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. Over 400 donors, friends, guests and current rowers came together to celebrate the new Centre of Excellence for Cambridge University rowing.
The bulk of the funds for the new boathouse have come from over 450 alumni and friends of the three clubs – CUBC, CUWBC and CULRC – a fantastic effort to raise nearly £5 million.
Roger Stephens, Chairman of CUBC stated in his speech “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.”
A core team of twenty volunteers from the three clubs have worked tirelessly either to raise funds or manage the planning and build projects. The outstanding and iconic design of the building is thanks to Architect, Jerry Bailey. The build itself has taken over two and half years including one year of enabling works and a further year of construction.
Lance Tredell, CUBC President for the current season said “The opening of the new Ely Boathouse manifests the accumulation of many years’ hard work and fundraising and is a significant landmark in the great history of CUBC. This exciting new training facility has some very real and measurable performance benefits and will serve as a home on the Great River Ouse in Ely to Cambridge University rowing for many years to come.
Whilst the building is new with state of the art facilities, and the intent clearly points to an ever evolving club and one looking to its future; the fundraising for the project through the generous alumni networks has ensured that its foundations are deeply rooted with the history of Cambridge University rowing.”
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.
Photographs courtesy or Angus Knights and Naomi Baker