Hello, I’m Kirsty and I am DCBC’s Women’s captain for the 2018-19 season. This will be my third year studying Natural Sciences at Downing and my third year as a member of DCBC.
I had wanted to take up rowing for a few years before I came to Cambridge but never had the time, so DCBC provided the perfect opportunity for me. I started rowing in Michaelmas of my first year, and as I was in one of the less sociable accommodations, joining the Boat Club was a great way for me to meet new people. I made some of my closest friends, not just in my own year group, during the first few weeks through rowing. The training sessions, along with numerous social activities, including the infamous Boat Club dinners, also provided a necessary break from the academic pressures of Cambridge life.
While I really enjoyed my first few weeks of rowing, the coordination aspect of it didn’t come so naturally and I found myself in the 3rd and 4th Women’s novice boats (out of 4) for the first part of Michaelmas term. However, with the coaching and encouragement of several students, alumnus coaches, and our Boatman, Ian Watson, I was able to improve significantly by the end of the term. The support and time that they dedicated, motivated me to push myself harder and I had made a huge progression by the end of an incredible training camp in Spain, securing myself a seat in W1 in my second term of rowing.
In my first Bumps, we came agonisingly close to the Lents headship, with overlap on the headship boat on the last day. Although we only had 2 days of Lent Bumps in 2018 due to the snow, we managed to regain 2nd on the river, putting us in prime position to hunt down Jesus this year. After bumping up once in Mays 2018, I hope that we can continue this upward trend and strengthen our reputation as one of the top women’s crews on the river.
Throughout my time at Downing, DCBC has consistently been considered one of the most successful college clubs in Cambridge. A large contribution to this is the quality of our lower boats. Over the past two years, our W2 have had huge successes, achieving blades for going up 6 places in Lent bumps of my first year, and climbing further up their division in every Bumps since. They have also won their category in several other races throughout the year and, with a more experienced crew returning for 2018/19, I am looking forward to seeing them continue their winning streak. We have several W3 rowers also keen to participate in Bumps this year, and I am confident that with the addition of the incoming freshers, this goal will be entirely possible.
I have been in W1 for almost 2 years now, and the opportunities that it has given me have been some of my most memorable at Downing. Being a member of DCBC has taken me out of Cambridge, to races such as the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race in London, the largest race for women’s rowing in the country, and also to Banyoles, Spain, for our winter training camp. I could not imagine my university experience without these memories and the friendships that I have made through the club, so would urge anyone at Downing or joining this year, to come and give rowing a try.
Kirsty Nangle – Women’s Captain 2018/19