The social side of the DCBC ranges from post-training chilling at Spoons or the Boathouse, to Black Tie Boat Club Dinners after racing, and Pimm’s and Punting in May week. The Beauty of the Boat club is that there’s always something going on. If you have any questions about socials at DCBC, please feel free to contact Loisa and Nathan, our Social Secretaries, at
Every term, there is at least one formal dinner, held in the hall, exclusively for the Boat Club. These are always a great chance for everyone to relax with fantastic food and even better company.
In Michaelmas, we hold the Freshers’ Formal to get to know everyone at the start of term. All Fresher’s interested in trying out rowing are invited to this at a greatly subsidised price. Also at a subsidised price, a few weeks after the Fresher’s Formal, a Novice drinks event is held, allowing novices to get to know each other and the senior squad better.
The Senior Squad also have a University IVs dinner in late October, and at the end of term, Fairbairn’s dinner is held after racing the for both Novices and Seniors. Towards the end of Lent term, after four days of Lent Bumps, we have the Lent Bumps dinner.
At the start of Easter Term, the Segreant’s dinner is held at the end of Segreant’s Day. Segreant’s day is an important day in the Boat Club calendar. Held in the sun of Easter Term, the college crews race the Head of the Cam in the morning, and then various alumni crews race in the afternoon. In the evening, everyone gathers for the Segreants dinner, celebrating the achievements of the Boat Club and thanking the Segreants for their continual support. The seating mixes up members old and new, so it’s a great chance to hear stories of the Boat Club from the past, and get to know some of our old members.
After exams, and at the end of the May Bumps, we have the May Bumps dinner. It’s the biggest dinner of them all, celebrating a year of rowing and the start of May Week.
Boat Club Social Societies
The Tribe and Camenae are the Men’s and Women’s Squad social societies respectively, and provide a large number of social events throughout the year. Lots of swaps are organised through these societies with other Boat Clubs. Swaps provide a way to people from other Boat Clubs, as well as getting to go out with members of your own squad.There are also a lot of informal meet-ups throughout the year, such as cocktails evenings, pub trips, and pizza nights.
Organised by the Tribe, a particular highlight of any rower’s calendar is Pimm’s on the Paddock (formerly the Tribal Barbecue), held during May week. This is the largest Garden Party in Cambridge and attracts over 1000 rowers, (and non-rowers!) coxes, and coaches from across the colleges. Expect an evening of Pimms, barbecue food, Ice cream, Doughnuts, boatie blazers, and the music of the Gypsy Kings. It’s definitely not to be missed! This event is followed by an after-party, organised by the Camenae.
Every year, before the start of Lent Term, we run a winter training camp. In previous years, it has been in Seville and Banyoles and is generously subsidised by our alumni. After a training camp in Banyoles in 2019, due to the pandemic, we have since held our training camps in Cambridge, making the most of the Cambridge Rowing Tank. In 2023 we will be on the Cam (more information to follow towards the end of Michaelmas term). Typically, the training camp in Banyoles takes place every two years. Please watch the video from the 2017 Training camp to Banyoles.
While it is obviously a great occasion to improve your rowing, the training camp brings the squad together. We always spend some time in mixed men’s and women’s crews, and make sure novices get the chance to row with seniors and really learn from them.
Aside from the organised events, many of our members find a lot of their closest friends within the club. Close bonds are made both within crews and within squads, and after spending a lot of time together on the water, we then choose to get together off it as well! In the madness of Cambridge life, having a community like the Boat Club to provide something different is really valuable.
This year, we’re looking forward to our 2023 Training Camp, (which will be happening again on the Cam). More details on this will come out later in Michaelmas term. This will be a fun week before the start of term, rowing in a variety of crews in our VIIIs, forming composites amongst the squads and the whole club, as well as plenty of opportunities to go out in smaller boats, such as singles and pairs, as well as lots of social activities in the evenings. We cannot wait!