Cambridge University Lightweight Rowing Club (CULRC) was founded in 1974 for the sole purpose of winning the Lightweight Boat Race against the Oxford Lightweights. The race has been held at Henley in March or April every year since 1975, currently Cambridge leads by 24 to 16. In addition members of the club have won medals at both national and international competitions, and athletes who have represented CULRC have competed at each of the last three Olympic games.
Amidst forecasts of high winds and snow for the 2017 Trial Eights races, the 18 squad members were out on the river, pounding in more kilometres of race preparation in their crews. Thanks to the hospitality of Leander and local residents, both CULRC and CUWBC athletes were able to spend the weekend in Henley, acclimatising to the milieu of racing in terms of water work, mental preparation and the all-important weight management. Patience with the weather was contrasted with desire to run through a mock boat race, and a practice race was run on Saturday, in case of the forecast high winds for Sunday prohibiting racing. ‘Legs’, with president Zenas Van Veldhoven in the 7 seat, was set against ‘Lower Backs’, which contained 6 returners from the 2016-17 squad. Expectations for a hard-fought contest were exceeded when ‘Legs’, predominantly composed of newcomers, jetted out of the blocks and set a strong rhythm, grinding out a 1 length lead 750m into the race. Although both crews struck out a hard pace down the course in remarkably calm conditions, ‘Legs’ edged out more distance to be almost 2 lengths ahead on the approach to Temple Island, and a twilight surge from ‘Lower Backs’ made little dent on the gap, ending with victory for ‘Legs’ by 2 lengths. Thanks go to Leander, our hosts and coaching and support team who stepped into umpiring duties to ensure racing went ahead. This crucial experience is always formative in approaching the boat race with confidence and mental composure, and the trials of splitting the squad into two competitive crews bonded the athletes closer together with certainty that competition for seats is as tough and exciting as ever. Join us on the bank on 18th March to watch us take on OULRC, with CUWBC lightweights racing OUWBC Lightweights earlier on the same day.
Slightly disappointed by the cancellation of the Eights Head of the River the previous day, Granta readjusted their focus to the reserve VIIIs race at the Henley Boat Races. The cross-headwind against stream conditions were familiar to the crew, who had been training on very similar water on the Tideway in the few days preceding the race. Nephthys won the toss and chose the Buckinghamshire station.
Congratulations to this year’s CULRC crew have defended their title, winning the 2017 boat race by 1 3/4 lengths in a time of 6:07.
In warm and sunny conditions, but against a strong headwind, Cambridge maintained a solid rhythm throughout. Although Oxford fought hard in the latter stages of the race, there was too much to be done, and CULRC crossed the line with clear water to their opposition.
Invitations to trial for the Cambridge University Lightweight Rowing Club are now open for oarsmen and coxes for the 2017/18 season. For more information please read the letter below:
Those interested in trialling should sign up using the form below in order to receive further details:
We will be holding an introductory sculling course on the 22nd/23rd April and holding a meeting for all those interested in trialling on the 24th April.
The new Cambridge University Boathouse at Ely was officially opened on Saturday 3rd December by the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. The boathouse is a fantastic achievement. As Professor Borysiewicz mentioned, it demonstrates what is greatest in a collegiate university like Cambridge: 450 alumni and friends, from 3 clubs, CULRC, CUBC and CUWBC, coming together to ensure we beat Oxford.
This building will be a Centre of Excellence for years to come. With a wetdock, space for boating 3 eights, four bays and extensive interior facilities, the boathouse is a far cry from the al-fresco facilities CULRC previously enjoyed.
A core team of twenty volunteers from the three clubs have worked tirelessly either to raise funds or manage the planning and build projects with the bulk of funds coming from over 450 alumni and friends of the three clubs. The outstanding and iconic design of the building is thanks to Architect, Jerry Bailey. The new boathouse takes the clubs from inadequate facilities to a Centre of Excellence for rowing for Cambridge University and for Ely.
As a symbol of closer cooperation between the University rowing clubs three mixed eights took part in a row past of the new boathouse. Each boat included both openweight and lightweight members of the men’s and women’s current squads.
Races in Mixed Eights
“Today is the culmination of ten years work. Three Clubs, each with different and proud histories coming together in the pursuit of one vision: to put Cambridge at the pinnacle of University Rowing globally – women, men, lightweight, heavyweight combined – and to ensure that each of our scholar-athletes should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and their dreams. And to beat Oxford.”
Roger Stephens, CUBC Chair
Finishing touches being put on the Boathouse
All photos courtesy of Angus Knights and Naomi Baker
This Sunday (18th September), we invite alumni to meet the new 2016/17 CULRC Squad. Drinks will be available from 1pm at Pembroke College.
Following the drinks reception, there will be an informal rowers’ triathlon at 2:30pm, to which all are welcome. The likely format is a 6km ergo, 20km bike, 6km run.
We are delighted to be able to share that CULRC oarsman Mark Aldred (2008, 2009) has been selected to represent Team GB at the Rio Olympics.
Mark will be racing in the Lightweight Mens Coxless Four alongside Jono Clegg, Peter Chambers, and Chris Bartley. We wish them the very best in the racing to come.
For several years, CULRC athletes have commuted to Ely for training by train. This was feasible with the location of the existing boathouse, despite a significant financial cost. However, with the construction of the new boathouse at Ely, it will soon become difficult for the club’s athletes to travel by train, with a several-kilometre journey from the station.
To that end, CULRC seeks your help with funding a minibus so that athletes can be driven between Cambridge and Ely.
Please see the link below for more details.