Captain of Boats Introduction – 2020/21


I’m Andreas, a final-year PhD student in Biological Anthropology and I’m excited to have been elected the new Captain of Boats for DCBC. My predecessor Anna and her committee did a terrific job under very difficult conditions, leading the club to a long-desired headship and through a period without any rowing that felt even longer. I will put all my energy into steering the club through a 2020/2021 season that will surely be full of surprises!

If have made my first steps into rowing before coming to Cambridge. Back in Germany, I ‘enjoyed’ a gruesome term full of painful outings in an 8x+ on a busy river with barely any coaching but very hurting hands. I made the decision that rowing was definitely not for me. In fact, when I arrived in Cambridge in 2016, I was looking forward to playing football, handball, maybe learning a new sport, but pigs would fly before I’d ever start rowing again.

Fast forward to today and, although the Cambridge skies are still primarily dominated by pigeons, I am taking over as Captain of Boats for one of the most intense and prestigious boat clubs on the river.

M2 Mays 2016
M2 Mays 2016

This is testament to the character of DCBC. I was overwhelmed by the openness, friendliness, and support I was greeted with when I joined for the Mays 2016 campaign. The outstanding coaching of our boatman Ian Watson and club legend Leo Judd who whipped me into shape in a record time to jump straight into M2 for my first Bumps, the community and crazy bunch of characters who dragged me in from day one – it is fascinating how differently clubs can be run both by the ones in charge and the members who constitute it.

Since then, I have experienced all the highs and lows that unique sport has to offer. From making my first bump in 2016 and stepping up into M1 the following year to winning races in and around Cambridge and winning Uni IVs on 2018. But also living through crushing defeats and probably the worst one when losing out on a Lents Headship due to a broken rudder…

M1 Lent 2020
M1 Lent 2020 (Photo Credit – Martin Bond)

This year, despite having had a rough start and a mildly disappointing Lents campaign, I had the honour to work with a tremendously motivated crew. Even though we had a number of guys leaving after last year, some very exciting talent took on the challenge to step up quicker than they probably expected. Each of them pulled their weight and I am proud about how far we got as crew. However, there is surely a lot we can learn from the Women who took their headship in the most exciting way possible! The men were looking forward to emulating that for a successful Mays campaign, especially with some outstanding rowers ready to return from their time at CUBC. Unfortunately, it looks like a global pandemic can even stop DCBC from getting into the action.

Through all this time, from my start as a Novice to the midst of a crisis, DCBC has proven itself to consist of the most inclusive and simply awesome bunch of people I ever met. My aim as Captain is to further strengthen and promote all that makes this club so unique to me and everyone in it.

M1 Lent 2017
M1 Lent 2017

Having been Tribal Chieftain, I know how important the social side to rowing and pushing yourself on the erg can be. Whether it’s an evening with the boys devouring our weight in food or celebrating the whole rowing year at Tribal BBQ. As Captain, it is my duty to make everyone enjoy their time at DCBC in all its facets. That way, people will leave knowing that they have formed friendships that can last a lifetime. It is, therefore, no surprise that DCBC enjoys the support of so many generous alumni, the Segreants, who make everything we do every day, and every success we can celebrate possible.

The year ahead is a, well, interesting one to say the least. With Corona still hovering above everything, we can only take it day by day and try to plan ahead as well as possible to make sure everyone is safe and has a great experience at the same time. This is a monumental task and I am honoured to be able to work with such an enthusiastic committee ready to tackle everything in our way. I have no doubt that DCBC will come out of this crisis stronger and more committed than ever, and I can’t wait to see our boats out on the water again. The Cam has been without magenta for far too long already…

M1 Lent 2019
M1 Lent 2019

Feroces ad mortem

Andreas Bedorf – Captain of Boats 2020/2021

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