University Of Nottingham Boat Club, Nottingham, NG2 5FA

Our Coaches

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John McKirdy

Head Coach/Performance Women’s Coach

John has been involved in the sport for over 40 years and brings to the women’s squad a wealth of knowledge and experience. A successful rower himself, John joined Derby Rowing Club in 1975 and went from strength to strength. He competed at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta on a number of occasions for Derby Rowing Club and Nottingham Union Rowing Club in both the Thames and Wyfold Challenge Cups, and in 1979 achieved a gold medal in a coxless pair at Nottingham International Regatta.

John was invited to coach at UoNBC in 2009, initially looking after the women’s senior squad, achieving numerous head and regatta wins, alongside gaining crew and sculling international medals at the South East Asian games, with 1 gold, 1 silver and two bronze medals.

His position of Head Coach was taken on in 2014, he immediately set up an new program for both the Senior Men and Senior Women’s squads which has seen an impressive positive set of results with consistent wins at both BUCS and EUSA across all disciplines in the last 7 years.

Tim Brearley

Lead Performance Men’s Coach

Tim started rowing at Derby Rowing Club at the age of 15, quickly reach Elite level and went on to win at Reading, Nottingham International Regatta and gained silver and bronze medals at Ghent Regatta.

After taking a break from the sport for work and family life, he returning to rowing in 2002 as a Master with success at Henley Masters, British Masters and the World Masters. Tim quickly became interested in coaching, working with David O’Sullivan at Derby Rowing Club to develop both junior and senior crews

5 years ago, Tim moved over to coach at UoNBC, working jointly with David O’Sullivan to develop the Senior Men’s group. This period has seen the men’s squad moving from a very small group, to being the current British Champions in 8s and 4s, for the leading Non-High Performance University. Crews coached most recently have regularly achieved wins in pairs and fours in at Nottingham, The Metropolitan, Reading, and Marlow regattas. They have gained BUCS medals, and European University representation including the current champions.

Dan Somerville

Performance Men’s Coach

Dan had domestic and international success throughout his junior career while at Maidenhead rowing club, competing at Head of the Charles Regatta and GB France. He joined UoNBC as an athlete in 2018 where he continued to gain great results at BUCS and Henley Royal Regatta in the Temple Challenge Cup. Dan moved over to the coaching side in his 2nd year and after two years of coaching under guidance from John, is a great addition to our coaching team providing a fresh perspective for the athletes.

Peter Boyes

Intermediate Lead Coach

Peter Boyes joined UoNBC in 2014 and has been a top member of the Performance Men’s Squad through his undergraduate, masters and PHD qualification. In 2021, he placed 5th in Championship Pair and 6th in Championship Coxless Four at BUCS Regatta before qualifying for the Silver Goblets at Henley Royal Regatta. He was also the President of UoNBC for five years transforming the club into the large successful club it is now. Pete took on the role of lead intermediate coach in September to experience a different side of the sport and to share his huge amount of knowledge with the newer members of the club

Ailish Lurring

Novice Lead Coach

Ailish joined UoNBC in 2019 as part of the Performance Women’s Squad. Due to a long term injury, Ailish started to coach alongside John. This September, she took on the role of Head Novice Coach and with her keen squad, is showing promise for another season of great results in the first year the club have run Novices since CoVID.