Meeting DCBC During Freshers’ Week

Family Day, 2018
Family Day, 2018

If you’re coming to Downing this October, keep your eye out for DCBC during Freshers’ Week. We will be at the Downing Freshers Fair, so please come and talk to any of us if you have any questions or want to register your interest!

Unfortunately our taster day has already happened this year, but you can still get in touch with our LBCs to get involved. Join us on the taster day to have a go at rowing on our indoor rowing tank and to meet lots of members of the boat club!

In the meantime, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram, to keep up to date with what’s going on. We also have an Instagram, run by our LBCs, for more specific updates on our novice crews.

Why should you try rowing? 

Training Camp on the Cam, 2020
Training Camp on the Cam, 2020

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 most of this year’s committee). Rowing is an absolutely fantastic sport, incomparable to anything you will have tried before. Rowing isn’t all about the sport, but provides a great opportunity for socialising with both people across different years within downing, (both undergraduate and postgraduate) while also allowing you to get to know people in your own year better. Many of us find that we make our closest friends through the boat club. Here at DCBC, we have a bursting Social Calendar throughout the year. You can find out more about all the events that go on at DCBC here.

To provide some extra incentive, most of our training throughout the year is for racing in the Bumps, held twice a year. This is an exciting type of racing where the aim is to catch up with the boat in front of you and bump into them. This is unique to Cambridge and simply has to be experienced.

If you want to have fun, get fit, and 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! 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.

Want to Cox?

Find out more about coxing at DCBC here.

Already have rowing or coxing experience? 

If you’re already a keen rower or cox, please contact the Men’s Captain, Thomas Masding, at , or the Women’s Captain, Holly Thompson, at . If you have coxing experience and would like to know more about how to join our crews, please contact our Coxing Rep, Mireia Cabanes Calabuig, at . 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. To find out more about the Crews we field at DCBC, please click here.

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!

What should I expect If I Learn to row at DCBC?

To help you know what to expect from learning to row at DCBC, our Lower Boat’s Captains have designed a handbook containing information on what to expect from an outing, basic rowing technique, land training, racing, social events throughout the term, FAQs, and a glossary of rowing terms so you know the lingo!

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.

A Women's Senior-Novice Composite about to race in Cambridge Winter Head, 2018
A Women’s Senior-Novice Composite about to race in Cambridge Winter Head, 2018

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 with novicing in your first term being relatively relaxed and informal, the emphasis being very much on enjoying your time on the river and on our indoor rowing tank. 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. Circuits are held on a Thursday evening and is followed by dinner at Spoons. Halfway through term you’ll get the chance to race with the seniors in a composite crew, (four Novices and four Seniors in a boat) at the Cambridge Winter Head.

NM1, (Novice Men's 1st Boat) having just raced in Fairbairn's, 2019
NM1, (Novice Men’s 1st Boat) having just raced in Fairbairn’s, 2019

Towards the start of Michaelmas term, we hold a Fresher’s Formal and a Novice Drinks event, both of which are heavily subsidised. Other highlights of the novice term include a series of races. We start with Queens’ Ergs, a 500m relay sprint on a rowing machine, (an erg) against teams from other colleges. We then have Clare Novices’ Regatta and Emma Sprints, both side-by-side competitions for novice crews in a knockout style. Finally, we have Fairbairns’ right at the end of term, which is a time trial on the river, and the race most of your novice training goes towards. Senior crews also take part in the competition, and so is a great couple days of racing, bringing the entire club together. We celebrate the race, and the end of term, with our traditional Boat Club Dinner right at the end of term.

NW1, (Novice Women's 1st Boat) having just raced in Fairbairn's, 2019
NW1, (Novice Women’s 1st Boat) having just raced in Fairbairn’s, 2019

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. Most of our novices join in Michaelmas Term, as well as another novice drive in Easter Term.

If you have any questions about novicing at Downing, take a look at the Novice FAQs, the Handbook, or contact the LBCs, who will always be happy to help. More information about coxing can be found here.

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