The Boat Club

A Brief History of PCBC.

Founded in 1827, Pembroke College Boat Club first raced the 1831 Lent Bumps. Members were exclusively male for the first 154 year of the club’s existence. Whilst the first Women’s Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race took place in 1927, women were not permitted as college members until 1985. Women had taken part in bumps since 1962, when CUWBC was entered into the men’s division – an incredibly unfair arrangement which ended up with the crew being bumped in 25 strokes.

A women’s division was not devised until the 1970s, when women were properly admitted into previously all-male colleges. The first ever PCBC women’s boat was formed in that year, but would not race bumps in an VIII until 1990 – instead, they raced bumps in IVs. Since 1985, the women’s first eight has held headship six times in thirty years, last holding it in 2010. 

In 1935, PCBC won the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta, arguably the most well-known and oldest event at HRR. More recently, a Pembroke-Clare composite crew managed to qualify for the Temple Challenge Cup in 2018. PCBC regularly partakes in both Head of the River (HoRR) and Women’s Head of the River (WeHoRR), often doing very well compared to other Oxbridge colleges. In 2018, W1 won the WeHoRR Novice Academic Pennant. In that same year, M1 were the fastest Oxbridge college crew on the day, coming an impressive 50th.