For those learning to row at Downing, our Lower Boats’ Captains (LBCs) are the first port of call. Although the whole club lends a hand with coaching and teaching novices the basics, it is our LBCs who take the lead in organising novice training and our fresher events at the start of Michaelmas term. This year we have a team of four friendly and enthusiastic LBCs who are keen to welcome our novice cohort. If you’re thinking about learning to row with DCBC (whether you’re an undergrad or postgrad, already a keen sportsperson or looking for a new hobby), don’t hesitate to drop them an email at .
Jenny, Biology PhD student
Arriving as a Downing postgrad fresher last year, I knew I wanted to try out rowing for the first time. My decision to join the Boat Club has undoubtedly been the best I have made so far in Cambridge. I was immediately welcomed into the boatie world with open arms and before long (honestly about 10 minutes) I was hooked.
My first taste of competitive rowing came in Michaelmas in Clare Novices. Like many I was initially very nervous of racing, but this was quickly eradicated by the determination I felt lining up next to Wolfson. After a shaky start, where we actually came to a standstill because of a crab (you’ll find out soon), we had only 800m to catch them. I will never forget the elation I felt when we not only caught them, but flew past them to win the race by a huge margin.
I have experienced countless races since this first one, some good, some bad, but there have always been two constants. Firstly, I do not have a memory of a race which does not include the screams of support from fellow Downing members, cycling alongside in a black and magenta blur. Secondly, the bonds that are formed with your crew mates in a boat during a race is something that is indescribable. I have made some of my closest friendships at Cambridge in the Boat Club. As a postgrad I have really enjoyed getting to know the undergraduate side of Downing, a whole world I would not be part of if it were not for the Boat Club!
From sitting on the starting line of bumps, to rowing in the sun in the Seville, to embarrassing myself by belting out the boatie song at numerous dinners, I have loved every second of being part of the DCBC family. I am proud to be an LBC for Downing this year, and hope to pass on the wisdom I gained from my excellent coaching, to the fresh faces of 2016!
Stephen, 2nd year Engineer
I had never considered trying coxing before arriving at Downing but giving it a go was one of the best decisions I made last year. Last year I experienced all the highs and lows that Cambridge rowing can offer, from getting spoons with M2 in Lent Bumps to winning the headship with W1 at the end of the year. This year I hope to secure my seat in a top crew and help introduce new members to the boat club in my roles as Lower Boats’ Captain and Coxing Representative. Rowing is a great way to meet new people and socialise, so whatever level of commitment you’re looking for, I think everyone should definitely consider joining DCBC.
Alex, 3rd year Phys NatSci
I never thought rowing would be for me until I joined DCBC. The enthusiasm of the training, quality of the facilities and family atmosphere had me sold! I only took up rowing in my second year and now wish that I had started rowing from day one! I am taking over as one of the LBCs this year and will be heavily involved in the rowing life of all new members, from training to social events. Starting rowing was thoroughly enjoyable throughout Michaelmas term as a novice, leading right through to the training camp in Seville which was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on! I’d recommend that everyone give rowing a go, it’s definitely the best way I have found to balance out the Cambridge working life.
Katherine, 2nd year Veterinary student
Before I came to Downing I had never taken part in any competitive sport but saw rowing as the perfect opportunity to give it a try! With all the wonderful support and encouragement from the whole club last year, I found myself going from a complete novice in Michaelmas, to the bow-seat of W1 in Lent! Then the highlight of Easter term for me was making an unexpected bump on the first day of May Bumps with W2 and getting to row back to the boathouse with branches in my hair! This year as a Lower Boats’ Captain I look forward to encouraging everyone to get involved in this rewarding aspect of college life and welcoming the novices into our huge rowing family.