Boat Club History


In 1981 Wade Newmark cobbled together the funds to purchase St. Benet's Hall's first boat. It was an Italian Donaratico with a wooden shell. Before this time Benetians who wished to row had to row for other colleges and borrow their equipment. After initial successes, the club faded away until its resurrection in 1992 by a monk from Ampleforth, William Wright OSB, who purchased the boat 'Victory'. From that point onwards the club has been in continuous existence, racing competitively every year since.
In its short history, the club has enjoyed periods of considerable success. In the mid-2000s, the club was especially successful, moving up to division 4 in both Torpids and Eights. During this period the club won blades on several occasions. In 2015 the men's crew secured discretionary blades for their performance in Eights, with the crew re-established firmly in fixed divisions. In 2019, they secured blades again in a monumental Torpids run that saw them move up 7 places into fixed divisions.

In the most recent season, 2020-21, the men rose an almost unprecedented 9 places to win another set of blades. This is the 6th highest ever rise in one week of racing since ‘Torpids’ began in 1838! They were the most successful crew from the whole competition…

The first women's boat, 'Ithaca', was purchased in 2016, the year when women could first join the Hall as undergraduates. The St Benet's Hall women have since participated in Christ Church Regatta three times and qualified for both Torpids and Summer Eights. They have now achieved a bump in both Torpids and Summer Eights and look set to push on for blades this season!