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
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.
At 3pm on Sunday 13th March, the Cambridge University Lightweight Reserve Quad – Heames, Xu, Green and Plummer – raced the Oxford Lightweight Reserves at Henley-on-Thames, a week ahead of the Henley Boat Races. While the spectators were delighted by the crisp spring sunshine, the combination of a strong stream and blustery headwind made for choppy and difficult conditions for the rowers. The race got off to a fast, clean start, with Cambridge on the Berkshire station and Oxford, Buckingham. The crews stayed level until the second minute, where a strong push from Cambridge started to edge them ahead of the dark blues. With both crews now settling into their racing rhythm, the stronger Cambridge boat continued to move away until there was close to two lengths of open water between the two crews coming past the 1000m mark. Here, Oxford renewed their attack and moved back on Cambridge, regaining some lost ground. However, the strength and rhythm of the Cambridge boat, and the lead which they had asserted early on in the race proved too much to overcome, and the Light Blues crossed the finish line ahead by just over 2 lengths. It was an exciting race and a strong win for Cambridge, boding well for the Henley Boat Races.
The Victorious 2016 Spares. From Left: Barney Plummer (Bow), James Green(2), Haofeng Xu(3), Brennan Heames(Stroke)
Any individuals interested in trialling for the 2016 Lightweight Boat Race are encouraged to express their interest to the President via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are especially interested in hearing from individuals new to the University who have more than one year experience of rowing. Those with experience of rowing at School, Clubs or other Universities weighing at or under 80kgs are encouraged to get in contact for details of pre-season training.
We are also still interested to hear from any athletes with more than one years rowing experience already at the University that weren’t able to attend the summer development squad.