Old Collegians Boat Club (OCBC) is the alumni Club of University College Dublin Boat Club (UCDBC). Founded in 1936 by former members of UCDBC, the primary aims of OCBC were threefold, and remain unchanged to this day – to support the development of rowing in UCD, to provide of a network for UCDBC rowing alumni and friends in Ireland and overseas, and to promote the sport of rowing in Ireland, as exemplified the club’s organisation of the Dublin Head of the River race since 1941.
Historically, OCBC or OC as the Club is widely known, only rowed on an occasional, social basis. Most of its water activity focussed on coaching and developing UCD crews. An notable exception to this in the early days was in 1963 and 1964 when OC won the Senior VIIIs National Championship.
In 1988, with the rise in interest in Masters rowing, the club became active in this aspect of the sport. Since then, Old Collegians has been to the fore in the development of Masters rowing in this country. The club now has a core membership of about 20-30 active Masters rowers, who compete in both Head and Regatta events throughout the country and regularly at FISA Master’s World Championships and Henley Masters Regatta. The club rows out of the UCD Boathouse, and owns several boats including a number of Eights, Fours and Pairs. The Active Rowers run their own affairs within Old Collegians through a sub-committee, which manages the financial, logistical and rowing aspects of the group.
In recent years OCBC has also been more active in non-Masters competitive rowing, typically where recent UCDBC rowing graduates have moved across to OC. Frequently these rowers will work in tandem with the UCD Senior squad or as part of the Rowing Ireland High Performance team. Club members have been particularly successful at international level, most notably Sanita Puspure, double World Champion and Olympian, Claire Lambe, Olympic finalist, Aileen Crowley and Eimear Lambe, European Bronze Medalists.
Today, the club continues to support both Men’s and Womens UCD clubs as it has in the past, and in addition, provides an opportunity for former oarspeople from UCD as well as from other clubs, to continue their involvement in the sport well into their seventies if they desire. The club has several boats available and caters for both serious Master’s rowers and those who are interested in a leisurely paddle on the Liffey. If you are interested in joining Old Collegians as a non rowing or rowing member, please contact the captain.