If you’re coming to Downing this October, keep your eye out for DCBC during Freshers’ Week. We’ll be at the college Fresher’s Fair and will also be hosting our own event at the boathouse on Saturday 10th October. In the meantime, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with what’s going on.

Rowing is the quintessential Cambridge sport, so it would be practically criminal to come to Downing without giving it a go! Don’t worry if you’ve never rowed before, most of the club hadn’t when they came to Uni – and that’s including all of this year’s captains and our current University triallists! Rowing is an absolutely fantastic sport, incomparable to anything you will have tried before. And the Bumps, held twice a year, should provide extra incentive – this type of race is unique to Cambridge and simply has to be experienced. Yes, we’re all slightly biased, but once you’ve tried rowing you’ll soon see why everyone in the club is so hugely passionate about it.

If you’re already a keen rower or cox, please contact the Men’s Captain or the Women’s Captain, we would be delighted to welcome you into our senior squad. DCBC provides a fantastic opportunity for you to develop, taking advantage of the best equipment and coaching available in an enjoyable and rewarding atmosphere.

Many of our club members go on to represent Cambridge in the Boat Races, and some have even competed for Great Britain in the Olympics. One of the women’s 2015 1st Mays boat has actually just won a bronze medal for GB in the Under 23 World Championships! Whilst we may not all have the potential to become future Olympians, DCBC does offer you the opportunity to thrive at whatever level of rowing you want to pursue. We have superb training facilities and equipment, high-level coaching and a supportive and friendly club.

What ties the whole club together is how much we all enjoy it. DCBC has so much more to offer than just rowing, many of us find that we make our closest friends at University through the boat club. In the club you’ll get to know a mix of people studying different subjects, both undergraduate and postgraduate. DCBC has a brilliant social scene, holding various events throughout the year including Boat Club Dinners in the college hall and more informal meet-ups.

The 2014 first novice women’s boat after coming 3rd in the Fairbairn Cup.

So come and see what DCBC is all about! If you want to have fun, get fit and escape the library from time to time, rowing is for you. And if you happen to like competing, well, there’s no better place to row than at Downing!



A little bit more info about being a novice

The Lower Boats Captains (LBCs) will be the main point of contact for novices. They’ll organise weekly training, races and social events throughout the term, to give you a taste of what rowing is like and what DCBC has to offer. Rowing is probably incomparable to any sport you’ve done before, so you simply have to try it out.

Mixed senior-novice crews racing in the Winter Head.
Mixed senior-novice crews racing in the Winter Head, with thanks to Christopher Down for photography.

Absolutely anyone is welcome to try it out, whether you want to chase a place in the 1st boat or just have fun rowing with your friends. There are different levels of commitment within the club and novicing in your first term is relatively relaxed and informal, the emphasis being very much on enjoying your time on the river. In novice term, you’ll typically have a couple of outings a week, and will be welcome to join land training, including circuits with the whole club. Halfway through term you’ll get the chance to race with the seniors in a composite crew at the Cambridge Winter Head. Other highlights of the novice term include Queens’ Ergs, a 500m relay sprint on a rowing machine against teams from other colleges, Clare Novices, a regatta (knock-out) competition, and Fairbairn’s, a race and traditional Boat Club Dinner right at the end of term.

Whilst most of the new members will join the club in Michaelmas, the opportunity to learn to row is offered throughout the year and new members are always hugely welcome.

If you have any questions about novicing at Downing take a look at the Novice FAQs or contact the LBCs, who will always be happy to help.