Cambridge University Women's Boat Club

Cambridge University Women's Boat Club
Image showing the rowing club's emblem
Image showing the rowing club's blade colours
Location Cambridge, United Kingdom
Home water River Cam and River Great Ouse
Founded 1941 (1941)
President Ashton Brown
Affiliations British Rowing
Henley Boat Races
Notable members

Cambridge University Women's Boat Club (CUWBC) is the rowing club for women at the University of Cambridge. CUWBC field both a lightweight eight that races against Oxford at the Henley Boat Races, and two openweight eights that race at the Women's Boat Race.[1][2]


Early days of the club

Further information: The Women's Boat Race

Women began rowing on the River Cam in the 19th century, mainly from Newnham College Boat Club, but only on a recreational level. Newnham competed against the Oxford University Women's Boat Club (OUWBC) from 1927 until 1939. For the first few "races", the two crews were not permitted to be on the river at the same time, and the winner was largely determined on style merit marks, rather than boat speed. The first side-by-side racing started in 1936.[3][4][5][6]

The first blues were awarded in 1941, when CUWBC raced against OUWBC.[7] All of the rowers in 1941 were members of Newnham. The following year, the first non-Newnham rower competed.[8]

In 1962, the CUWBC rowed in the men's bumps races, in the 8th division. CUWBC succeeded in bumping a men's crew only 7 times (in both the Lent and May Bumps) in the 12 years that they competed, often being bumped very quickly, and on one occasion getting triple-overbumped. CUWBC last competed in the bumps in 1973 - the following year, the first dedicated women's bumping races began.

Women's rowing

Until the foundation of the Cambridge University Combined Boat Club (CUCBC) in the mid-1990s, the CUWBC controlled the rules and races for all women's rowing. The CUWBC rules often differed from the rules for the men, which were governed by the Cambridge University Boat Club (CUBC). Eventually, as the number of women rowing increased to rival that of the men, the CUCBC was founded to bring all college rowing under the control of a single entity, leaving the CUWBC to concentrate on the Henley Boat Races.

Women's Boat Race on the Tideway

Further information: The Boat Races 2015

Through sponsorship from Newton Investment Management, the CUWBC Blue Boat race took place on the Tideway on the same day as the men's Boat Race for the first time in 2015.[9]

See also


  1. "CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY WOMEN'S BOAT CLUB". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  2. "About Henley Boat Races". Henley Boat Races. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  3. "Race History". Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  4. "Crew Lists 1940s". Cambridge University Women's Boat Club 1941 - 2014. 7 February 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  5. "First ever women's event from 88 years ago was rather different to modern day". The Telegraph. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  6. "A brief history of the Oxford-Cambridge Varsity event – from the perspective of women". The Telegraph. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  7. Ham Bevan, William. "Cambridge Alumni Magazine" (74): 14.
  8. "Crew Lists 1940s". Cambridge University Women's Boat Club 1941 - 2014. 7 February 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  9. Winton, Richard (9 April 2015). "Boat Races 2015: Oxford, Cambridge & the fight for equality". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 July 2015.

Further reading

External links

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