The University of London Boat Club (ULBC or UL) is the rowing club for the University of London with membership open to students of all of its constituent Colleges. As with other collegiate universities, many of the University of London's colleges have their own boat clubs. Members of these college boat clubs who feel strong enough can trial for a place in the squad of The University of London Boat Club to compete at an elite level.
Based in Chiswick, West London, the University of London Boat Club’s High-Performance Programme is recognised and supported by the GB Rowing Team and funded through the National Lottery, providing a pathway for athletes onto the U23 and Senior GB Rowing Teams.
ULBC has a track record of coaching rowers to challenge for a place in the GB Rowing National Squads and is committed to Rowing’s World Class Performance Strategy.
What We Do
The University of London Boat Club (ULBC) has more Henley Royal Regatta victories than any other British University and has been represented at every Olympic Games since 1960. 214 ULBC athletes have been selected for U23 and Senior World Championship teams, winning 135 Olympic & World Championship medals. When you join UL you join one of British Rowing’s most senior & successful clubs and will become part of a highly successful alumni network.
The UL Boathouse is a 25 minute train journey from Central London (Waterloo station). The Men’s and Women’s squads train alongside each other as one team, with a total squad size of around 60 to 70 athletes. This leads to a highly enjoyable, high-performance team environment.
The UL Men have been one of the UK's leading teams in recent years, winning the Prince Albert in 2021, making the final of the Temple in 2017 and final of the Visitors in 2018 at Henley Royal Regatta, while continuing to produce graduates who go on to have successful careers in all industries. Internationally, recently 3 UL men raced at the 2021 U23 European Championship, with two becoming European Champions and the other a bronze medallist.
The UL Women have grown to become arguably the best women's rowing team in the UK. UL now has the largest number of women in the GB Olympic Team of any university, won Championship Eights at BUCS Regatta for the first time ever in 2018, and in the reduced 2019/20 season beat Oxford Brookes, Newcastle, Durham, Oxford, and Cambridge Universities. In the 2020/21 season, ULBC won and medalled in multiple BUCS Regatta events, won HWR in three categories and made the final of the Island at Henley Royal Regatta (with UL 'B' making the semi-final as well). Internationally, ULBC athletes made up half of the bronze medal GB women's 4- at the recent U23 European Championships.
ULBC is a designated High-Performance Programme for GB Rowing providing a pathway for athletes onto the U23 and Senior GB Rowing Teams. Current GB Senior Team athletes Ollie Cook, Emily Craig, Sara Parfett, Matilda Horn and Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne, and double Paralympic and World Champion James Fox, all made the team whilst studying and rowing at UL. Six UL athletes raced at the 2020ne Olympic and Paralympic Games, with James Fox becoming Paralympic Champion for the second time.
- The entire UL fleet is Empachers (2x/2- 4 x/- 4+ 8+), with the top racing shells all carbon rigger. The fleet is equipped with Peach telemetry.
- Funding, financial aid, and sports scholarships are available through each of the UL colleges.
- The ULBC programme is heavily subsidised by the alumni, making the cost of rowing at UL amongst the lowest of any university in the UK.
- The UL gym is based at the UL Boathouse. ULBC is one of the only leading UK universities to have all its facilities on one site. There are large redevelopment projects planned for the UL Boathouse with new ergo and S&C training facilities.
- ULBC also offers subsidised on-site accommodation.
81 Hartington Road,
The boathouse is a 5-minute walk from National Rail Chiswick Station, and a 15-minute walk from Gunnersbury tube station (District Line), making it one of the most accessible university rowing clubs.
Antony Smith (Smithy) – Chief Coach
Smithy joined ULBC in 2021, and prior to that worked as Head Coach at Lady Eleanor Holles School, where he coached back-to-back National Schools Regatta Champions in the girl's championship eights event. Prior to his time at LEH, Smithy worked alongside Bobby Thatcher as Assistant Director of Rowing at St. Paul's School, playing a key role in the development of their 2018 1st eight which won the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta and boy's championship eights at National Schools Regatta.
Smithy's crews have gone on to win numerous other National Titles and international medals. Smithy also co-coached the British men's eight to become Junior World Champions in 2018.
Tom Gale – Senior Coach
Tom joined ULBC from his role as Performance Director at LEH, where he worked closely and successfully alongside Smithy for the few years before he joined UL. A previous Head Coach of Tideway Scullers and Latymer Upper School (as well as holding numerous other coaching roles), he joined UL with a history of success, having coached a Britannia Cup winning crew at Henley Royal, a further 8 crews to HRR finals, HWR winners, NSR champions, and athletes to international selection (to name but a few successes). Also an accomplished rower himself (ex-GB senior team athlete with multiple international selections, HRR Thames Cup winner and course record holder), he has brought a wealth of experience to ULBC since joining in January 2022 and is a great asset to our team.
The professional coaching team is supported by S&C coaches and a long list of volunteer coaches and friends of the club, including Rusty Williams (winner of the Grand for UL at HRR in 1963) and David Townsend (multiple HRR wins in the 1970s for UL & 1980 Olympic Bronze Medalist).
For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to join ULBC, please contact the boat club directly through emailing either email@example.com or the ULBC captains- firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or fill in our joining form: