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Cambridge University Boat Club

Boating Photo

Photo cred: Steve Selwood

The Cambridge University Boat Club (CUBC) is one of a number of rowing clubs at the university, along with the Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club and the Cambridge University Lightweight Rowing Club. The club has produced several Olympic-level athletes and is very well-known the country.

According to the Boat Club’s website, rowing at the University began in 1829 with an eight-oar boat race between Cambridge and Oxford at Henley-on-Thames. Since then the club and the races have evolved significantly.

Crews train rigorously at the Goldie Boathouse on the River Cam or at the River Great Ouse at Ely to compete against Oxford in the University Boat Race on the Thames. The highest-level boats, Blue Boat or ‘Light Blues,’ compete against Oxford’s ‘Dark Blues,’ the second level boats, Goldie, compete against Oxford’s team, Isis.

Another competitive rowing alternative that is played at the intramural level at Cambridge are Bumps races. Introduced as a way to row on the narrow, winding River Cam, Bumps is a format in which boats chase each other up the river, hoping to bump the boat in front of them before they are bumped themselves from behind.

The competitions are played over several days with the top crew being congratulated as ‘The Head of the River.’ The competitions, Lent Bumps and May Bumps, are held during the first half of the year and are open to fans, supporters and spectators.

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