Borlase Rowing Club

Rowing image - boys close up in boat Rowing - girls in boat Rowing - girls carrying boat Rowing - boys action


Rowing at Borlase

Rowing has been a tradition at Borlase for many years. It is believed that the school took part in recreational rowing in the period before the First World War, being in the Edwardian era when boating on the Thames became very popular. In 1921, after the war when pupil numbers began to rise again the boat club was founded in 1921 with rowing becoming regular school sport.

Today, the mission of Sir William Borlase’s Boat Club is to develop personal character, an ethic of cooperation, and physical fitness within the ultimate team sport of rowing. Borlase Boat Club is open to school students from year 9-13 with no previous experience of rowing required. Success in rowing demands personal responsibility and goal setting. Borlase rowers literally learn the necessity of teammates pulling together to transcend their individual strengths and weaknesses.

Boys and girls at Borlase are offered a rowing ‘taster’ camp in year 8, and can join the Boat Club to train and compete from year 9. Typically we have 100-130 students, from years 9-13, rowing for the school annually. They learn to scull and sweep, and we enter races throughout the Head and Regatta Seasons around the country, putting out all sizes of boat, from singles through to eights.

The club is run by the Director of Rowing and the Parent Support Group. There are also several assistant coaches who work with different age groups within the boat club and parent reps for each of our 8 squads.


1921: SWBGS rowing programme started
• Set a Course Record and made the semi final at Henley Royal Regatta in the Fawley Challenge Cup.
• 2 Athletes Represented GB and 2 England
• Winners of National Schools Regatta CH4x-
• Winners of the Fawley Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta
• 6 Athletes Represented GB
• Runners up in the Fawley Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta
• 6 Athletes Represented GB
• 40 events entered, 30 top 3 finishes
• Winners of the Fawley Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta
• 11 Athletes Represented GB
• 30 events entered, 28 top 3 finishes
• Winners of the Fawley Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta (photo below)
• Winners of National Schools Regatta CH4X-
• Winners of British Seniors Championships Open Men’s 4x-
• Winners of Junior 4x- Fours Head of the River
• Winners of Schools Head of the River CH4X-
• Winner of British Junior Small Boats Regatta 1x
• Winners of National Junior Sculling Head
• 7 Athletes Represented GB

We need your help:

We are very keen to build an active Borlase rowing community for current rowers, parents and Old Borlasians. The school’s long and successful rowing history is unique among State schools, and is something to celebrate.

Continuing this tradition of world-class rowing at Borlase will require ongoing and new support from our alumni, parents and friends. We hope you will engage with us socially and support us in any way you can to preserve and build Borlase rowing.

Get involved:

We hold several fundraising and social events throughout the year. These include Alumni Rowers’ Reunions, Christmas Rowathon, Ceilidh, Valentine’s Ball, Photography Exhibition, Horse Racing Night, Auctions and many more.

We also very much welcome spectators and support at our races during the Head and Regatta seasons. The season’s big events each year are the National Schools Regatta in late May and British Championships in July.

The 1921 Club and Membership:

1921 Boat Club was officially formed in September 2016 as a club for Old Borlasians and Borlase Parents to row and compete.

Membership entitles you to use Borlase Rowing Equipment and enjoy monthly rowing sessions with a coach on our beautiful stretch of water at Longridge. It is a fun and friendly Club, with rowers of different ages and rowing experience. Beginners as well as proficient rowers are welcome. We are also pleased to offer our Members a stylish Borlase 1921 Club blazer to purchase and wear proudly at the Henley Royal Regatta or other rowing occasions.

Annual membership helps support the activities and running costs of Borlase Rowing. The annual membership rates for rowers under 30 is £30, for over 30s it is £150.

The 1921 Club squad was due to enter their first ever race in March, with two 8+s entered in the Head of the River Race; however, bad weather meant the event was canceled. Instead, the inaugural race was at Marlow Spring Regatta, with a Mixed Veteran 8+ consisting of parent rowers. Many had only been rowing for a few months.

Please contact Jim Biggs for over 30s membership, and Tom Wilkinson for under 30s membership.

For more information on the 1921 Club please contact:
Jim Biggs:

For more information on rowing at Borlase please contact:
Tom Wilkinson:

Further information can be found on our website:


Rowing - competition shot