Moving forward while looking back: UBBC to host inaugural '1909 Ball'

UBBC will be hosting the inaugural 1909 Ball on Saturday 30th September 2017, aboard the iconic SS Great Britain. The Ball is being held in association with the TVE group and Student Minds, and promises a wonderful evening of excellent company, champagne and dancing in the elegant first class dining saloon of Brunel’s flagship vessel.

The evening will begin with a champagne reception upon the weather-deck of the liner, which has striking views of the Bristol waterfront from which guests will enjoy a row-past from the current UBBC senior first eights. There will be a delicious three-course dinner in the sumptuous dining saloon, followed by a speech by current Olympic Champion and three time Olympic medallist Matt Langridge MBE. The entire ship will be open for guests to explore. 

A percentage of any profits made from the event will be donated to STUDENT MINDS, an organisation working toward mental health awareness.

For further information, and to purchase your ticket, visit:

UBBC 50 years ago: Southern Universities Regatta 1967

Ron Lowe (UBBC 1965-1968) wrote to share the story of a UBBC victory at the Southern Universities Regatta 50 years ago today:

On 18th Feb 1967, UBBC competed in the Southern Universities regatta at Reading. The attached photo is of the crew who won the 2nd VIII trophy.

Crew as photo: Left to right

Dave Jones (3), John Sharpe (5), Pete Hepworth (6), Ron Lowe (bow)
Kevin Wood (2), John Biskupski (7), Pete Dawes (Stroke), John  Filor (4)
Cox Jim Smith

It is scary to think that it was half a century ago! I can still remember rowing at bow and pulling past Reading Uni 2nd VIII to win by 3/4 length.

We had a row against the 1st VIII next morning and they couldn't catch us!
We used to row from Saltford in Autumn Term, then move to St Anne's to the Bristol Ariel clubhouse for Spring term as the course available was longer. The disadvantage was that it was just upstream of several factories. The paper mill added a fine mush to the river and the tar factory an iridescent sheen and distinctive smell to the lower half of the HOR course. The bend by the boathouse was a coxing challenge and several visiting boats would crash each year.
The Exeter HOR was held on the canal with 3 narrow bridges which could not be rowed through as the blades had to be shipped and one was on a right-angled bend where occasionally a crew would get stuck across the course stopping the race. Also, immediately past the finish there was a low narrow bridge under the Exeter by-pass as it then was. so one had to ship blade and duck head instantly after crossing the line at full speed.

If you would like to share your memories and any photos of your time in UBBC, please get in touch via our email address 

Nonesuch race and support at the 2016 UBBC Head

The UBBC Alumni were out in force at the 2016 UBBC Head Race, fielding a women's eight and two men's eights from Nonesuch BC, as well as supporting the current student committee in the running of the event. 

A summary of notable results from the day:


  • Women's Championship 8+ won their event, 37 seconds ahead of the next crew. 
  • Men's Championship 8+ placed 2nd in their event, behind a fast crew from Bath University. 
  • Women's Intermediate 8+ placed 2nd in their event, behind a first crew from Birmingham University. 
  • Men's Intermediate 8+ placed 5th of 9. 
  • Callum Gathercole won the short course Men's Championship 1x.
  • Joe Harper and Harry Stroud won the short course Men's Championship 2-.

Nonesuch BC

  • The men's 'A' crew posted the second fastest time of the day, but most importantly beating Coldharbour BC by 25 seconds, with the 'B' crew posting a time quicker than some current student first eights. 
  • The women fielded an eight, unfortunately placing last on this occasion. 
  • Plenty of alumni offered their support for UBBC on the day in the way of advice, donations and help with timing, marshalling and processing results. 

The day was rounded off with a lively ball at Ashton Court Mansion, where the UBBC Alumni rigidly enforced the traditional 'no hands pudding' challenge, before decamping to Lizard Lounge. 

Our next meet with UBBC is scheduled for the day of Quintin Head. Click here to find out more:

Winter 2016 Newsletter

The latest UBBC Alumni newsletter is now available to view online. 

The Winter 2016 edition includes interviews with Lucy Primmer, Chris Heywood, George Stewart and Ben McSweeney on their recent rowing successes, life advice from Piers Robinson reflecting on Bristol's 1991 Henley win, as well as Sam Salt's write up of Nonesuch BC's summer of racing and updates from UBBC.  

Henley Royal Regatta 2016

UBBC 'A' have Pre-Qualified and drawn the University of London 'A' in the Temple Challenge Cup. Race scheduled for 10:05 Wednesday 29th June.

Nonesuch have passed through the Qualifying Time Trial and drawn Quintin BC in the Thames Challenge Cup. Race scheduled for 18:30 Wednesday 29th June.