Downing College Boat Club

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Downing College Boat Club
Downing College Boathouse - - 1633217.jpg
Image showing the rowing club's blade colours
LocationCambridge, UK United Kingdom
Coordinates52°12′38.61″N 0°8′6.51″E / 52.2107250°N 0.1351417°E / 52.2107250; 0.1351417Coordinates: 52°12′38.61″N 0°8′6.51″E / 52.2107250°N 0.1351417°E / 52.2107250; 0.1351417
Home waterRiver Cam
Founded1863 (1863)
MembershipDowning College, Cambridge
AffiliationsBritish Rowing
Notable members
Annabel Vernon

Downing College Boat Club (or DCBC) is the rowing club for members of Downing College, Cambridge. Downing men have not been below the top 9 boats for over 3 decades, on occasion being the only boat club with a second boat in the first division, and regularly ahead of other college first boats.

Downing men and women have rowed internationally, winning World Rowing Championship medals, and even Olympic medals.[citation needed]


Despite the college admitting undergraduates in 1821, Downing's boat club did not form until 1863, with their first race being in the spring of 1864.[1] The men's 1st VIII did not feature regularly in the 1st division of the Lent and May Bumps until the 1960s. The club first became Head of the Mays in 1982, a position it lost in 1983 and regained in 1984.[2] The head crew was coached by Downing alumnus Graeme Hall, who was the stroke of the Cambridge crew which won The Boat Race 1969, and coached the British Men's VIII to win the silver medal in Rowing at the 1980 Summer Olympics.

Downing women formed in 1981 and held their first headship of the Lent Bumps from 2004–2005, regaining it in 2011, and attained their first headship of the May Bumps in 2011. They retained both headships in 2012.

The club has now held 15 headships in total, including a double-headship in 1996.

In 2018, the first indoor rowing training tank in the East of England was built in the Club's boathouse.[3]



  1. ^ Durack, John; Gilbert, George; Marks, Dr. John (2000). The Bumps: An Account of the Cambridge University Bumping Races 1827-1999 ISBN 0-9538475-1-9
  2. ^ "Boat Club History". Downing College Boat Club. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Downing College Cambridge unveils indoor rowing tank". The Times. Retrieved 31 July 2018.

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