The Segreants Club

The Segreants Club was founded in 1996 as the successor club to the DCBC Old Members Association, and in 2008 the club merged with the Boat House Centenary Trust to form the Segreants Trust. The trust has established a board which is responsible for fundraising on its behalf. The Segreants has grown rapidly and now has over 250 supporters ranging from 1930s matriculants to the most recent graduates.

The Segreants has four main aims:

  1. To hold social events for those with an interest in Downing rowing.
  2. To produce a newsletter (The Magenta Messenger) to keep members informed of the Boat Club’s progress.
  3. To financially support the Boat Club.
  4. To allow members to row as members of the Segreants.
The 1985 Women’s VIII

Social Events…

The highlight of the Segreants calendar is the annual Race and Dinner held on the first Saturday of Easter Term. All Boat Club members are welcome to attend, whether they rowed once in the summer Rugby boat, or devoted every morning to first boat training. This well-attended event offers an opportunity to establish links between past and present Boat Club members, or simply reunite long-lost friends.

In the morning the current college crews race Head of the Cam, and then various Segreants boats race in the afternoon, usually with excellent results. After racing, there is an informal reception in the boathouse. The Segreants dinner is held in the hall in the evening, the biggest dinner of the year with alumni and current students all attending, which makes for a fantastic evening.

Segreants Regatta and Dinner 2019

The next Segreants’ Day will be on Saturday 27th April, 2019. Racing for alumni crews will occur around lunchtime.  Please email the Captain of Boats, Stephen Harris for further details.

The 1985 Henley crew reunited at Segs Day 2015.
The 1985 Henley crew reunited at Segs Day 2015.

Keeping alumni updated…

The Segreants Trust sends out an annual newsletter (The Magenta Messenger) each Autumn. This includes a summary of the year’s events and reports from the departing Captains. In addition, it highlights any important dates for the coming year. Please contact Mike Whetnall, Secretary to the Segreants Board, if you have any questions or input for the Messenger.

In addition to this, the club has an email list to which we regularly send out updates including crew lists, progress reports and daily Bumps reports. If you would like to be added to this, please email Stephen Harris, the Captain of Boats.

Supporting current student members…

The Segreants can often ensure that capital projects, sometimes out of the reach of the Club, can be funded, providing immediate benefit to the Boat Club.

In 2017, the astonishing generosity of the Segreants funded the purchase of a truly world-class VIII+ for Downing M1, named after DCBC alumnus Leo Judd.  This support propelled M1 up the May Bumps chart.

Downing alumnae raise funds for new W1 boat.


Following a call to arms among former women members of DCWBC and DCBC, funds were raised for a new VIII for W1 within a matter of weeks during the autumn of 2017. The boat was delivered at the start of 2018 in time for training for the Lents. The boat was named in honour of Rachel Penny (née Pearce, 1986) on Segreants’ Day on Saturday, 21 April 2018. Rachel carried W1 to bump up to 2nd on the river in the Lents and up to 4th in the Mays.

Plans are also underway to enter a women’s Segreants crew in the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston in October 2018.

For more information about this and other fundraising plans in support of women’s rowing at Downing, please contact Captain of Boats Stephen Harris at

It is intended that in the coming years the Segreants will increase the financial support it offers to DCBC and in doing so support the club in returning both the men  and women to the Lents and Mays Headships.

The 2015 W1 crew celebrating their Mays Headship.

Rowing for the Segreants…

In recent years past members have re-discovered the enjoyment of rowing and the Segreants often enter a crew into the Fairbairns competition in Michaelmas term and the Head of the Cam in the May term. If you are interested in racing for the Segreants at any time, please email Mike, and see the current updates for information regarding this year’s racing. This year the Segreants entered 2 crews at the Head of the Charles race. The video from the trip can be watched below.


If you wish to support the work the Segreants Trust does, attend any of the events or have any other queries please contact Mike, Secretary of the Segreants Club or Stephen Harris, the current Captain of Boats.

The Segreants make their racing debut at the 50th Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, October 2014.