Cambridge has a tradition of excellence and this is reflected in the impressive list of wins that CUWBC has across all three Varsity matches: Blue Boat, Blondie v Osiris and the Lightweight crew.


CUWBC’s base is Goldie Boathouse (“Goldie”) where all ergo training, weights sessions and tank work is carried out. Our coaching and administrative team have office space here with Club meetings held in the impressive Captain’s Room. Located 10 mins walk from the centre of Cambridge it is easily accessible from any college in Cambridge.


The CUWBC squad is made up of athletes who will trial for the Open-weight crews (Blue Boat and Blondie) and the Lightweight Eight. We are proud to say that our Openweight and Lightweight athletes train together all year and we support every individual in the team.


Out of term training

The Boat Races season starts in early September before the University term.


Ahead of the start of term we train on and off the water during the day and in the evening out at Ely, a 30min bus ride from the centre of Cambridge. Our coaching team is mindful of the academic commitments of our undergraduate and demands.


Term time training

Cambridge academic terms are short – only 8 weeks long! We know that you will be busy so the training schedule fits around this. The squad take the 5:55am train from Cambridge to Ely and return in time to make the 9am lectures. Land training takes place at Goldie after lectures have finished. On the weekends minibuses take the squad to Ely.


Training Camps

CUWBC go to Banyoles for the New Year Training Camp – a venue providing the very best training environment. The Squad is based just two minutes from the beautiful lake, and one on one consultations with the Coaching and Support Staff mean that the 10 days spent in Spain give everyone the training boost they need.


Do you want to trial for a place in the Blue Boat or Blondie? Then please contact our Chief Coach – Rob Baker.


All open-weight athletes trial for places in one of our two open-weight boats – the Blue Boat or our Reserve boat, Blondie.


Our coaching team make sure that every athlete has an individual training programme, with specific performance needs addressed. We deliver a high performance programme with focus on our small number of athletes: erg testing reduces the open-weight squad down to around 30 athletes at the beginning of term.


Open-weights race at British Championships, Fullers Four’s Head in November, Trial VIII’s in December on The Tideway, Women’s Eights Head, BUCS Regatta, Henley Women’s Regatta and Henley Royal Regatta.


With fixtures against other clubs and universities an important part to our Boat Races build up, athletes benefit  from a series of weekend visits to London to race. This is where all the training is put to the test!


During term-time, training sessions are scheduled so that they fit around the academic timetables of the squad.

Cambridge University Boat race headshots

Caroline Reid

Blue Boat 2015
Being part of the Newton Women's Boat race was an unforgettable and life changing experience. I will never forget the excitement of the first time I rowed with a light blue blade or the honour of my first race (and every race since) wearing my CUW unisuit.

Unique Event

The Lightweight Women’s Boat Race is a unique event, having been introduced alongside the first moves to bring lightweight women’s rowing to the World Championships. All crew members have to weigh less than 59kg so neither team has a weight advantage leading to close races in many years.


The CUWBC squad train together but we realize that those athletes who choose to row lightweight for the season need additional support to maximize performance whilst managing weight.


You will be given an indiviualised training programme with nutritional support. Competition for the Lightweight Eight is fierce and we run a small squad, with the trialing process bringing the total number of Lightweight athletes in the squad down to a maximum of 12 by December.


The Lightweight squad will race at British Championships, Fullers Four’s Head in November, Trial Races in December at Henley, Women’s Eights Head, BUCS, Henley Women’s Regatta and Henley Royal Regatta. Often our Lightweight members will race with Open-Weight squad members at these events.

Do you want to trial for a place in the Lightweight Eight? Then please contact our Chief Coach – Rob Baker

Development Squad

Coached Ergo Sessions


During Michaelmas and Lent Terms, coached ergo sessions are run for college athletes who are considering rowing for CUWBC in the future. These sessions are a mixture of technical and distance work, designed to provide the knowledge to support rowers training with their college crews.


BUCS Regatta


The BUCS Regatta in early May includes Beginners events for athletes who have started to row since the start of the current academic year. In 2014, CUWBC entered the Eights event for the first time and were convincingly the fastest crew from the qualifying time trial through the final, winning the Gold medal.


Henley Women’s Regatta


For the past two years, CUWBC has fielded a Development crew in the Academic Category at Henley Women’s Regatta at the end of June. The crew is selected from those signed up to the Summer Development squad and trains together after exams are finished and around college rowing commitments. While preparation time is limited compared to much of the opposition, competing at Henley is a great way to develop side-by-side racing experience.


Summer Squad


The main Summer Squad runs for 4 weeks after the end of Easter Term. It’s an intensive schedule, designed to get the most fitness and technical benefit out of the time available. The programme also involves racing on the last two weekends, at Kingston and Molesey Regattas. Although intense, training will allow those who are PhD students, or who have academic/work experience placements and internships to participate without missing sessions.


Zara Goozee

Dev Squad 2015
Having rowed at college for a number of years I signed up to the CUW Development Squad to get an idea of what the step up to University training would be like. Getting a chance to try out the training schedule in the summer (when it’s warm and sunny!) alongside other college rowers with a range of experience was invaluable and helped make the transition a lot easier. It was also a great chance to meet and get to know previous traillists and ask them about their experiences. A massive highlight for me was representing CUW at Molesey and Kingston regattas, and getting a chance to race side-by-side as it’s such a rarity on the Cam! If you are thinking of trialling, are undecided or are simply curious what it’s like to be a University rower, Development Squad is the best way of finding out whilst enjoying Cambridge in the summer!

Do you want to join our development squad?

International Pathway

Do you aspire to represent your country? Then we are the club for you.


CUWBC has a proven track record of producing athletes with the caliber to go on to represent Team GB (not just in rowing!) Our coaching team has experience with working with athletes who wish to represent their country and will work with you to help achieve this.


Young women arrive at CUWBC with various levels of physical and mental performance. We know how to help you set goals, build mental resilience and develop physically. Most importantly our coaches ensure that whatever programme you are following, your academic studies do not suffer. We know the value of being a scholar athlete and want to facilitate your performance on and off the water.


Athletes wishing to trial for a National Team will be prepared alongside the Boat Races Programme and will attend National Selection races and camps to fulfil requirements.

Contact our Chief Coach – Rob Baker for more information.