History

Selwyn College Boat Club was founded alongside the college during the year of 1882, first participating in college bumps during 1883.

“The oarsman is merged in the crew … If glory be gained, it is shared by all equally and cannot be appropriated’

A.P. McEldowney

Selwyn is the only college that has ever been founded in the memory of a Rowing Blue. George Augustus Selwyn, Bishop of New Zealand and Cambridge alumnus, rowed in the very first Boat Race in 1829.


During 1933, William George Ranald Mundell Laurie (Ran Laurie) started at Selwyn having rowed at school and with Leander Club. As well as rowing for the SCBC 1st VIII, Ran rowed in the CUBC Blue Boat three times, and went on to win an Olympic Gold in the coxless pair for Great Britain in 1948.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Hugh Laurie also rowed whilst at Selwyn. Coming in already having represented Great Britain at the Junior World Rowing Championships and domestically been runner up in the Silver Goblets at Henley Royal Regatta, Hugh rowed both for SCBC and once for CUBC in the boat race. It was only after illness stopped Hugh’s rowing career that he turned to drama, for which he is now well known.

Another Olympic Gold medalist came in the form of Richard Budgett, having started rowing at Radley College. Denied the opportunity to race against Oxford for unknown reasons (his talent was undeniable), Richard won his gold in the coxed fours at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and is now Chief Medical Officer for the 2012 London Olympics (as of 2009).


Selwyn College men, women, and lightweights have continued to represent at university level and aim to continue doing so in the years to come.


For a more complete history of the boat club, please have a look at this free ebook, written by Selwyn alumnus A.P. McEldowney