BROOKES|Rowing has a track record of producing Henley-winning and Olympic-standard coxes, from nurturing experienced coxes to finding new talent within the university. The role of a cox is crucial to the program at Brookes – being the ‘coach in the boat’, coxes work closely with the coaches to ensure training sessions and race profiles go to plan. As a cox, you are the key to the Brookes engine.

Caroline O’Connor started coxing at Brookes as a complete novice. Having developed her skills during her time at the university, she went on to cox the GB Rowing Team women’s 8+ for seven years, going to two Olympic Games in the process.

Rowley Douglas came to Brookes from Monkton Combe School. He went on to cox the Great Britain men’s 8+ from 1997-2001. His greatest achievement was winning the blue-riband 8+ event at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney – the first time a British crew had won since 1912.


Rory Copus joined Brookes’ rowing program back in 2010, finishing at Abingdon School. Committing 4 years to the project, he won the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta in 2014. He has represented GB at J16, Junior and U23 level, and is double World University champion in the Men’s 8+.


Harry Brightmore is in his sixth season of coxing at Brookes. He has represented Great Britain at three U23 World Championships, and in 2017 raced in the coxed pair at the Senior World Rowing Championships. He won the Temple Challenge Cup in 2016 and ‘did the Double’ by taking the same crew, and winning the Ladies Plate in 2017.

“I left school with a real hunger to push my coxing as far as it could possibly go. Immediately after starting at Brookes, I realised how much I could get out of it: every session I was fighting for my seat in the 3rd VIII and I loved it! It taught me to always be on my game, and with that constant competition I ended up coxing at a level I never would have achieved elsewhere.
Without Brookes, I wouldn’t have come close to winning the Temple Challenge Cup, Ladies Plate, or winning Eights Head and earning multiple GB vests”

Harry Brightmore

Previous club: King’s School, Chester

Charlie Clarke

Shrewsbury School

“I chose Brookes knowing this was the place for me – not only to develop my coxing skills to the next level, but to be part of the best university boat club. The squad determination and support has helped me to achieve results I thought were beyond my potential.
OBUBC has given me fantastic opportunities – travelling to Croatia for the EUSA Games, competing in Boat Race fixtures and winning the Temple Challenge Cup. The training fits well alongside my degree, and every time I compete for OBUBC, the training gives me confidence to win”

“Coming to Brookes made me realise that I had so much more to give – at school, I didn’t reach my full potential and was keen to develop my coxing at university; I developed so fast in my first year and continue to learn more every week about training, racing and importantly getting the best out of our athletes.
I believe the group mentality and work ethic toward goals are testament to this, and Brookes will help me develop as a cox more than any other university boat club in the country”

Aisling Humphries-Griffiths

Reading Blue Coat School

Laura Hyatt

Cardiff University

“Heading back to university after my undergrad degree was a big step. One that wasn’t taken lightly, but one I most certainly don’t regret.
Stepping up to the competitive nature at Brookes has developed my coxing skills, and has reinforced my desire to cox at a high level. Brookes has given me the opportunity to learn from the best through intense training with a high standard of athletes and support from the coaches”

“Before coming to Brookes, I had coxed for my previous club but never in such a competitive way as Brookes does. I would consider myself relatively novice at coxing, but I believe no other club could give me so many opportunities in such a short space of time as OBUBC.
My skills have improved on and off the water because, day in and day out, you see how hard each person works toward the same goal, and it drives everyone else to achieve better and go further”

Louise Manning

Dart Totnes RC

Alice McWilliam

City of Cambridge RC

“Within my rowing career, I had a setback in which I had to quickly switch from rowing to coxing. The Boat Club with its high standard of athletes and coaches allowed me to regain full confidence and to fully develop my coxing ability. Throughout the 3 years I have been coxing at Brookes, I have always been excited to train with greater intensity in order to strive for continuous improvements. Coxing at Brookes has provided me with incredible experiences no other boat club could have ever made”

“Before I came to Brookes, I was comfortable with where I was as a cox – I had never been really pushed. But the atmosphere and competition within the squad has driven me to improve as much as possible. In the short time I’ve currently spent at Brookes, I have bought into the program and am starting to see personal improvements on a weekly basis.
I am incredibly motivated and excited about what my time at Brookes will lead to”

Gavin McWilliams

Bedford Modern School

Katy Ward

Shiplake College

“Coxing at Brookes has provided me with some invaluable experiences. It has given me insights into how to get the best out of my crew, yet also how to work with different characters – a skill not only useful within the boat, but hopefully in a professional environment in the future”

“I came to Brookes as it was the only university that would provide me with the best rowing and career opportunities. Managing my placement at Harley-Davidson alongside full-time training, I know I wouldn’t have been able to do that at any other university. The fiercely competitive nature of the squad is really something special, and I look forward to more experiences that will help me achieve my goals”

Alexandra Wenyon

King’s School, Worcester