My name is Georgina and I am a second year phys-natsci. I am excited to begin my year as DCBC’s women’s captain, taking over a very talented squad from Izzy. At school I tried a number of sports including running, ballet and rugby, but would never have described myself as sporty before now. When I started my course in October 2015, I decided I would like to start rowing. The initial appeal for me was that it would be nice to have a healthy, enjoyable distraction from the new academic challenge of university. And my novice term certainly didn’t disappoint! Within the first few weeks of learning to row, we were thrown into competitions such as Queens’ ergs, Clare Novices and Fairbairns, which just made us work harder to get better.
The winter training camp in Seville (the week before the beginning of Lent term) was a blur of rowing and blisters. Composite outings (W1, M1 and novices all jumbled up into mixed crews) were invaluable to me as a novice rower, letting me learn from the best in the club. When it was all over we were left exhausted, but also 10 times better rowers! It was all incredibly fun.
As crews were selected at the beginning of Lent term, I was lucky enough to find myself in W1. With just 6 weeks until Lent bumps, we immediately focused on our goal of bumping as many boats as possible. Wins in Winter Head-to-Head and Pembroke Regatta fuelled our drive for further success, and so when my first experience of bumps arrived, I felt nervously excited. We started 4th on the river, behind Christ’s, Emma and Jesus. Our first day saw Jesus bump Emma quickly, leaving us to chase Christ’s for what would have been an historic overbump to Head of the River. We put in a gutsy attempt and closed in on Christ’s, but ran out of river before we could catch them. We didn’t have to wait long for success, though, bumping Emma on day 2 and then Christs on day 3. We started the final day with just one thing between us and headship, Jesus W1. Although we gained on Jesus off the start, a crab halfway down the course brought our boat to a complete stop. Restarting our race, we put up a tough fight but it wasn’t to be. Jesus W1 had been strong competition all term and were well-deserving of the Headship, and unfortunately our mishap had cost us valuable seconds. Ultimately we were delighted to have gone up two places in the bumps charts and put in four gutsy races and celebrated at the fantastic boat club dinner on the Saturday evening.
After a rejuvenating Easter break, I returned to Cambridge knowing that we were going to have to up our game for May Bumps. With all of the super-human CUW ladies returning from their Boat Races, competition was more fierce than ever on the river. Fortunately we had the incredible Zara and Théa (stroke and 4-seat of the 2016 Blue boat respectively) back in W1, which gave us a huge boost in both morale and speed. However this did mean that seats in W1 were more difficult to earn for us mere mortals! After a few weeks of outings and erg tests I was honoured to again be chosen for W1, this time in the 7 seat.
Easter term in Cambridge means not only the rapid approach of exams, but also May Bumps sneaking up behind them! Hours in the library were balanced by dusky outings on the river, and soon enough, exam stress was over and bumps was upon us! Downing W1 had finished May Bumps 2015 as Head of the River, and so this year we started again in the top spot, our job being to stay out of trouble and row over the course each of the four days. We executed our plan to perfection and finished the week as we had started – with the headship. This elation carried us through an incredible weekend of boatie celebrations and we could all enjoy May Week knowing that our title was safe for another year!
My thoughts and focus are now on the next year of races and Bumps titles which there are for us to take and defend. I can’t wait to see what talent arrives with the new batch of freshers – my successor as women’s captain could very well be amongst them!