Hi! My name is Emma, and I am a third year Geographer at Downing.
I arrived at Cambridge with Sailing as my primary sport and a view to try a little bit of rowing on the side. This quickly changed to rowing with sailing on the side, and eventually just rowing. The spirit and friendliness of DCBC drew me in throughout my novice term as I rowed and raced in NW1 and then made the move into the senior squad for the Lent term of my first year. My first bumps campaign was completed in W2 in which we trained and raced with great success to eventually earn Blades.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the following Easter term was completed from home, but the club remained strong through numerous zoom circuit sessions and a successful virtual May Bumps campaign. I spent the summer looking forward to returning to rowing at DCBC, and also training for a month or so with the University at their Ely Boathouse. While a short return to our boat club in Michaelmas term of my second year boosted spirits and skills with training in quads, pairs, doubles and singles, it was not long before we were forced to complete another term from home, and away from rowing in Lent.
However, as in the previous lockdown, the club took to virtual regattas and cycling to keep up fitness levels and morale, even with an uncertain view of the coming term. Thankfully, Easter term 2021 was almost everything we had hoped for, despite the lack of May Bumps, a four-day side-by-side June Eights Regatta was a fantastic replacement, and it was amazing to see the Women’s Squad excel, with W2 earning their title of the Fastest Second Boat on the river, and W1 placing second overall to a strong Caius W1 crew. As a Lower Boat’s Captain last year (2020-21), the Novice Women were also close to my heart; finishing 2nd in their ‘NW1’ division and after an early loss to Lady Margaret, they successfully beat Christs NW1 on Day 2, to demonstrate their determination and ability to persevere.
Looking onwards to my final year and role as incoming Women’s Captain fills me with excitement and trepidation; with a W1 Lents Headship to defend and a very strong looking squad overall, I am sure we will continue to perform in races throughout the coming year. Due to COVID-19, it has been a long time since the women’s squad and DCBC overall have left the River Cam, and I would be very interested in fielding crews for Women’s Eights Head of the River Race and even Henley Women’s Regatta in 2022, alongside other, more local off-Cam races.
The club has achieved fantastic results and fostered a special feeling of determination and optimism during the pandemic, so with what we hope to be a full and busy year ahead of us, I know the club will grow and become stronger than ever before.