A summary of 2023 

The Boat Club has enjoyed an epic year! So much that has happened, this is but a summary, but suffice to say not only has The Windsor Boys’ School Boat Club achieved on an unprecedented performance level, the amount of opportunity to be involved in the Boat Club and this amazing, challenging sport continues to be excellent.   Both sides of what we deliver add to the spirit and culture that is WBSBC.  At all levels and ages, we have seen boys out racing from local to national to international level events, with the coaching team ensuring that every level is catered for.

The team mainly based at Stovell Boathouse, led by Tom Shewell and Kieran Hennessy-Hunt have done a great job with the development athletes ensuring they have a focused, enjoyable and rewarding experience of rowing, while the team up at the MTTC including Chris Morrell, Ben Liddell and Bryn Ellery have worked tirelessly with the crews training there.  I cannot thank them all enough for their efforts, which have once again put WBSBC on the map, and given the boys the skills and preparation to fly the TWBS flag as high as ever, and for them to create their own legacy, building on the reputation earned by previous generations.

Much happens behind the scenes to make it all work, and with limited resources it really is a team effort, and a real commitment! The fundraising team has been incredible again this year, led by several parents who have gone after grants and other opportunities with real energy.  The ‘flower power’ sales have been awesome -  a huge thank you to the parent who has enabled this to happen through her business.  Bag packing at Christmas is a monumental task, sorting rotas is not easier, again brought in an amazing amount of money, thank you to the team who ran that.   The catering and events team have been incredible with the WBSBC marquee at the Nationals really standing out – what a great time everyone had!  The team that helps with all thing’s maintenance for our facilities goes above and beyond as we continue the ongoing project that is the MTTC.  Far too many jobs have been completed to list them all, but standout jobs include the extension to the landing stage and the construction of the patio area.  What a great social space this has given us!  The parental support to make WBSBC work is really exceptional! 

All the above is to ensure the opportunity of the boys in this great sport continues.  

The J14 squad have had an awesome year, and I believe we have found the next generation – an incredible amount of potential in the squad, they have demonstrated the Big ‘A’ in abundance, and show a great deal of patience too.  This is not the sport for a quick fix!  Having three octuples out racing is a first, followed still by up to four quads! Taking SILVER in the 'A' octuples event and 'GOLD' in the 'B' octuples event was awesome at the National, as well as taking GOLD and SILVER at the British Junior Championships in the quads events. Many other excellent performances and successes at the local and national level regattas means the future is bright!

Likewise, the J15 squad have seen off all challenges and been dominant across the year, and especially at the National Schools and British Championships, they continued to develop in the sport to the point now where they can look forward to being senior rowers with real ambition at WBSBC. Winning Gold in the 'A' and 'B' events at the Nationals was exellent, as was taking GOLD & SILVER at the recent British Rowing Championhsips in Stratchclyde, Scotland.

The J16 squad, in their first year of three as a senior, have shown just how capable they are.  Having two J16s competing to get into the 1st boat is highly unusual; the last time we had a J16 in the 1st boat was in 2016, and while this is impressive for the individual concerned is not something that should be taken for granted or making the norm.  In Joe Wellington and Josh Barnes though you have two outstanding oarsmen, who along with the rest of the J16 squad have had an amazing year winning all the major winter races, as well as being dominant at the National Schools Regatta.  To have both the quad and the double qualify to the J16 Great Britain Team was incredible.  Congratulations to Marcus Downie, Adam Elliot, Joe Wellington and Josh Barnes who qualified in the quad, narrowly losing by about ¼ bow ball to the French.  Ruben Taylor and Tristan Urquhart-Irvine qualified in the double and while they went on to also lose to the French, in qualifying the team showed the strength and depth we have.  The next few years are very exciting for these individuals.

The rest of the senior squad had many challenges to overcome, not least living in the shadow of the 2022 cohort. After a poor winter,  much work was needed, and relentless insistence on high standards was required.  Training camp and the early season results suggested progress, especially at the explosive weekend of Wallingford Regatta and the Junior Sculling regatta.  It set the tone for the rest of the year, making such progress to sit on the start line at the Nationals for the Championship Quad believing we were ready.  And it proved to be the case.  Winning the Championship Quads was an incredible feat, one not predicted back in March for sure.  The main goal is always Henley though, and that race against Leander in the semi-final lived up to all the hype.   Losing by 3 feet was painful, but the crew was awesome in their attitude belaying their size! WATCH THE SEMI FINAL RACE HERE 

With the National Schools Regatta returning an incredible 10 medals including 6 GOLDS, the British Rowing championships, while a mission of logistics, was equally impressive and a great end to the domestic season, coming home with 8 medals including 4 GOLDS and the Victor Ludorum.

The international part to the season sees Boat Club operations go deep into the summer.  The J16s came home from the GB France match disappointed with losing to the French, but Atticus Chute and Felix Cook represented England at the Home Countries Regatta in Ireland where they returned with 3 GOLD medals!  Jimmy Harlow selected to the Couple De La Jeunesse Great Britain Team raced in Amsterdam in the Men’s quads where he returned with 2 SILVER medals following some incredible racing.  And Jack Cadwallader was selected to the World U19 Rowing Championships in the Men’s Quad, following also gaining a GB vest at Munich International Regatta and the European U19 Championships back in May.  But going to the Worlds is never the mission.  The mission is to win.  Sadly, this did not quite happen but in taking SILVER at the World Championships, it underlines Jack’s ability, and the standard with which WBSBC operates at. Jack you leave us now for Brown University USA, and to watch you out on a world stage winning SILVER was an incredible moment, and one that will continue to inspire the next generation.

The Boat Club in 2022/2023 continued to travel far and wide, with racing or training in England, Scotland, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Portugal, Germany, and the USA.  These are real life experiences!  Look out for more next year.  We have had 10 international athletes, coming home with 6 medals.  Our performances at the National Schools and British Rowing Championships see WBSBC as the leading performance rowing club or school, topping the medal table at both.  Numbers wise with just boys, we are in the top 5, with nearly all other schools or clubs having girls included.  With the girls included, Windsor Upper Schools comes in at number 1.  The girl’s schools programme continues to develop well, and having a dedicated coach has drastically helped, but the inception of rowing at WGS is Windsor Boys.’  That is a great legacy for the school and club.  And then we also have about 150 girls and boys on our summer Learn to Row & Improver Courses.

Winning is also more than a Gold medal, it is about all the other factors, the life skills, the understanding of what it takes and to realise no one deserves anything – this is called the Long Win.  We just try as hard as we can to earn the start line ready to find out how good we are. Nothing more and nothing less. The aim is to take from all the experiences and become a better person as a result, apply it to your whole life, to be a great individual within the team towards common objectives, that makes us the Club we are.  Great teams after all are made from great individuals. Those who put limitations on us will be challenged to change that.

2023 has been an amazing year, but onwards, as ever, we must go


Mark Wilkinson

Director of Rowing

The Annual Dinner of The Windsor Boys' School Boat Club & Windsorian Rowing Club

HRR 2022 WBS FINAL.avi


Henley Royal Regatta 2022

See the crews in action from the unprecedented 2022 Henley Royal Regatta, where The Windsor Boys' School won The Fawley Challenge Cup and created history with the 2nd Boat making the final too!

WBSBC 2021 2022v1.avi

A moNtage of WBSBC in action in 2021/2022

The 2021 2022 season will go down in history as one of hte most successful season ever by any club or school in the UK, with 6 GOLDS at the Nationals, and 6 GOLDS at the British Rowing U19 Championships, along with 6 further bronze or silver medals

Annual Dinner 2022 Speech MDW.pdf

Read all about the 2021/2022 season here

On Saturday 1st October the Boat Club celebrated the year that has been at the Annual Dinner of The Windsor Boys' School Boat Club & Windsorian Rowing Club - read the long version of the speech from the evening here.