Magdalene Boat Club

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Magdalene Boat Club
Image showing the rowing club's emblem
Cambridge boathouses - Queens' (2).jpg
Image showing the rowing club's blade colours
MottoGarde ta Foy (Old French)
LocationCambridge, United Kingdom United Kingdom
Coordinates52°12′48.13″N 0°7′36.03″E / 52.2133694°N 0.1266750°E / 52.2133694; 0.1266750 (Magdalene Boat Club)Coordinates: 52°12′48.13″N 0°7′36.03″E / 52.2133694°N 0.1266750°E / 52.2133694; 0.1266750 (Magdalene Boat Club)
Home waterRiver Cam
Founded1828 (1828)
MembershipMagdalene College
AffiliationsBritish Rowing

Magdalene Boat Club /ˈmɔːdlɪn/ (MBC) is the rowing club for members of Magdalene College, Cambridge. The foundation of the MBC in 1828 coincided with the 400th anniversary of the Monk's Hostel or Buckingham College - the original foundation of Magdalene.


Magdalene is one of the smaller Cambridge University colleges, but has often put out strong crews. In the early history of the Lent and May Bumps, Magdalene 1st men's VIII were often found in the 2nd division, occasionally slipping into the 3rd. Since about the 1950s, the 1st VIII has largely been in the 1st division or top few crews of the 2nd division; the Magdalene men have never held a headship of either set of races, having reached a highest position of 6th in the Lent Bumps in 1979 and 2nd in the May Bumps in 2019. The men's May Bumps crew is currently enjoying its most successful period in the Club's history, having risen from the 2nd Division in 2014 up to 2nd on the river in 2019, its highest position ever.[1] In 2018, Magdalene's 4th men's VIII became the first men's crew to record a quadruple-overbump—moving up nine places in one race—at May Bumps (Peterhouse women's first VIII recorded the same feat in 1986).[2] On the first day of the May Bumps in 2019, the 1st men's VIII overbumped from 5th to 2nd on the river, which is the highest overbump in the history of Bumps in Cambridge.

Recent Times[edit]

Magdalene was the last Oxbridge college to admit women, and a women's crew first appeared in 1989; the women's 1st VIII in the Lent Bumps has spent most of its time in the 2nd division, climbing into the 1st for only 3 days in 1994 and not returning to the 1st division until 2010. In 2008 the women's 1st VIII achieved blades in both the Lent and May Bumps, and it won blades in three consecutive Lents from 2008 to 2010. Magdalene is unique among Cambridge college boat clubs in that the men and women row with slightly different patterns on their blades: the men's blades are lavender with an indigo stripe while the women's blades display two indigo stripes; the cheer of the boat club is 'huzzah', which differs from the customary 'hurrah' cheer used by other Cambridge college boat clubs during races.

The Magdalene Boat Club occasionally sends crews to Henley Royal Regatta with some success. In 1956, Magdalene crews came second in both the Ladies' Challenge Plate and the Visitors' Challenge Cup. Eleven years later, in 1967, the Magdalene won the Visitors' Challenge Cup.[3]

In 2019, MBC signed a five-year sponsorship agreement with drug discovery company RxCelerate, headquartered at the Babraham Research Campus south of Cambridge.[4]

The Mallory Club[edit]

The Mallory Club is the boat club for alumni of Magdalene Boat Club, it takes its name from Magdalene alumnus and British mountaineer George Mallory, who was Captain of Boats (1907–08) when MBC was widely recognised as the fastest boat on the River Cam.


  1. ^ "All Boats Bumps Chart: May Bumps 2018: Cam FM - 97.2 FM - Live Results Site". camfn BUMPS. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  2. ^ "2018 May Bumps Results". CUCBC.
  3. ^ "Henley Royal Regatta - Finals Results". Friends of Rowing.
  4. ^ "Magdalene Boat Club Signs Up High-Growth Local Drug Developer RxCelerate as Headline Sponsor on a Five-Year Deal". Newswire.

External links[edit]