OUWLRC Head Coach Announcement

It is with great sadness that we announce that OUWLRC Head Coach, Chris O’Hara has indicated that he will not seek reappointment as Head Coach when his current term expires at the end of July.

We wish to express our gratitude to Coach Chriso for his longstanding and unwavering dedication to the club and its members over the last decade.  His outstanding commitment above and beyond his formal duties will mean he will be greatly missed by the current squad, as well as those who have been coached by him during his tenure.

Chris will continue as Head Coach throughout the summer, working with our Senior and Development Squads.

An extensive search for a new Head Coach will be under way shortly.


OUWLRC Open Day at the Boat House

Alumni, family and friends of OUWLRC are warmly invited to an Open Boat House event at the Fleming Boat House, Wallingford.

The current President, Naomi Holland, and Executive Committee warmly invite all alumni members of OUWLRC to return to Fleming Boat House for an Open Day event on Sunday 28th April, from 11:00-16:00.

Meet up with your old crewmates, reminisce about your time rowing, coxing and training with OUWLRC and get the chance to hop back in a boat! Please bring along any photos you have of your time with OUWLRC for our picture board.

Refreshments for lunch will be provided, please indicate any dietary requirements when registering for your ticket.

Registration is free, although a voluntary donation to the Topolski Fund to help secure the future of OUWLRC would be gratefully received. For more information on the fund and to donate, visit the website here.

Please share with your crewmates and friends from OUWLRC, we look forward to seeing you all!

Please sign up to attend via this link.


OUWLRC Crew Announcement 2019

We are delighted to announce the 2019 OUWLRC Blue Boat and Reserve Pair to represent Oxford at the Oxford-Cambridge Lightweight Boat Races in Henley on Saturday 30th March 2019:

Cox: Jolet Mimpen (Green Templeton)
Stroke: Fiona Jamieson (Corpus Christi)
7: Grace Hanna (Exeter)
6: Ellie Watts (Wolfson)
5: Naomi Holland (Christ Church) (President)
4: Grace Joel (Balliol)
3: Katie Hurt (Corpus Christi)
2: Leah Mitchell (Balliol)
Bow: Katherine Ferris (Trinity)

Reserve Pair: Caitlin O’Brien (Jesus), Emily Hinson (St Hugh’s)

We are looking forward to seeing all the Oxford supporters in Henley on the 30th March!

Find out more about the races on our Facebook event



2019 Lightweight Women’s Boat Race



The Lightweight Women’s Boat Race 2019

OUWLRC and CUWBC are delighted to announce that this year’s Lightweight Women’s Boat Race will take place on Saturday 30th March 2019 at Henley. We are privileged and proud to be able to stage this event on one of the world’s premier regatta courses.

This year, the Lightweight Men’s Boat Race will be on the Tideway. Although we will miss the experience of racing on the same day, at the same venue, as our male counterparts, we are excited to hold our race on the Henley Reach and look forward to watching and supporting the lightweight men in their race on the Tideway on Saturday 23rd March, as well as the openweight crews competing in The Boat Races on Sunday 7th April.

Race programme, 30 March:

13:00 Alumnae Race
13:30 Intercollegiate Women’s Race
14:00 Intercollegiate Men’s Race
14:30 Varsity Women’s Ltw. Reserve Race
15:00 Varsity Women’s Lightweigt Boat Race

New Year Training Camp: Ourense, Spain

Over the New Year period, 16 members of the current OUWLRC trailing squad were invited to our annual New Year training camp from December 31st to January 9th.  14 rowers and 2 coxes were joined by head coach Chris O’Hara and assistant coach Jill Betts along with specialist support from a sports massage therapist (Briony Ryles) and the squad nutritionist (Jasmine Campbell).

The squad were treated to perfect rowing conditions on every day of the camp, with early fog on some mornings clearing to reveal clear blue skies, light-to-no wind, and over 18km of wide, empty flat waters.  The camp strongly focussed on technique, with plenty of sessions in small boats and a highly competitive pairs matrix and time trial.

We would like to thank our hosts at the Cerlac Rowing Training Centre, and the fantastic team of coaches and support staff, without whom, the trip would have been impossible.


Photo by Emily Hinson


Photo by Caitlin O’Brien


Photo by Briony Ryles

Merry Christmas from OUWLRC

From all of us at OUWLRC, we would like to wish our members (past and present) a very Merry Christmas, and extend our best wishes for 2019.




2018 has been a very busy year for OUWLRC, with representation (and success!) across many regattas and competitions.  Check out the News section of the website for full results of all our races, and keep up to date with updates from the squad on our social media (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook).



Boat Naming: Nanda Pirie

Following the end of racing at Trial Eights, we had the honour of naming one of our 4+ shells after our outgoing Executive Committee Chair, Nanda Pirie.  Nanda raced in the 1985 Blue Boat, and has given many years of service to the club in recent years as Senior Member and then as Executive Committee Chair.  It is a fitting tribute to name a boat which has already won a Boat Race earlier this year (Lightweight Women’s Reserve Race 2018), and two HOR4s pennants in the last two years after someone who has given so much to the club.

As she steps down from her post, we thank her for all the countless hours she has spent working tirelessly behind the scenes to aid the running of our club and wish her all the best!


Trial Eights Report 2018: Speculation vs. Faff

The OUWLRC Trial Eights took place over the weekend of the 8/9th of December, with the race schedule set to to include an omnium of six races over three different distances.  The winner of each race would be awarded points with 2 points awarded for a win in a 500m race, 4 points for a 1000m race and 8 points for a 2000m race.  The two crews were named “Faff” and “Speculation” after the coaches most resented squad habits.

Saturday’s racing took place at Eton Dorney, with the two 8+s competing in four races (two 500m and two 1000m) in a breezy cross-wind.  The two 500m races were closely fought, with Speculation taking the first win, but Faff drawing level on points after a win by a bow ball in the second 500m.  Speculation took both wins for the 1000m races, leaving them ahead by 10 points to 2 going into day two.

Sunday’s racing saw both a change of location and of conditions, with the Eton Dorney lake swapped for the Henley course and consistent breeze replaced with relatively calm conditions, with scattered gusts.  Faff (racing in white baselayers) entered the second day of racing needing to win both 2000m pieces to win, while Speculation (racing in dark baselayers) knew that a win in the first race of the day would guarantee them the overall win on points.  Speculation won the toss and chose to race on the Bucks station first, giving them the advantage of sitting in the stream.  After a strong start, Speculation took the win in the first 2000m race by 2 lengths, thus giving them the overall win of the competition.

The final race of the day saw both crews racing with nothing to lose. Faff could not win the competition, but now had the favoured station with no races for which to save themselves.  Speculation would be racing for the near white-wash of the competition, looking to win 5 of the 6 races.  A stronger start from Faff in the slight stream of the Bucks station but them slightly up of the start, gaining to a length lead by 1000m in.  Speculation fought back, gaining ground in the final 500m to finish only 3/4 of a length down.  The final standings left Speculation ahead, leading Faff by 18 points to 10.


Crew Orders:

NB: The rowers were consistent across the two crews for all races, but the coxes were switched between all crews for races.


  • S: Grace Joel (Balliol)
  • 7: Jane Ellis (St Edmund Hall)
  • 6: Ellie Watts (Wolfson)
  • 5: Oriane Grant (St Catherine’s)
  • 4: Emily Hinson (St Hugh;s)
  • 3: Katie Hurt (Corpus Christi)
  • 2: Leah Mitchell (Balliol)
  • B: Katherine Ferris (Trinity)


  • S: Fiona Jamieson (Corpus Christi)
  • 7: Grace Hanna (Exeter)
  • 6: Amanda Thomas (Trinity)
  • 5: Tuuli-Anna Hulkuri (Nuffield)
  • 4: Laura Boddy (St John’s)
  • 3: Jessica Wang (Christ Church)
  • 2: Anneloes Hoff (St Antony’s)
  • B: Anna Glück (Somerville)


  • Jolet Mimpen (Green Templeton)
  • Charlotte Lee (Balliol)
  • Ruby Harrison (Corpus Christi)
  • Cal Shearer (St John’s)




OUWLRC Squad Members Compete at GB Trials

This year Oriane Grant, Naomi Holland and Ellie Watts attended the GB Rowing Team’s 1st assessment in Boston Lincolnshire. Despite illness and some initial teething problems on the static ergs all three achieved 2k PBs, enabling them to progress through to the second day of trialling. Ellie Watts came 7th overall, Naomi 17th, and Oriane was the 8th fastest under 23.

On the next day there was a 5k time trial in singles. The strong wind meant progress was slow, but everyone persevered. Oriane was the 9th fastest U23 and Ellie finished 14th overall. Despite a speedy start Naomi had an unfortunate tangle with some outlying branches which damaged her overall ranking. All three gained valuable racing experience and are excited to pursue the rest of the season’s challenges.

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Photos courtesy of All Mark One.

Race Report: British Rowing Senior Championships 2018

Following the cancellation of the 2017 Senior Championships, the 2018 competition took place under sunny but breezy conditions at the National Watersport Centre in Nottingham.  OUWLRC had 5 crews competing across the two competition days (three LW2xs on Saturday and a LW4x and W8+ on Sunday).

On Saturday, the three doubles finished 16th, 22nd and 24th in the time trial, placing them all in the C/D Semi Finals.  Ellie & Naomi finished 3rd in their semi final, placing them in the C final, with both Amanda & Anneloes and Oriane & Grace racing in the D final.  All three crews battled increasingly windy and chopping conditions to finish 18th, 23rd and 24th overall.  Ellie & Naomi placed as the second highest lightweight 2x, with Amanda and Anneloes placing 3rd in the same category.  Grace and Oriane placed 5th in a highly competitive U23 lightweight 2x field of 8 crews.

Sunday’s crews consisted of a lightweight 4x and an 8+, both finished just outside the A/B semi final times in the time trial, and won their respective C/D semi finals to place in optimal lane positions for their C final.  The breeze dropped just in time for both crews to race their final races, with both in contention for wins in their respective categories.  In their final, the 8+ rowed through crews from Oxford Brookes and Nottingham to take 1st place in their final to place 13th overall, and a win in the Women’s 8+ University Shield in a time of 7:25, setting a new record for the category.  The 4x also won their final, placing 13th overall and winning the Lightweight Women’s 4x Shield in a time of 7:42.


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— The W8+ crew being awarded the W8+ University Shield —

— Photo taken by Jill Betts —

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Crew Lists:

LW 2x: Ellie Watts, Naomi Holland — 2nd placed Women’s LW 2x, Final ranking: 18th of all Women’s 2x’s

LW U23 2x: Grace Joel, Oriane Grant — 5th placed Women’s U23 LW 2x, Final ranking: 24th of all Women’s 2x’s

LW 2x: Amanda Thomas, Anneloes Hoff — 3rd placed Women’s LW 2x, Final ranking: 23rd of all Women’s 2x’s

LW 4x: Ellie Watts, Naomi Holland, Grace Joel, Amanda Thomas — Winners of the Women’s Lightweight Quad, Final ranking: 13th in all W4x’s

8+: Jolet Mimpen (C), Fiona Jamieson, Brigitte Schmittlein, Emily Hinson, Grace Hanna, Leah Mitchell, Caitlin O’Brien, Katherine Ferris, Tuuli-Anna Huikuri — Winners of the Women’s 8+ University Shield (for non-HPP), Final ranking 13th in all W8+’s