 Henley wins and 135 Olympic or World Championship medals, ULBC is the UK’s most successful student rowing programme. Beyond these results, however, lies a thriving alumni and supporter community that together enable us to be the only self-funded high performance rowing programme in the UK.

David Townsend, ULBC Director of Rowing and a 1980 Olympic bronze medallist, said:

It’s been a great start to the summer, and the squad are well prepared having just come back from a training camp in France which, from the athlete feedback, went very well. Now we are keeping our fingers crossed for the next few weeks and the run up to the Henley Royal Regatta. Hopefully our recent success portends well for the coming months!