King's College Boat Club

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King's College Boat Club
Image showing the rowing club's emblem
Cambridge boathouses - Selwyn, Churchill & King's.jpg
Image showing the rowing club's blade colours
LocationCambridge, United Kingdom
Coordinates52°12′41.17″N 0°8′21.59″E / 52.2114361°N 0.1393306°E / 52.2114361; 0.1393306Coordinates: 52°12′41.17″N 0°8′21.59″E / 52.2114361°N 0.1393306°E / 52.2114361; 0.1393306
Home waterRiver Cam
Founded1838 (1838)
AffiliationsBritish Rowing
Notable members

King's College Boat Club is the rowing club for members of King's College, Cambridge. The first record of King’s rowing is in 1838.[1]

In 1973, women row at King’s for the first time, forming a women's boat club under the name Queen Margaret of Anjou Boat Club (QMABC). The name QMABC was dropped in 1996, and all King's crews since have rowed under King's College Boat Club.


By 1840 King’s reached 7th position in the Lent Bumps, before losing places and being taken off in 1842. King's make a brief return in the ‘Sloggers’ races (qualifying bumps races) in 1845-6 before disappearing.

In 1853, King’s returns, quickly becomes head of the ‘Sloggers’ and rises 6 places in 6 days in the First Division. When CUBC creates two smaller divisions in 1854, King’s climbs back into the first division for the second successive year. However, they are taken off in 1855, possibly due to new CUBC rules regarding the eligibility of certain rowers.

In 1867, F.E. Cunningham becomes the first Blue from King’s, whilst the uniform is agreed in 1868 including a white coat bounded by King’s colours, caps for the Lents and straw hats in the Mays.

In 1875, King’s produce a second boat for the first time, but they fail to get on.

In 1973, women row at King’s for the first time, forming a women's boat club under the name Queen Margaret of Anjou Boat Club (QMABC). Queen Margaret of Anjou was the Queen Consort to King Henry VI, who founded King's College. Sally Millership coxes the Men’s 2nd VIII, having been prevented from coxing M1 as the Amateur Rowing Association (ARA) decide mixed crews are not allowed (the M1 wanted to row in ARA events). The following year she becomes the first female member of a King’s M1 boat.

The King's 1st men's VIII have spent most of their history in the second division of the Lent and May Bumps. In 1897, King's reached 4th in the Lent Bumps, but subsided back into the 2nd division just four years later. A few brief periods in the first division have followed, but in the mid-1980s, the 1st VIII found themselves in the 3rd division for the first time ever. In 2005, King's managed to reach the first division for the first time since 1976. This position was consolidated in 2006 and 2007 with a further three bumps in both years, and another two in 2008, finishing 9th. The following year saw a drop of three places, two of which were recovered in 2010, but two successive years of spoons saw King's fall back to the second division. 2013 saw the previous year's result reversed with blades being awarded ensuring that the stay in the 2nd division only lasted one day.

In the May Bumps, performance has largely been similar to that of the Lent Bumps. From 1912 until 1930, King's was in the first division, reaching 5th in 1923. In 1982, King's dropped into the 3rd division and since 1989 had a continuous existence in the second division. Recent movement has reflected that of the Lents, rising from 15th in the second division on the first day of 2003 to the first division by close of racing in 2009. 2010 saw another three bumps, with King's finishing 14th in the first division. This position couldn't be maintained in 2011, which saw an incredibly strong year for college rowing, but 3 bumps in 2012 and a further 3 in 2013 saw King's reach 10th, the highest position held by a King's crew since the 1950s.

2012/13 saw arguably one of the strongest years in the history of the club for the 1st men, despite no University rowers at the club. Michaelmas was incredibly successful with the 1st IV+ winning the University IVs First Division and the 1st VIII winning the Fairbairn Cup for the first time in the history of the club. Blades in Lents followed and a further 3 places were gained in the Mays. The disappointment of missing blades on the final day was soon forgotten as the 1st VIII qualified to race in the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta.

The college's second men's VIII has recently also enjoyed a run of sustained success, rising from the 5th division in May Bumps 2007 through the 4th division, arriving in the 3rd division on the final day of Mays 2011. This was a run that included 3 consecutive years of blades (2007-2009). In the Lent Bumps, the Second boat has maintained a mid-table 3rd division spot for the last few years having risen from the 4th division in 2009.

King's men's 3rd VIII has historically struggled to maintain a position on the river and has only sporadically appeared in the Lent Bumps, however they currently reside in the 5th division of May Bumps having earned blades in 2012.


The 1st women's VIII rowed in the Lent Bumps from the first ever women's race in 1976 and May Bumps from the 2nd ever women's race in 1975.

In the Lent Bumps, the women started in 2nd position in 1976, but did not race in 1979. In the 1980 race, they were put on at the bottom of the 1st division and fell into the 2nd, where they have remained since.

In the May Bumps, the 1st women's IV started in 7th and rose as high as 3rd in 1977 but had fallen into the 2nd division by 1986. When the bumps were reorganised in 1990, the QMABC 1st women's VIII started and maintained a position in the 2nd division.

In the 1996 bumps races, King's women's crews inherited the positions that QMABC crews held in 1995. The King's women's 1st VIII held a position in the 2nd division in both the Lent and May Bumps until the May Bumps 2005, where they managed to break into the 1st division for the first time since the May Bumps were rowed in eight-oared boats.


  1. ^ "History of the Boat Club". KCBC. Retrieved 1 February 2013.

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