With the anticipated return of our Segreant’s Day this weekend, let’s have a quick look back and recap Lent Term before we get into our Easter Term! We were all very excited for the Lent Term, with the return of our annual Winter Training Camp, (this year on the Cam) the novices from last term moving up and integrating into our senior crews, some legacies to defend on the Women’s Side, and finally going back to the Head of the River Races! Please have a read of what our captains had to say about the term.
Women + NB Squad
Lent Term 2022 for DCBC kicked off with an on-Cam Training Camp in mid-January with around 50 participants and a number of alumni coaches. With two training sessions a day and evening social events, the club progressed both on the water and socially, with lots of crew, squad and club bonding. Welcoming last terms novices into the senior squads was especially exciting, and we made full use of the tank during the week for both novices and seniors alike, to try and gain that technical edge!
After a 10-day covid-related-hiatus following the camp, the club and the women’s squad bounced into full training for the term. The first test was Newnham Head on the 5th of February. W1 and a W2/3 composite competed and collected some strong results of 2nd and 7th in their respective divisions. A breezy race meant challenging conditions and set the tone for the term to come.
Just a week later, a very excited W1 headed to Bedford Head for their first ever off-Cam race! Spirits were very high throughout the day despite the worsening weather. A strong row saw the crew claim 4th place in their category, and 2nd Cambridge College by 7 seconds to Emmanuel.
The final race before bumps was the much anticipated Pembroke Regatta, a fun side-by-side knockout competition. However, Storm Eunice had other ideas. W3 got a bye in their first competition but narrowly lost to Caius in their second race, but the crew raced very well! It was at this point in the day though when the weather started to take a turn and the rain decided to unleash on our crews. W2 went out to beat Murray Edwards W2 in their first round with a strong victory over them! However, their competition of Peterhouse W2, and then Kings W2, both made the right decision to scratch due to the cold weather seriously afflicting their crew members. Although W2 had then secured themselves a place against Caius W2 in the semi finals, they made the decision not to progress any further with the race and row home as the weather was seriously affecting the health of the crew. The race organisers then finally decided to cancel the rest of the competition, so W1 did not race as planned. Overall, the club came together in an amazing way and both crews had a really fun day.
For W3, the getting-on-race for Lent Bumps unfortunately did not go their way with an enormous number of crews entered and competition for a limited number of spaces very high. However, the crew rowed a fantastic race and their enthusiasm and positive attitude throughout the whole term is something they should be proud of, and that I hope will continue into May Term.
The return of Bumps after 2 years of cancellations brought significant excitement to the squad, with only around 7 squad members having completed a bumps race before, the week was a first for many. Both W1 and W2 began the week in tough positions, with a Headship to defend and a legacy of blades to continue respectively. While W1 did not manage to stay Head of the River and W2 did not manage to match the results of previous years, the final results were a real testament to the squad’s resilience throughout the term. There were some tough moments both on and off the water and to remain in a strong position for future crews was a result the squad can be proud of.
For W1 the highlight of term was competing at the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race (WEHORR) on the 12th of March. Being the crews second off-cam race but first time on the Tideway, excitement levels made up for the lack of experience, and the crew finished in 88th place out of 264, placing 11th in the Challenge Academic Category.
Looking onwards to next term, W1 have already begun their campaign, ‘Big for BUCS,’ and are training hard to improve fitness and speed before competing at BUCS regatta in Nottingham on the 1st of May. After this the crew look to become, ‘Massive for Mays,’ and aspire to achieve blades, and bump into 2nd position on the river, for the majority of the crews first ever Mays Campaign.
Special thanks must go out to Ian Watson for coaching throughout term and taking the time to support us off-Cam, to Jeremy Boardman for hosting W1 pre-WEHORR (and for the excellent apple crumble), and to the coaches who have given their time during training camp and term to help the squad improve, it makes all the difference!
Emma Greer – Women’s Captain, 2021-22
Men + NB Squad
Despite the lack of Spanish sun on the training camp in January, we hit the ground running with an intense 7 days of rowing on the Cam coached by several very enthusiastic alumni. This was a fantastic introduction to the senior squad for those who learnt to row in the previous term, and a strong squad emerged with almost 30 members ready to take on the term.
Unfortunately, the high of training camp was short-lived, as multiple covid cases merged coming out of the week and we were forced to close down the club for 10 days, missing City’s winter Head-to-head in the process. As most people know, rowers can barely go 24 hours without training, so the 10 days proved difficult for some members of the squad, who went crawling back to town clubs to get their fix.
Despite the sub-ideal start of the term, morale stayed high and the 3 crews emerged ready to take on Newnham head with only a few days preparation. M1’s race started well, before being rudely interrupted by the headwind on the reach and the appearance of some rare crustaceans, leaving them in 5th place amongst Lent first division boats. M2 had a very similar race, and came 5th amongst the lower division crews. Despite only having a single outing in preparation for the race, M3 managed to get round *fairly* smoothly, and managed to avoid last place in the lower division crews.
The following weekend was an off-Cam race for M1, Bedford eights and fours head. This was the first race outside of Cambridge for most of the crew in the wake of the pandemic, and most of us were eager to sink our teeth into a new course. Unfortunately, I learnt the hard way that eating concrete is not performance enhancing, as I came face first off the bike into the pavement the day before. Thankfully, Dan stepped in as a very last minute sub, and the boys were able to put in a decent shift to come 3rd in their band, in a day out that was thoroughly enjoyed by them all.
All three crews then came back together for Pembroke regatta, dodging storm Eunice as best we could to get some preparation in. M3 were first up, with the forecast looking very generous compared to later in the day, but unfortunately it was too early for some members of the crew who failed to get up in time. The weather then took a turn for the worse, and after reaching the quarter final of their division, M2 bravely decided to scratch before hypothermia kicked in. Shortly after, the rest of the race was called off, and the first boat divisions were cancelled.
At the start of March came the race we’d been waiting 2 years for, the Lent Bumps. Sadly, after being plagued with yellow flags and questionable commitment, M3 put in a strong shift in the Getting on Race but were unable to get on. M2 were looking strong near the front of div 3, breaking clear of the crews behind, but couldn’t quite catch Magdalene M2 who managed to just about stay ahead and bump Queens’ M2 who came down from div 2. On the final day they were rewarded for their efforts with a tasty bump on Queens M2 at Ditton. M1 had a similar campaign, reaching a foot of overlap on FaT M1 multiple times on day 1 but suffering from performance anxiety they were unable to seal the deal. Day 2 was more or less a repeat of this, but a change of tactics on day 3 allowed our stroke Friedrich to open the taps on the reach and we ploughed into the fresh Empacher before the railway bridge, much to the delight of our new lucky charm, Gavin the Bursar.
The last remaining race of the term was the big boi for M1, the men’s eights Head of the River Race. Unfortunately, a certain member of W1 decided to try and sabotage our chances after Lents, and in the process injured our star rower Friedrich, who was unable to take part in the Head. Harry stepped up to stroke the crew, with Callum coming in from M2 into the 6 seat, and we managed to get *some* training in despite forgetting where the boathouse was for a week, much to Ian’s enjoyment. Thanks to the incredible hospitality of Bob’s parents, Rob and Sarah, we were very well-fuelled and itching to go at Son’s of the Thames on what was a fantastic race day morning. A pre-race speech from legend Leo Judd reminded us of the challenges of the tideway, and we set off into the carnage that is somehow called ‘marshalling’. We raced well for a crew with very little Tideway experience, and despite clashing with a buoy and multiple crews whilst overtaking, managed to finish a respectable 156th out of 283 finishers.
All in all the squad can be very proud of the results given what was once again a very covid and weather disrupted term. To have both crews in the Lents go up a net place was a very good result, and bodes well for the regatta season and May Bumps where hopefully we can get some covid-free rowing in. As always, special thanks must go to the numerous alumni that came down to coach us, and to Ian for his continued work to develop the squads despite having a fractured hand for most of the term. On to the next one!
Rian Howe – Men’s Captain, 2021-22
We are all very excited for Segreant’s day this weekend, hopefully with some race results to celebrate, a couple boat ceremonies to commence, and a boat club dinner unlike any other. Please check out our Race Calendar with more in depth reports of all the races from the term so far, and follow our Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with the club’s results!