Pangbourne is one of the most successful rowing schools in Great Britain. Rowing is one of the three leading sports at the College with both boys and girls taking part in the Lent and Summer terms.
Around 150 students are members of Pangbourne College Boat Club, which is located on a wide, six-kilometre stretch on the River Thames which used to be the venue for the National Schools Regatta.
Many clubs and, indeed, national crews, use the Boat Club’s excellent facilities for their training camps.
Taster sessions are offered to pupils in Forms 1, 2 and 3 which aids their decision as to whether to continue rowing in the Lent and Summer terms.
The Boat Club aims to teach the foundations of the sport in the lower years before becoming more competitive at U16 level and finally achieve excellence at U17 and U18 levels.
Recreational rowers are encouraged to make the most of the Boat Club in the Summer term, with the hope they will continue to row long after they have left Pangbourne.
A framework is provided for elite rowers to help them achieve national selection and many Pangbournians have gone on to represent Great Britain over the years.
The summer term sees Pangbourne crews attend local and national regattas, with the main focus for senior crews being the National Schools Regatta, the Henley Women’s Regatta and the Henley Royal Regatta. Private fixtures are also arranged for the B and C crews through the term.
However, the Boat Club always seeks to expand its programme and incorporate interesting events, and this has led to various crews competing in the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Massachusetts - the largest regatta in the world, the Armada Cup in Switzerland and Ghent Regatta in Belgium.
The Boat Club has changing rooms, boat sheds and a memorabilia room as well as two Ergo Rooms. Janousek Racing Boats are used by the younger year groups, while Empacher and Filippi Racing Boats are used by the seniors. Each year, the Boat Club hosts a Rowing Club Dinner for around 120 guests and recent speakers have been Olympic gold medal-winning rowers, including Katherine Grainger CBE.
The College’s excellent rowing reputation has been established by being one of only four schools to have won the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup in Henley on four occasions, and recent successes, including two gold medals at the National Schools Regatta and contributing rowers for Great Britain’s U18 team at the World Rowing Junior Championships, demonstrate its continued excellence in the sport.