About MCBC

 

Welcome!

 

We are Magdalen College Boat Club - MCBC for short - and we are one of Oxford University's most successful college rowing clubs.

 

Oxford Rowing

 

Rowing at Oxford is an institution, with almost every college competing in unique 'bumps' races each year: a tradition dating back older than many colleges, and one that is both intensely competitive and incredibly fun. Unlike the time-trial 'head' races or side-by-side regattas that are commonly held around the country, bumps racing is essentially a huge four day long game of cat-and-mouse in eight-person boats - crews start in divisions a processional formation at the same time, and the objective is literally to bump the boat in front by touching its hull with yours each day. If you bump a boat, you stop racing and move to the side of the river: the next day you swap places with the crew that you bumped, and the whole thing starts again. If there are no more boats to bump, you are rowing at the Head of the River: a prestigious accolade marking you out as the fastest crew in the competition.

 

Oxford plays host to two of these bumps races each year - Torpids, at the end of the Hilary (spring) Term; and Summer VIIIs, in the middle of Trinity (Summer) Term. These are huge events, attracting large crowds from all over the university to watch the competition and sometimes carnage of the racing. Most training at college level is geared to putting eights out for these races, although Oxford colleges, including Magdalen, regularly attend external heads and regattas all over the UK.

 

Another historic part of rowing at Oxford are the Boat Races. Since its founding in 1829 the annual race between Oxford and Cambridge has become synonymous with sporting rivalry and extreme physical exertion. Rowed by the best rowers the entire university has to offer, the crews for this race are specially trained and could go toe-to-toe with any other university crew in the country, and almost always win. They are single-minded in their goal to row the 7km Putney-Mortlake course faster than the other crew, and undergo a gruelling nine month training and selection regime in their efforts to do so. Only the strongest rowers in the university get the honour of representing Oxford in the Boat Races, but it is not wholly unknown for people who start rowing at Oxford to end up in one of these boats with a few years of experience under their belts...

 

A Very Brief History of the Club

 

Magdalen College Boat Club (MCBC) has traditionally been one of the most successful Oxford boat clubs, with numerous accolades gained (including two Olympic Gold medals for Magdalen crews) over its 158 year history. Since our founding in 1859, we have seen countless wins at Henley Royal Regatta, fielded hundreds of rowers for the Boat Races, and maintained our status as one of the pre-eminent rowing colleges in Oxford.

 

The boat club held the Men's Head of the River between 2004 and 2007 at Summer Eights, and the Men’s 1st Torpid became Head of the River in the 2008 Torpids. Both boats have maintained a strong position at the top of the divisions since.

 

The Women’s 1st Torpid became Head of the River in 2010, retaining the title in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and reacquiring it in 2016.

 

Why row at Magdalen?

 

Why not? We have the history, with multiple headships and accolades to our name. We have the equipment, with a fleet of well-maintained, recently bought Empacher eights, fours and pairs that no other college can rival. We have the social life, with numerous events throughout term for the club. We have stash - because the acquiring of kit is close to any rower's heart - with easily the best leggings on the River Isis. All we need is you to row along with us!

 

Formal Attire

 

When rowers go out formally as a club, they are usually unmistakable - clad in college or university blazers. The term blazer originated with the red ‘blazers’ of the Lady Margaret Boat Club, the rowing club of St. John’s College, Cambridge. The Lady Margaret club jackets were called blazers because of their bright red cloth. In the mid 19th century, the cut and material of the jacket were designed to be worn in the boat during chilly morning outings. Nowadays however, blazers in different colours mark out which club or country you row or have rowed for, and become a mark of pride for each wearer. In addition to this, the blazer makes it easier for rowers to identify members of their old club, and meet up with old friends at regattas and events. Magdalen blazers are suitably blazing: red in colour, with dark blue piping.

 

What makes blazers so close to rowers’ hearts is the fact that they must be earned. In MCBC, only those rowers or coxes who have been picked for the 1st VIII in either Summer Eights or Torpids are allowed to wear the Magdalen blazer - a mark of prestige within the club and the college.

 

In addition to blazers, we present bow-ties, necklaces and bracelets to those members of the club who have earned them. These are to be worn with pride throughout your Oxford rowing career, and for many years after you have left. Men are presented with a black lily bow tie for competing in either M1 at Torpids, and M2 at Summer Eights. The coveted red lily bow tie is reserved for those who have competed in M1 at Summer Eights. Women are presented with a lily necklace for competing in W1 at either Torpids or Eights, and a lily bracelet for competing in W2 at Eights.

About MCBC

 

Welcome!

We are Magdalen College Boat Club - MCBC for short - and we are one of Oxford University's most successful college rowing clubs.

 

Oxford Rowing

 

Rowing at Oxford is an institution, with almost every college competing in unique 'bumps' races each year: a tradition dating back older than many colleges, and one that is both intensely competitive and incredibly fun. Unlike the time-trial 'head' races or side-by-side regattas that are commonly held around the country, bumps racing is essentially a huge four day long game of cat-and-mouse in eight-person boats - crews start in divisions a processional formation at the same time, and the objective is literally to bump the boat in front by touching its hull with yours each day. If you bump a boat, you stop racing and move to the side of the river: the next day you swap places with the crew that you bumped, and the whole thing starts again. If there are no more boats to bump, you are rowing at the Head of the River: a prestigious accolade marking you out as the fastest crew in the competition.

 

Oxford plays host to two of these bumps races each year - Torpids, at the end of the Hilary (spring) Term; and Summer VIIIs, in the middle of Trinity (Summer) Term. These are huge events, attracting large crowds from all over the university to watch the competition and sometimes carnage of the racing. Most training at college level is geared to putting eights out for these races, although Oxford colleges, including Magdalen, regularly attend external heads and regattas all over the UK.

 

Another historic part of rowing at Oxford are the Boat Races. Since its founding in 1829 the annual race between Oxford and Cambridge has become synonymous with sporting rivalry and extreme physical exertion. Rowed by the best rowers the entire university has to offer, the crews for this race are specially trained and could go toe-to-toe with any other university crew in the country, and almost always win. They are single-minded in their goal to row the 7km Putney-Mortlake course faster than the other crew, and undergo a gruelling nine month training and selection regime in their efforts to do so. Only the strongest rowers in the university get the honour of representing Oxford in the Boat Races, but it is not wholly unknown for people who start rowing at Oxford to end up in one of these boats with a few years of experience under their belts...

 

A Very Brief History of the Club

 

Magdalen College Boat Club (MCBC) has traditionally been one of the most successful Oxford boat clubs, with numerous accolades gained (including two Olympic Gold medals for Magdalen crews) over its 158 year history. Since our founding in 1859, we have seen countless wins at Henley Royal Regatta, fielded hundreds of rowers for the Boat Races, and maintained our status as one of the pre-eminent rowing colleges in Oxford.

 

The boat club held the Men's Head of the River between 2004 and 2007 at Summer Eights, and the Men’s 1st Torpid became Head of the River in the 2008 Torpids. Both boats have maintained a strong position at the top of the divisions since.

 

The Women’s 1st Torpid became Head of the River in 2010, retaining the title in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and reacquiring it in 2016.

 

Why row at Magdalen?

 

Why not? We have the history, with multiple headships and accolades to our name. We have the equipment, with a fleet of well-maintained, recently bought Empacher eights, fours and pairs that no other college can rival. We have the social life, with numerous events throughout term for the club. We have stash - because the acquiring of kit is close to any rower's heart - with easily the best leggings on the River Isis. All we need is you to row along with us!

 

Formal Attire

 

When rowers go out formally as a club, they are usually unmistakable - clad in college or university blazers. The term blazer originated with the red ‘blazers’ of the Lady Margaret Boat Club, the rowing club of St. John’s College, Cambridge. The Lady Margaret club jackets were called blazers because of their bright red cloth. In the mid 19th century, the cut and material of the jacket were designed to be worn in the boat during chilly morning outings. Nowadays however, blazers in different colours mark out which club or country you row or have rowed for, and become a mark of pride for each wearer. In addition to this, the blazer makes it easier for rowers to identify members of their old club, and meet up with old friends at regattas and events. Magdalen blazers are suitably blazing: red in colour, with dark blue piping.

 

What makes blazers so close to rowers’ hearts is the fact that they must be earned. In MCBC, only those rowers or coxes who have been picked for the 1st VIII in either Summer Eights or Torpids are allowed to wear the Magdalen blazer - a mark of prestige within the club and the college.

 

In addition to blazers, we present bow-ties, necklaces and bracelets to those members of the club who have earned them. These are to be worn with pride throughout your Oxford rowing career, and for many years after you have left. Men are presented with a black lily bow tie for competing in either M1 at Torpids, and M2 at Summer Eights. The coveted red lily bow tie is reserved for those who have competed in M1 at Summer Eights. Women are presented with a lily necklace for competing in W1 at either Torpids or Eights, and a lily bracelet for competing in W2 at Eights.