St Hilda's Boat Club

Our top 10 reasons to row.

Fitness - what a lot of people don’t realise about rowing is that it gives you an excellent all-round workout, incorporating both strength-training and aerobic exercise. It doesn’t just use the arm muscles; in fact it uses a range of muscles, including the legs, back and core.

No experience required - most current members of SHCBC hadn’t rowed before they came to Oxford. If you enjoy sports, then rowing provides you with a great new opportunity; however, there is absolutely no need to have any previous sporting experience or particular fitness.

Socials – there are lots of these. We have termly post-regatta dinners, our annual Sirens Dinner and the college Sports Dinner. Crewdates happen frequently – these are always a good laugh and allow you to bond with your teammates while meeting members of other colleges’ boat clubs.

Friends – we are a really sociable group in the college. You’ll often find a Boat Club contingent in the college bar, or in Hall eating breakfast after a morning outing. A great thing about College rowing is that it creates a big group of friends across all the year groups, and across both the JCR and the MCR.

Regattas – every term there is an inter-college regatta at Oxford, and in Michaelmas it’s Christ Church Regatta, which is for novice rowers only. This means if you start rowing there is a very high chance you’ll be competing in your first term. Oxford regattas have the advantage of allowing rowers to take part in a big competition without having to be of Blues standard. What’s more, SHCBC has also been successful in external regattas – for example, in 2011 our women’s four won their event at Bedford.

Coxing opportunities – if you prefer mental exercise to physical exercise or just fancy trying something new, SHCBC offers you the chance to try coxing! Coxes play a huge role in the success of a boat, and a lot of satisfaction can be gained from coxing a crew. A cox sits at the stern of the boat and their role is to navigate the boat, steer, coordinate, keep pace, and motivate the crew. We would encourage anyone who thinks they may be interested in coxing to get in touch. Lots of coxes in Oxford start off by rowing but equally there are plenty of good coxes who haven’t rowed.

Teamwork skills – from a training point of view, you’ll find that being part of a group helps your motivation and allows you as an individual to get more out of the exercise. Aside from this you’ll develop important skills in how to work with others and get the best out of each other. In a boat of 8 people, timing, coordination and collective determination are very important!

A break from work – things get a bit stressful at Oxford sometimes. Rowing is an ideal way to let off some steam, and forget your worries for a while as you enjoy rowing along the Isis, breathing in the fresh air and having fun with your friends.

It’s a one-off opportunity – you won’t get the chance to do anything quite like this again. Oxford college rowing is unique, and you won’t often be in a situation where you can get out in a boat this cheaply and frequently. Get out and try it while you can.

Stash - getting to buy Hilda’s Boat Club kit is a definite perk, as it makes you look sporty and cool!

Our Focus


There are many reasons to row at St Hilda's, but what matters in the end is whether you enjoy it. That is our first and most important focus here at SHCBC


As the well known saying goes: the more you put in the more you get out. That is certainly true of rowing, not only in terms of competitions but also in terms of enjoyment, team spirit, friendships and personal rewards


For most rowers, the highlights of the year are Torpids and Summer Eights. These give not only the opportunity to put the year's hard work to the test, but also the opportunity for post-competition celebrations!


The Hildabeasts

With St Hilda's College being founded in 1893, the forming of a boat club followed shortly afterwards making Hilda's girls some of the first to row in Oxford. In 1969 St Hilda's became the first all female crew to qualify for the annual Summer Eights races.

A myriad successes have been achieved over the decades, with the club moving up quickly in both Torpids and Summer Eights to secure top positions in the senior divisions, as well as being the training ground for many University 'Blues' rowers and Olympic athletes.

The Boat Club has now been host to both male and female rowers for the last three years, and its successes have only continued in both arenas. The club is by far the largest club within college, with no less than 40 active members at any one time.

Hilda’s is a very fun and relaxed college and the boat clubsocial calendar certainly reflects this. There are regular social events such as crew dates and post-race and formal dinners.


COMMITTEE 2016-2017

Pietro Gagliardi


I'm Pietro, this year's President. I'm a keen rower and very novice cox. I'm also a finalist studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics. I cannot wait to work with the committee to make our club grow and progress even more on the basis of the past great achievements. I am sure this will be a very exciting year!

Hugh Turner


Hi, I'm Hugh the new treasurer for SHCBC. I have rowed for two years and my great catch is known throughout the club. My great ejector lobster of 2016 contributes to my fame on the Isis, and is now served in every pub from Donnington to Godstow. Rowing has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me and I will truly treasure the bonds I have made with my fellow Hildabeasts forever!

Sabina Manzini

Secretary and Stash Officer

I'm Sabina and I'll be your Boat Club secretary and stash officer this year. I'm a third year English student, who started rowing a year ago. I'll be making sure everything runs smoothly this year, from safety talks to the termly newsletter. Looking forward to meeting all the new members and making this boat club the best it can be!

Wiesje van den Heerik

Women's Captian

Hi, I'm Wiesje, a 2nd year PPL student. I started rowing as a fresher last year and SHCBC showed me that getting up at 5.45 to get blisters on your hands can be an awful lot of fun! After last's year's Torpids blades and a great Summer Eights, I can't wait to show Oxford how Hilda’s beasts the Isis this year.

Simon Baisi

Men's Captain

Despite never having rowed before, I quickly became hooked, and the enthusiasm, fun and success of summer rowing helped persuade me to run for joint men’s captaincy. I’m looking forward to moving onwards and upwards in my second year, with the same Hilda’s spirit, on and off the water.

Abhinav Naga

Men's Captain

SHCBC introduced me to rowing when I arrived as a fresher. After three years, I can confidently say that I don’t regret any single moment that I spent on this wonderful sport. I will make sure that your experience is even better and I look forward to help you explore your true physical and mental potential!

Anisha Chopra

Women's Vice Captain

Hi I'm Anisha this years women's vice captain. I'm in my second year studying medicine. Rowing last year was really fun and the great results we got at summer VIIIs made me really keen to get even more involved!

Lucy Hyde

Women's Vice Captain

Hi, I’m Lucy and have been rowing for 3 years now. I joined SHCBC in September and am loving all the club has to offer. I am looking forward to being able to contribute to the running of the club for the rest of the year. Bring on some bumps races!!

Felix Clarke

Men's Vice Captain

Hi, I'm Felix, a second year PPE student. The great time we had at Summer Eights made me eager to support Abhimon coordinating the thrashing of even more boats at this year's races - and having an insane amount of fun while at it!

Daniel Lo

Captain of Small Boats

Hi, I'm Dan, a second year linguist! I'm looking forward to meeting new rowers on the water and to adding more small boating into the boat house routine this year! Apart from rowing and shouting unintelligibly at fellow boaters and rogue punters on the Isis, I enjoy drinking Pimm's during summer eights. Let's get sculling!!

Hatty Jenner

Captain of Coxes

I'm a second year linguist and joined the club part way through my first year as a rower, before realising that at 5 ft 3 I'm probably more suited to coxing... I've loved my time as part of the glorious SHCBC so far and am looking forward to another year of fun on the river. We're always in search of new coxes so if you like going fast in boats and wearing Britney Spears style microphones coxing might just be for you.

Will Michell

Development Officer

I've been rowing at St Hilda's since Fresher's week and even longer before that - legend has it I was actually BORN in a boat...but SHCBC is full of legends so it's no big deal. I've coxed novice and senior boats and rowed in Summer Eights. I find rowing a great way to take my mind of my work - there's nothing better than delaying a tute in Trinity to float downstream for a pint at the Trout...or three!

Zoe Clark

Web Officer and Boaty McBoatface

Heya! I don't know if you heard, but I'm the resident BoatyMcboatface (aka Engineer and boat fixer) at SHCBC. Whether it's screwing nuts, tightening gates or greasing the hull, I know exactly how to fix your rig. Having read this bio so far, you must have guessed I'm also the Web officer. That's right, when it comes to bumps crash videos, rowing memes and updating the beautiful website, I'm the first port of call.

Anna Chamberlain

Admiral of the Fleet (MCR Representative)

Hi, I’m Anna and I’m a second year Chemistry DPhil student. This year I’ll be serving as Admiral of the Fleet to bridge the gap between SHCBC and the MCR. I’m a keen rower and looking forward to getting more grads on the river!

Zak Watt

First Year


Hi, I’m Zak and I'm a first year linguist. I joined the boat club this year and joined the committee this christmas to represent the interests of the first years and novice rowers. I am excited to contribute more to the club and am looking forward to seeing some legendary bumps racing next term, and hopefully some more blades!!

Katherine Borg

Women's Social Secretary

Hi, I'm Katherine, and I'm super keen about all things rowing related. I'll be womens social sec this year, so I'll make sure there is lots of fun! As you probably know, I love crew dates so expect a lot of pennying and sconces this season...

Alex Koffman

Men's Social Secretary

Hi, I'm Alex and I'm a third year Medic who joined the boat club earlier this year. I'm looking forward to working with Katherine to organising a great year of socials for our Men's squad, to prove that rowers are fun and can talk about things other than rowing (although it is difficult)! Expect lots of crew dates, pub crawls and maybe even some events not based around drinking ;)


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