#35 University of Southampton


2020 DATES


The University 

The University of Southampton, originally established in 1862 as the Hartley Institution, is a research-intensive university based on the south coast of England. Gaining university status in 1952, the university quickly gained popularity across the country, and became a founding member of the Russell Group. In the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 league tables, Southampton was ranked #20 and was #1 for Physiotherapy studies in the UK.

The University has 7 campuses, including the National Oceanography Centre, Winchester School of Art and its Malaysia Campus. Famed for its research, the university conducts intensive academic studies in most disciplines and is home to a large number of notable research facilities including the Astronautics Research Group and the Centre for Respiratory Medicine. 

Southampton is home to two large student villages, Glen Eyre Halls and Wessex Lane Halls, and a number of other smaller – or private – halls of residence. With a variety of new builds and halls rich in history, Southampton is a popular location for those who are keen to live in a busy and vibrant city or those who wish to live in a quieter, green area. 

The student’s union, otherwise known as SUSU, represents the voice of the over 23,000 students who attend Southampton University. They say their “mission is to unlock the potential and enrich the life of every student”. With over 300 sports clubs and societies, SUSU believes they offer something for everyone. 

The Boat Club

Southampton University Boat Club (SUBC) was founded in 1904 and officially registered with British Rowing in 1929. The boathouse is located in Swaythling and is based on the Itchen – a tidal river in Hampshire. SUBC is both one of the oldest and largest clubs at the university, boasting over 100 current members. SUBC is a strong performing club, regularly placing at Head races and succeeding in regatta season. 

SUBC is a student-led society made up of a committee of hard-working individuals. With positions range from squad captains, to social and administrative secretaries, the club is run entirely through the efforts of committed students.

SUBC has four squads – Senior Men, Senior Women, Novice Men and Novice Women – as well as a collection of coxes. SUBC is proud to be an inclusive and welcoming society which values training anyone who desires to join the club regardless of their rowing ability. The club usually takes a large amount of new members each year, ranging from experienced rowers who have raced at international level to complete beginners.

SUBC also enjoys a close relationship with their alumni, the Stags, with many coming back to the club for events and opportunities. Some Stags are proud sponsors of the club, and there is ongoing work to continue to strengthen the bond between current members and those who have graduated. 

To contact the boat club, please email boatclub@soton.ac.uk or subcsponsorship@gmail.com


All of our coaches are volunteers.  We are lucky to have a regular coach for every squad. Our Senior Women coach is Mike Beresford. He is a former Olympic rower having competed at the 1960 Roman Olympics. He is also a European silver medallist and Commonwealth gold medallist. He has been a coach in SUBC for 45 years – previously for the Senior Men’s squad and now the Senior Women.  He has won Henley Royal Regatta and the Head of the River Race multiple times.

Our senior men coaches are Katrina Chia, an alumna of SUBC and Bob Douglas.  Bob has committed c.20 years of coaching to the boat club and is an absolute asset. Both coaches have coached SUBC squads to Henley Royal Regatta. 

Our Novice Women are coached by Fergus Watson, a member of Gloucester Rowing Club who has been involved in rowing for a number of years and brings valuable experience and perspective. He is joined by student coach Daisy Weighill.  

Finally, our novice men are coached by the novice men’s captain Tim Bramly and another SUBC alumnus, Andy Stott, who captained the most successful novice men’s squad in recent years.


  • Both the senior squads have had success in recent years at a variety of races including Wallingford Head, Bristol Head, BUCS Head and BUCS regatta – In 2018, the women won Wallingford Head in a coxed IV+ and in the previous academic year (2018) also successfully made it to the quarter-finals of Henley Women’s Regatta in the academic coxless IVs.  In 2019, the senior men’s VIII qualified for an A/B semi-final at BUCS Regatta which led to the VIII successfully beating key opposition during regatta season. Both squads are comprised of driven individuals who work hard on the water to improve technique and endurance and off the water during weights and ergo sessions.
  • The 2016/2017 rowing season was the most successful in recent years for the men’s squad as a whole.  The first senior men’s VIII pre-qualified for Henley Royal Regatta and went a round, the first to do so since 2012.  The novice men’s squad achieved 4th  place in the Beginner VIIIs category at BUCS Regatta. They also won the novice VIII category on the Saturday Reading Amateur Regatta that year.
  • The novice women’s squads consistently perform well across both head and regatta season. Last year the 1st coxed IV+ achieved strong performances including winning their band at Kingston Head of the River.
  • Our Stags have performed well since leaving the club. 
  • Aisling Brown won Henley Women’s Regatta  in the club coxless four category in 2019.
  • Alexander Morris (2011-2014) won the Thames Challenge Cup in 2017 with Thames Rowing Club.  
  • Charlie Best undertook the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge and successfully rowed across the Atlantic in an ocean rowing boat in 2016.  


  • A boathouse located at the University Watersports Centre
  • Access to trained Strength and Conditioning personal coaches
  • Access to a weights room and regular spin and Pilate’s classes
  • Access to ergs via three university gyms
  • Two brand new Filippi VIII’s for the 2019/20 academic year


  • “SUBC has provided me with the opportunity to discover a sport I love as well as make friends for life.” – Ottilie Young, current member
  • I led the club to Temple Challenge Cup qualification, stroking the eight. It was a very exciting experience which I shared with 8 of my best mates.” – Alexander Morris, 2011-2014, (Captain 2014).
  • “From my own perspective, the club gave me a lot, not least my wife and many good friends who are also Stags!” Edward George, 2001-2004
  • “My favourite thing is working with a dedicated crew and squad because we all share the same passion and goal!” Chris Hall, current member

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