Hi, I’m Aidan! I’m in my 2nd year studying Physical Natural Sciences at Downing and I’m the 2020/21 DCBC Men’s Captain. After coronavirus cut my first year at DCBC short, I’m excited to get back on the Cam and lead the Men’s Squad in October.
I had no rowing experience before joining DCBC. In school, I was a competitive swimmer, but the idea of trying something new attracted me in Freshers Week. I enjoyed the freshers day at the boat club and tubbing for the first time, and decided I’d give novice term a try. I loved every minute of my first term, enjoying both being able to learn something new and being part of the social side of the club. During this time, I benefited from the coaching from the LBCs and other senior rowers. It was a great introduction to rowing and the DCBC community as a whole.
The term came to a strong finish. I came 5th rowing for NM1 in Novice Fairbain’s, then had a brilliant time at my first boat club dinner. I left Cambridge at Christmas excited to continue with rowing in Lents.
Lent term started with the winter training camp in Cambridge. This was an intense week of training, but great fun and a useful introduction to senior rowing. I then went straight into my first Lents campaign, rowing for M2. In this term, my rowing improved leaps and bounds thanks to coaching and support from the club. I am particularly grateful for the help I received from the Segreants and Ian.
M2’s bumps campaign wasn’t the most successful, bumping down a division and earning our spoons. Despite this, I would say training and rowing in bumps was one of the highlights of my year, both in terms of the rowing itself and the good friends I made along the way. I felt incredibly proud at how far we had come as a crew and at how I had progressed over the term and I couldn’t wait for Mays.
Unfortunately, coronavirus struck and Mays never happened. In Easter term, very few students remained in Cambridge and the boathouse was closed. This didn’t stop DCBC though! Through lockdown, we continued to organise online socials and training. This demonstrated to me the spirit of the club, and our ability to persevere, even in difficult times.
In June there was a running alternative to May Bumps, with crews running 800m every day for 4 days. I was very proud to be part of our M1 crew that went from 4th to dethroning Caius from headship on the final day. It may not have been the headship we wanted, but it definitely showed the versatility and strength of the squad in adverse circumstances.
My predecessor as Men’s Captain, Seth, has done a fantastic job in leading the Men’s Squad in a very difficult year. The strength and number of novices continuing with the club into next year is a testament to his hard work. M3 were very successful in Lents, bumping up twice into the 3rd division, and I personally saw how far M2 came in their rowing over the term. I’m excited to see these crews continue to improve and see more success over the next year.
I’m sad to see quite a few leavers from the club this year including some strong members of M1. We will very much miss you in the squad in the coming year. I wish you all luck in the future and hope to welcome you all back later as alumni or returning trialists.
As it always seems at the minute, the future is uncertain and we do not yet know how rowing will look next year. Despite the circumstances, I am confident we will continue to grow in strength and spirit. There is a lot of talent, old and new, in the squad and I can’t wait to get back on the Cam and lead you all to success in the coming months.
Aidan Joyce – Men’s Captain 2020/21