Women’s Captain’s Report: Hilary term was quite a challenging one for college…
The sun’s out, and Oxford’s principal rowing regatta, Summer Eights, is upon…
On the 5th of March 2016, 8 Somerville women travelled to London…
Men’s Captain’s Report: Christchurch In Michlaemas Term, Somerville men recruited around 16…
Last Sunday SCBC participated in OURCs’ Autumn Fours regatta. The women were…
A huge well done to Ollie Starkey, Caitlin Evans, Jennifer Allan, Nina…
Visit our new page over at Somerville College Boat Club for the latest news, events and updates!
Men’s President and Men’s Social Secretary
Jenny Allan and Milly Horvath
Captain of Women’s Novices
Captain of Men’s Novices
Captain of Coxes
Women’s Social Secretary
Water Safety Officer
SCBC is currently at an exciting and important stage of development. 2021 marks the centenary of the founding of the Boat Club, and we are pushing not only to mark the milestone with success on the river, but also create a framework for providing stability and success moving forward. Whether individually, through specific contributions of financial support or expertise, or collectively, by participating in our alumni and friends network, the 1921 Association, you can play a key role in securing a golden future for SCBC.
We are glad to be able to recognise the outstanding contribution of a number of individuals to the Boat Club in recent years, whether through donations of time or money. We are eternally grateful for your support.
Name Name Anonymous Alexandra Abrahams Oliver Starkey Angelos Mintzas Clare Wardle Debbie Mulloy Natalie Shenker Mollie Bickerstaff Olivia Murray David & Anne Phillips Mike Wallace Sian & David Clark Yvonne Conroy Nathalie Yaich Jill Kaye Annie & Hugh David Lewsey Caroline Smith Mike Landers (Coach 2013-15) Nicholas Jennings Nathalie Yaich John Nicholl
SCBC 1921 Association
Founded in 2015, the 1921 Association is a network of old members of the club, keen to continue to participate and support SCBC, on and off the water. Through organizing events in Oxford and London, and providing structures for moral, technical, and financial support, we aim to build up the SCBC community and its rowing success.
You can get in touch with the 1921 Committee here to sign up to our mailing list and learn about events coming up soon.
The 2021 Campaign
The 2021 Fund has been set up in anticipation of the 100-year anniversary of the founding of SCBC in 1921. By 2021, we want to be in a position to claim the Headship of Summer VIIIs for W1 and where M1 is top of their division. We haven’t been in a better place to reach these goals for decades. We want to spend more money on coaching, on keeping a boat at Godstow and on equipment that matches the quality of our crews. To do this, we need your support.
For the price of one cup of coffee a week, you can join the 2021 Club and become one of the people propelling SCBC forward into the future. In return for your £10/month donation, you will have the opportunity to row with W1 or M1 before Torpids and Summer Eights, and we’ll also give you access to SCBC kit (because talking about lycra is really half the work in rowing!). If we can raise enough money to go to Godstow, we’d love to have you help us train by coming on the launch as we row. Join us as we row towards 2021 and the 100-year birthday of our Club by signing up to give £10 a month.
Trinity Term 2015 Crews:
W1 Crew: Bow Kate Millar, 2 Caitlin Evans, 3 Jenny Allan, 4 Joanna Kaye, 5 Anna Clark, 6 Anna Baird, 7 Isobel Johns, Stroke Amber De Vere, Cox Megan Wallace, Coach Nick Jennings
W2 Crew: Bow Tzveti Tzonova, 2 Jessica Lau, 3 Pauline Chatelan, 4 Kate Bolton, 5 Ines Tavares Pinto Sa Pereira, 6 Kate Ross, 7 Imogen Morley, Stroke Milly Horvath, Cox Oliver Starkey, Coach Mike Landers
W3 Crew: Bow Harriet Fry, 2 Amy Kidd, 3 Emma Beddall, 4 Harriet Dixon, 5 Lara Chittick, 6 Helen Ryan, Leonie Hoffman, 7 Felicity Blackburn, Hannah Sharpe, Stroke Beth McMillan, Amy Fairchild, Cox Sarah Bridge
Women have only officially participated in the Summer Eights since 1976. Now there are 6 women’s divisions – only one fewer than the men’s 7 – and racing in the top divisions can be just as competitive as the men’s. However, when women were first given their own division in this previously all-male competition, only 12 colleges competed – and Somerville, as an all women’s college, was one of them, and within four years, our W1 were Head of the River. But the journey to get there wasn’t easy.
In the early 20th century the pursuit of rowing was denied to female students due to a fear it might “impair their reproductive facilities”. Gradually, however, rowing gained acceptance within the women’s colleges, and in 1921 permission to start a rowing club at Somerville was granted – and SCBC was formed. This landmark event for women at the college was soon followed by another in 1927, with the entrance of a Somervillian, Miss Gibbs (effectively our first blues rower!), alongside St. Hilda’s and Society of Home students, into a race against female rowers from Cambridge – although the competition was to be judged by the more seemly “style” criteria, rather than speed. Rowing in bumps races was, however, at the time still denied to women by the University Council: at Somerville, the students’ response was the inclusion of the poem to the right in their “going down play” of 1922.
Despite this set-back, in the decades that followed women at the university continued to push the boundaries of the Council’s decision, competing in graduate college boats, and even successfully “Rowing on” in an all-women crew for Summer Eights in 1969. It was, however, not until the late 1970s when 5 men’s colleges began admitting female undergraduates that a separate bumps race for women was brought back to the forefront of debate. In 1976, the decision made by the 1922 Univeristy Council was finally reversed, and 12 women’s boats competed in the first ever division dedicated to women at Summer Eights. Opening a division to women in Torpids had to wait until 1978, after the event was cancelled in 1977 due to flooding.
Thus, Somerville began their Summer Eights history on Wednesday 28th May 1976 as the 8th boat on the river, with LMH holding the Headship. By the Saturday, however, The Times reported that Somerville were now 6th, having bumped St.Hilda’s on the first and Jesus on the fourth day of racing. The next year the college entered 2 boats into the division, with their W1 unlucky to be bumped back down to 6th place by the end of the competition by Wolfson, whom they had bumped two days before. Although the mixed fortunes of 1977 were repeated a year later when, in competition now boasting 2 women’s divisions including 3 Somerville boats, Somerville W1 managed to bump their competitors from last year – Wolfson – only to be bumped down once again by an excellent Hertford crew, the club’s fortunes took an exciting turn following the purchase, from Eton College, of SCBC’s first ever boat of its own. Armed with their new boat, 1979 saw the beginnings of the crew that went on to win the competition a year later. Starting the competition on the 6th bungline, the Women’s 1st VIII bumped on every day of the competition, leaving the starting order for the next year with Somerville in 2nd place. So pleased was the college with their Blades achievement, that Somerville’s first “bumps supper” was held for the whole college in SCBC’s honour.
It was, however, the women’s 1st VIII of 1980 that bumped St. Hugh’s to gain headship of the river for the first time – a title they retained until the 2nd day of Summer Eights 1982. In the years that have passed, Somerville have held the title 8 times, most recently in 1993, losing the Headship only after sitting undefeated at the Head of the River for 3 years.