The current life membership secretary is Tom Low.  Tom can be contacted on


In the late 1970s there were OUYC Life Members who were sent an annual Magazine, invited to the Annual Dinner and generally paid half a guinea (53p) as an annual subscription.  We tried to make the most of these alumni, inviting them to events and re-introducing the Life Members’ Regatta. As a result we made many friends who helped the club with their contacts and enthusiasm.

When the Club’s centenary came round in 1984 we built on this, drawing on their memories to publish a history of the Club and managed to get over 200 attendees at the Centenary Dinner in Keble – a fabulous occasion.  And all this for just 53p!

The Club continued its cyclical performance – great years with an enthusiastic membership and less good years. Meanwhile the pressure on finances within the University increased and the number of clubs undergraduates could join increased exponentially – causing membership of the Yacht Club to drop.

An enthusiastic bunch of undergraduates in 1990 gave us the opportunity to make more of our generous Life Members. They organised a World Tour (visiting India, Hong Kong, Japan and USA) which gave us the excuse to tap into the pockets of our alumni. This appeal allowed us to replace the Club’s 10 year old boats with brand new ones.  Since then we have built on this fund raising and have generally been able to replace the Club’s boats about every 2 years.

In 1997 we established a separate Life Members’ Boat Fund. All contributions by Life Members now go into this and it is controlled by a Senior Committee (consisting of the Flag Officers who are mostly Life Members) and used exclusively to pay for the Club’s boats. With the establishment of a strong yachting side to the Club, money is also provided to this side of the Club.  From initially providing cash to cover damage deposits, the boat fund is now providing increasingly more financial means for the Varsity & BUSA yacht charter.

Becoming A Life Member

In order to become a Life Member all you need to do is make a contribution to the Boat Fund. Our recommended minimum donation is £35 per annum, but many give much more than this.  The easiest thing is to make donations online using the link belowAlternatively, you can download the Life Membership Donation Form, complete it and send it to the Oxford University Development Office. The money goes straight into the Boat Fund, and you can use Gift Aid to allow us to reclaim the tax for UK tax payers.

The Benefits Of Life Membership

Undoubtedly the main benefit of Life Membership is knowing that you are contributing to the Oxford University Yacht Club, helping enable them to have the standard of boats you wished you had (if you were up before 1990) or allowing them to have the standard of boats you had due to the generosity of Life Members (if you were up after 1990).

However, there are other benefits:

  • You will receive an Annual Magazine at the beginning of August, updating you on the Club’s activities in the academic year just gone.
  • You will be invited to the Annual Dinner, usually in an Oxford College, in February / March each year.
  • You will be invited to the Annual Life Members’ Drinks event in London in November each year.
  • You will be invited to yachting sailing trips, such as the Annual Extravaganza
  • You will be invited to the collaborative OUYC/CUCrC drinks in the Oxford and Cambridge Club, Pall Mall, where we have been honoured to host guest speakers who have provided fabulous talks
  • You are welcome to attend any RYA Theory Courses that are held in Oxford
  • If there is enough interest, a Life Members’ Regatta will be held at Farmoor in the Summer.