Club history

Officially formed in 1877, the Club’s distinctive palatinate strip has been synonymous with nationwide rowing success. The club was founded to represent the University instead of University College Boat Club and Hatfield College Boat Club. Palatinate – a shade of purple – is derived from the colour worn by the Prince Bishop of Durham’s armies. The Boat Club has always been a central part of the Durham University experience, helping many thousands of students to develop leadership and teamwork skills to take into their careers. As such, DUBC athletes are being increasingly sought after in an incredibly competitive jobs market.


The club won the British Universities Championship an unprecedented ten years in a row between 2004 and 2013 and are, without question, the outstanding undergraduate rowing programme in Britain. The club has won a number of medals at Henley Royal Regatta over the years, the last being in 2005 and regularly claims wins at Henley Women’s Regatta, most recently 2015. At the Head of the River Races the club has consistently been placed in the upper ranks of UK and International University crews with 2008 being a standout year with the Women’s first VIII finishing 3rd overall and then men 6th.


However, it is the contribution that Durham University Boat Club makes to British Rowing at international level that really sets Durham apart from most of our competitors. The Club has always, and continues to have, athletes competing at U23 World Championships, Senior World Championships and other International Competitions. Within the summer of 2016 we had four current DUBC athletes compete at the World Championships in Rotterdam. Lauren Irwin and Oscar Lindsay competed in the Junior category, in a pair and coxless four respectively, with Oscar’s inspiring effort contributing to a fantastic silver medal. In the U23 category, Hanna Gailis Inntjore also competed in the women’s pair category representing Norway as well as Hugo Coussens being victorious in the GB lightweight men’s quad and earning a well-deserved gold medal. In Rio it was also gratifying for the club to have alumni represent GB, with Angus Groom competing in the final of men’s quadruple sculls and Stewart Innes in the pairs final.


In 1989 the DUBC Freshman Squad was established, and since then Durham’s reputation for taking novice athletes to International standard competitors has continued to grow. Senior international athletes, Steve Rowbotham, Naomi Hoogesteger and Emily Taylor had never got into a boat before they came as undergraduates to Durham and we know that more will follow in their footsteps. Furthermore in the summer of 2016, ex-fresher squad athletes Ed Gleadowe and William Warr both won gold medal at FISU in the eight and coxless four respectively. The Boat Club provides a perfect platform for ambitious and driven individuals to strive to be the very best no matter their previous experience – we welcome novices and thrive on the opportunity we have to make our students the very best that they can be.


Track Record:

British University Champions:

2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015

Henley Womens Regatta:

7 wins since 2002

Henley Royal Regatta:

1 win since 2002