Somerville College Boat Club

Somerville College Boat Club (SCBC) is the rowing club of Somerville College, Oxford. The club was formed in 1921 as one of the first women's clubs on the Isis, however was unable to compete in bumps until 1969. The women's team has won the title Head of the River eight times in Summer Eights and five times in Torpids, more than any other women's rowing team from the University of Oxford.[1]

Somerville College Boat Club
Boathouse (owned by University College) and rowing blade colours
LocationUniversity College Boathouse
Coordinates51.742171°N 1.24961°W / 51.742171; -1.24961 (Somerville College Boat Club)
Home waterThe Isis
Founded1921 (1921)
Key people
  • Toby Sanderson (Men's President)
  • Rachel Donnachie (Women's President)
  • Lucy Bannatyne (Women's President)
  • Elinor Lamrick (Captain of Coxes)
Head of the River
  • Men:
  • Women: 1980, 1981, 1986, 1987, 1990–93
UniversityUniversity of Oxford
AffiliationsBritish Rowing (boat code SOM)
Girton College Boat Club (Sister college)

Due to fears that it might harm their reproductive abilities, women's rowing clubs were banned until 1921. A member of the club was first permitted to take part in Summer Eights in 1927, following the rejection of an earlier request in 1922.[2]

Now there are 6 women's divisions in Summer Eights and racing in the top divisions is as competitive as the men's. However, when women were first given their own division, only 12 colleges competed - Somerville, as an all women's college, was one of them. Within four years the W1 were Head of the River.[3]

Somerville College Boat Club shares the University College Boathouse with University College, St Peter's College and Wolfson College. The building is owned by University College and won a Royal Institute of British Architects prize and has enjoyed a very favourable reception in the architectural world.[4][5]

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