The Social Side

Tribal BBQ 2015, photos courtesy of Nicholas Schulman
Tribal BBQ 2015, photos courtesy of Nicholas Schulman.

The social side of the DCBC ranges from chilled out post-training coffee to fully fledged Boat Club Dinners after racing – there’s nearly always something going on.

Every term there is at least one formal dinner, held in the hall, exclusively for the Boat Club. In Michaelmas, we hold the Freshers’ Formal to get to know everyone at the start of term. The University IVs dinner is in late October, and the Fairbairns dinner is held at the end of term. In Lent, we have the Lent Bumps dinner. And in Easter term, there is the Segreants dinner in April and the May Bumps dinner. These formals are always a great chance for everyone to relax with fantastic food, and the best way to celebrate a
term of rowing. The Segreants dinner is particularly special, with the Boat Club alumni out in force to make it an evening to remember.

The Camenae and the Tribe are the women’s and men’s Boat Club social societies respectively, and provide a great way to bring the squads together. Lots of swaps are organised through these societies with other boat clubs. Swaps provide a way to try other college’s formals and meet people from across the university, as well as getting to go out with your own crew. There are also a lot of informal meet-ups through the year, such as cocktails or pub evenings, film nights and meals. The senior squad is heavily involved in coaching novices, and new members are invited to take part in everything from day one – integrating the squads very quickly.

A particular highlight of any rower’s calendar is the Tribe Barbecue, held during May week. Held out on the Downing paddock, about 1000 rowers, coxes and coaches from across the colleges descend for an evening of Pimms, barbecue food, boatie blazers and the music of the Gypsy Kings. It’s definitely not to be missed!

The Tribal Chieftain in his blazer, photo by Nicholas Schulman.
The Tribal Chieftain in his blazer, photo by Nicholas Schulman.
Some of the club enjoying downtime during training camp.

Our training camp in Seville, generously subsidised by our alumni, is also a great occasion to bring 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. Getting to spend time in small boats is also really valuable, improving everyone’s rowing and meaning everyone gets to know each other better. There is also some time off to go and explore the city – a really enjoyable experience, soaking up the culture and the sangria in the sun!

Segreants 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 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.

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.