Oxford University Women’s Boat Club has advertised its new head coach job for the 2023-24 year and beyond. This was widely expected after club members were told privately before Henley Royal Regatta that Andy Nelder was stepping down from his Boat Race role, which was confirmed publicly earlier this week. But the new vacancy is listed as “Women’s Chief Coach, Oxford University Boat Club” and headed by the OUBC logo.
When asked whether this means OUBC and OUWBC have now merged, OUBC Chair Seb Pearce said simply “No”, however that is the only possible inference which can be drawn from an advert in which the men’s and women’s openweight rowing is plainly described as two sides of a single club, and given that Dark Blue branding was slightly mixed during this year’s races. A further formal announcement cannot be long in coming. The University is known to be in favour of there being a single club representing men’s and women’s [openweight] rowing, as its other sports clubs are each singular following a series of gender mergers. The future of the lightweight clubs at Oxford in this situation remains unclear.