Boat Races & Beyond

As the dust settles following an epic 6 days for the University of Cambridge in March, the Light Blue army is preparing to race at the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Regatta this weekend.

Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club won all 3 Boat Races for the 2nd consecutive year. With CUBC also winning both of their Boat Races and CULRC winning the Lightweight Men’s race, this was the first time Cambridge University had completed a clean sweep for 25 years.

(L-R) Ellie Thompson (Lightweight Captain), Daphne Martschenko (President), Patricia Smith (Vice President) with the 3 Boat Race trophies won this year.

Speaking after the races, Nick Brooking, Director of Sport at the University Cambridge said:

“I am delighted that the hard work by the talented crews, who manage to combine their academic ambition and extraordinary commitment to their sport, produced such spectacular results. I am also really pleased for all those behind the scenes within the clubs – not just the coaches, administrators and other support staff but the immense contribution made by the alumni and other volunteers – as this is what they work do hard for.”

CUWBC will field crews in both openweight and lightweight categories at the BUCS Regatta at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham this weekend, racing against crews from over 70 other Universities in the largest student regatta in Europe. Our crews will range from Championship to Beginner level with the Beginner crews featuring rowers who have learned to row this year with their College Boat Clubs and are now part of CUWBC’s Development Squad with the aim of trialling for the 2019 Boat Races.

At the 2017 BUCS Regatta, CUWBC won 3 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze with medals in all open Championship sweep events and 3 Championship Lightweight events.

CUWBC medalists at the 2017 BUCS Regatta


It is an exciting time for CUWBC. At our recent Annual General Meeting, Siobhan Cassidy (Blue Boat 1995) was elected in as new Chairman of the CUWBC. Siobhan and the Executive Committee will continue to steer the club towards greater integration with the Cambridge University Rowing Clubs.

As part of this, the search has begun for a Chief Coach of Women and Lightweights to succeed Rob Baker who will be taking up the position as Chief Coach of the Cambridge University Boat Club (CUBC) for the 2019 Boat Race season.  Reporting to the Chair of the Performance Advisory Group, the new role of Chief Coach of Women and Lightweights will oversee the year-round development and performance programme for the open-weight women, lightweight men and women, 4 Boat Race Crews who race in the Tideway Boat Races and the Henley Boat Races. Full details on this new role can be seen here.

Outgoing Chairman, Cath Bishop was recognised for the tremendous work she has done steering CUWBC through a period of exciting transition with the Openweight Races moving to the Tideway. Cath noted that had her tenure as Chair has included  “some emphatic wins at Henley and on the Tideway in the last couple of years, along with witnessing those constant personal stories of individual achievement as our students realise how they can push their boundaries to reach their potential and do extraordinary things.”

Cath Bishop, outgoing Chairman of CUWBC thanked for her enormous contribution over the last 5 Boat Race seasons.

On the day of the AGM, CUWBC also announced the winners of the 2016/17 Academic Excellence Awards. There were 6 recipients this year. The awards were made by Professor Graham Virgo, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at the University who said:

“In my capacity as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education and Chair of the University’s Sports Committee I am delighted by the exceptional performances of all the crews at the Boat Races. That all races were won by Cambridge crews in such style and with such magnanimity in victory is a quite incredible achievement and reflects the hard work and dedication of all the students and of their coaches and support teams. The whole University is reflected in the glory of our winning crews, who are exceptional athletes, exceptional students and exceptional people.”

Professor Graham Virgo speaking at the CUWBC AGM.

The crew announcement for BUCS Regatta will be published on Friday 4th May.