Hundreds of students, staff and alumni turned out for the opening of the Nicholas Bull boathouse at Countess Wear.

Alumni from eight decades celebrate boathouse opening

The University of Exeter’s new Boathouse was officially opened on Saturday 13 October.

Over 150 University alumni, staff and current students celebrated the opening of the new, purpose-built facility on the banks of the Exeter Canal at Countess Wear.

Former University of Exeter Boat Club Captain Nicholas Bull (Chemistry, 1972), after whom the building was named, was instrumental in the facility’s inception and construction. Nicholas commented “The Boathouse is a wonderful space and it’s great to see it finished. These new facilities create a real sense of purpose and will help the Club to build on last year’s British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) successes”.

In the morning, visitors, including Boat Club alumni from as far back as 1947, received a guided tour of Streatham Campus from current Boat Club members before heading to Countess Wear for the Opening. Brian Ridge (Chemistry, 1962) said “It’s a wonderful to see such a great change in rowing facilities at Exeter and it’s been lovely to meet the current Club members and hear about their recent successes.”

The University’s Boat Club received an added surprise on the day when the purchase of five new boats was announced. The top of the range Stämpfli equipment will help the Club improve on their fantastic performance last season in which they accrued 96 points in BUCS competition. Men’s Novice Captain Will Rushworth (2nd year Philosophy and Political Economy) commented “The new boats have come as a huge surprise to us. Everyone at the Boat Club works incredibly hard to achieve success and we now have the equipment to match our determination.”

The new Boathouse will give the Club easier access to the water and space to carry out essential equipment maintenance. The facility was built by Dawnus Construction and Project Manager Peter Darnell said “We have enjoyed working with the University of Exeter on this project and wish the Club every success for the future in their new home.”

Last year, the University of Exeter finished in 7th position of 161 institutions in the annual BUCS rankings. On the completion of the Boathouse project, Director of Sport and Student Activity Phil Attwell said “We are proud to offer a fantastic sporting experience to all University of Exeter students. The Nicholas Bull Boathouse represents a huge leap forward for our rowing provision and, along with the £8m Streatham Sports Park redevelopment, will ensure that we can continue to offer a fantastic sporting experience for all Exeter students and allow them to train and compete in the very best facilities, regardless of ability or previous experience.”

View more photos of the boathouse opening.

Date: 19 October 2012