I am very excited to announce the 2017/18 committee members, and have every confidence they will all do fantastic jobs with great enthusiasm. A massive thank you to 2016/17 president Charlie Nye for all he has done, and to the ongoing alumni network for their donations and support.
We sent out a boat naming appeal in autumn to rename M1’s uninspiringly-named ‘Sims VIII’ boat. Thanks to everyone who sent in suggestions. It’s obviously an important issue, and we were pleased to get some input from Selwyn’s top celebs, including Hugh Laurie, The Most Reverend John Sentamu, George Augustus Selwyn, and Usain Boat.
The most popular names were:
Owen Chadwick (x10)
Boaty McBoatFace (and variants thereof, x6)
Sel-win (and variants thereof, x5)
Felicity Webster (x2)
Donald Bump (x2)
There were dedications to:
Craig Peter Winfield
(Though I cannot guarantee these people didn’t nominate themselves…)
And the best of the rest were:
Does my bump look big in this?
The Unsinkable II
The Henley Fund will make the final call (so they’re the people to lobby…!). We’ll get the boat and board painted and announce the new name as soon as we can.
We’d like to give you a quick insight into senior rowing and everything that encompasses.
Firstly, congratulations you’ve completed novice term and made it through fairbairns! The good news is that the racing in lent and easter term is much more exciting. Bumps races will take place at the end of week 6, and this is your first taste of proper senior rowing races. The aim is to hit the boat in front of you before you’re caught by the boat behind. As you may have heard, M1 had an incredibly successful bumps campaign last year and we’re hoping that with the help of our new seniors, both the men’s and the women’s squads will match their success.
We also have many fun social events for you this term. As well as Boatie Curry and Boat Club Dinner, we have a swap with Kings BC to give ourselves a chance to get to know our fellow boathousers (I think I made up that word), and we will hopefully have some boat club bonding with a paintballing trip at the end of term.
Your captains, Maria and Harry (both legends), will be in touch soon about some fairly chilled trials to set boats for the term. See you next week.
SCBC assembled a strong crew for Qergs, with 5 Mays W1/M1 crew members and an assortment of strong up and coming crew members. Historically, results had been mixed,
so this year we went out with a point to prove. Hector started first, with a strong sub 1:30
split, followed by Charlie Cullen, former CULRC president, who pulled a blisteringly fast
1:25.3 to put SCBC well in contention. This was followed by our newest SCBC member,
Ellen, who also did a very fast time along with Aimee, to consolidate our position amongst
the rest of the competing teams. This was followed up by Women’s Captain Maria as well
as Jenny, both of whom are 2x Mays W1 rowers, who did 1:44.5 and 1:46.3 respectively.
The gauntlet was set then for Men’s Captain Harry and 3x Mays M1 rower and current
President Charlie Nye. Harry put the hammer down and smashed out 1:24.9, while Charlie
did an impressive 1:26.6. Overall, Selwyn finished 5th out of 12 in the rankings, much improving upon their result from last year.
(written by Ian Tillotson, Secretary of the HF and SE 92-96)
As part of kicking off the activities for SCBC and SCWBC for the coming academic year (2016/17) the annual meeting with the Selwyn College Permanent Henley Fund was held on Saturday 8th October. This is an annual meeting in college where the Committee from the Henley Fund meet with the lead officers of SCBC and SCWBC to go through plans for the year ahead. The Henley Fund is the alumni association for SCBC / SCWBC, with members contributing annual donations that are then held by the Fund and used in support of Selwyn rowing. A key action in this annual meeting is for the boat club to summarise and request funding support needed for the year – primarily to support provision of external coaching, of any major equipment purchase and also support for any planned training camp.
As well as attendees in College (the SCPHF Chairman – Steve Spencer, Treasurer – Brian Hornsby, Secretary – Ian Tillotson and committee members Fiona Morrison, Dave Barton, Emily Hopkinson) this year’s meeting was notable for including remote attendance via skype of Matthias Beestermoeller from Germany.
With the excitement of the boathouse build and opening now behind us and a number of attendees invigorated from the alumni outing earlier in the day, focus for the meeting was very much on the year ahead and continuing to build on the successful performance of the Men’s club last year and in supporting the Ladies’ club in building a successful campaign for the year. The discussion overall was very productive with key highlights being the potential for some new equipment purchase this year (watch this space for more updates), and also encouragement from the Henley Fund Committee of both clubs to participate in off Cam activities such as HORR, WHORR and also to consider qualification at Henley
Engagement with recent leavers from SCBC / SCWBC continues to be a focus area to ensure new contributors to the Fund are identified, enabling the Fund to continue providing the ongoing level of support to Selwyn rowing. The Committee left impressed with the plans and objectives for the year, and looks forward to continuing to engage with SCBC / SCWBC throughout the year.
With the new boathouse now in full operation, we interview our boatman Roland. Roland started his role in 2013. Like all Selwyn staff he is very supportive of our athletes, and his (often behind the scenes) work is an integral part of the working of our Club and boathouse.
SCBC: What made you apply to become the new boathouse manager?
Roland: I’d been running a business for twenty years and we needed a change. I’ve always been around the local rowing club, wherever I’ve been, and I had a lot of fun rowing at Fitz in the late seventies/ early eighties, oh and my wife wanted me out from under her feet.
SCBC: Your many roles and work is often behind the scenes. Could you tell us a bit about your role as boathouse manager?
Roland: There is space for near enough a hundred boats in the boathouse, I could spend all my time repairing rigger rash. I try to apportion my time fairly between the clubs, and I try to get a feel for what I can do to help the different clubs move forward, and have a thought for the lower boats, people who are new to the sport don’t know when something isn’t working right. Of course in the last year I have emptied out the workshop and store room and now replaced everything, and tried to keep a rowers eye on the new building. I don’t let myself be restricted by my job description, but there is only so much time in a day. I do try to keep coaches (and the master i/c rowing) sane, that’s certainly not in the description.
SCBC: Tell us about the new boathouse, especially your workshop? Any cool new tools?
Roland: Well there is room to put a boat, light, and ventilation, if not a lot of heat, so for most of the year it will be a good place to work on boats. We all hope the boathouse and the training room will encourage people to try rowing and become better at it, but the interesting question is how the new environment will affect the organisations, will we be stimulated or distracted?
SCBC: Are you a rower yourself? What is your Cambridge background?
Roland: I’m off to the Rhine Marathon for the seventh time in October, a fair way short of Chris Lloyd’s record, and sharp eyes might have noticed City 7 in the town bumps was a (not hugely successful) Billygoats crew. I was generally a steady rather than a spectacularly successful rower. I did row one year in the trial eights race, my being dumped immediately after was overshadowed by Richard Budgett being left out of the blue boat, but the Fitz crew (stroked by another CU reject) did get to the Saturday of Henley.
SCBC: When not fixing our boats, how do you spend your free time?
Roland: Last week we were exploring the upper reaches of the rivers of Norfolk in a canoe. My home is in Northumberland, my wife runs the cinema in Hexham. When I get back I don’t do a lot more than watch a film, see a Hexham debate and chill out.
SCBC: Why is Selwyn your favourite Club in the boathouse?
Roland: You can’t ask that! OK, it’s a love/hate thing. Generally Selwyn has the most charming people, and there’s a great feeling that getting out rowing is something to be enjoyed. I’m hoping for a change from, ‘we did the best we could under the circumstances’ to ‘we got our act together and nailed it’. Certainly the boys last term made that shift and were magnificent, but it’s one thing doing that for a crew, another to get the feeling throughout a club. Good at keeping boats clean, bad at shutting doors, you’re a conundrum, but always great fun to work with.
SCBC: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. We can’t wait for Michaelmas Term!
SCBC: Tell us about your SCBC past. How did you get into rowing and what are your favourite SCBC memories?
HARRY: My college dad was Tom Gibb, who I think was the Club Captain at the time. I’m pretty sure I had committed to novicing by the end family formal (shortly before we carried him back to his room). My 1st term as a senior garnered a spectacular set of Lents spoons in M3 – This was only partly redeemed by going up 3 into second division with M2 in Mays the same year, rowing the course 7 times and ending up only a dozen places behind M1.
From that point I rowed M2 for the rest of my time at SCBC (4 years in total!). In my final term I gave M1 my best shot, but seat racing through the locks put me in the 5th bow side seat and ended my SCBC blazer aspirations. Ironically, this was probably the best outcome for my rowing, as it gave me the motivation to keep rowing when I graduated!
SCBC: When you graduated, you continued rowing? How hard was the transition? What kept you going? Where are you rowing now?
HARRY: When I graduated I moved to Oxford to work in one of the Science Parks. Having decided that after 4 years of rowing I needed to get at least one vaguely notable result, I went down to City of Oxford Rowing Club (AKA CORC) that September. Without really knowing what I was doing I signed up to their ‘Tier 1’ squad, which aims to race at Henley Royal Regatta.
Transitioning from SCBC M2 to a squad that trains 4 days during the week and does a minimum 24k on the water both Saturday and Sunday was a pretty big step, as was a training season that lasts 9 months as opposed to three 8 week blocks.
The coaching was (and is) excellent (“I can only really coach the lowest common denominator, and right now that is you”) and 7 Months later when we beat 23 other crews to win IM3 4+s at Wallingford regatta, I guess some of it had stuck.
SCBC: This is your second year competing at the Henley Royal Regatta. What is special about Henley? Do you think Selwyn should continue it’s drive to qualify crews to the Regatta?
HARRY: It’s actually my 4th! And really, it is the chance to race at Henley that keeps my coming back – racing against the best club crews from around the world at probably the best organised rowing event in the world is fantastic. Having Pinsent umpire your first race with Redgrave in the starters tent is pretty cool as well!
For Selwyn, I think the HRR qualifying races are one of the best ways to see where your crew stands on the national stage. Even if you aren’t sure you will qualify, the chance to race down the historic HRR course is not to be missed!
SCBC: Tell us about your races this year? What are your goals for next season?
HARRY: We raced a lot this year – we did all the sweep tideway heads and put in a half decent 8s head performance (79th with a LOT of injuries – only down 14 places from the year before). It came together a bit better for regatta season with a win in the Open Club 4s event at Wallingford – 3 years on from my first win there! We were a second off a win at Nottingham City in IM1 4+ a couple of weeks later and after switching to the VIII we made the C final of the Championship 8s at Met Regatta – both notable achievements!
I’m the fittest I’ve ever been (2k PB a couple of months ago), next season we have a lot of returners and hopefully our good result at Henley this year will mean some good new comers – maybe a Friday next year?
SCBC: Any final words?
HARRY: Don’t be afraid to go down to your local club when you graduate! Rowing after university is great fun and who knows – we may end up on the Henley start line together!
SCBC: Thank you. We wish you all the best! Keep the Selwyn spirit high.
With nothing ahead of them, W1 were determined to settle in and make this a solid row-over to keep their place at the head of the division. However, we hadn’t bargained on such a strong Magdalene crew chasing us. Our start was strong and we quickly pulled away from Magdalene and gained some ground, but the chasing crew inched up behind us and had gained a whistle by First Post Corner. Cox Aleka called for a burst of power and we managed to gain a little space, but Magdalene closed the gap again through the gut, pushing up to two whistles by Grassy Corner and immediately following it with a surge which took them up to three whistles. Unfortunately our efforts couldn’t match the faster crew and we had to concede a bump on Plough Reach.
Catz had been bumped down by Magdalene the previous day and so we had our target in sight. Only a few strokes out of the start Selwyn W1 had already moved up to a whistle, only a length away from Catz. Spurred on by this, we took a power ten and gained another half a length in the Gut, and were on three whistles before Grassy Corner. The bump was in sight, and we sat on three whistles as we took the corner and came onto Plough Reach. A good line by the Catz cox spared them what would have otherwise been an assured bump. Unfortunately for Selwyn, Fitz W1 had been moving steadily up towards us as all this went on, and as we tried to chase Catz down and close those last few inches, Fitz put on a huge burst of power and got their bump in first, hitting us just by The Plough.
Determined to get our bump back, Selwyn W1 managed to get a whistle on Fitz almost straight out of the start, and held them there through the gut, though losing some ground on the straight between First Post and Grassy. Fitz weren’t going to go down easy, though, and pulled away by Grassy to close in on the boat ahead- however, when they bumped, they failed to clear, and were left sitting halfway across the river as Selwyn approached. Making a safety judgement, our cox Aleka called for us to easy. At this point, Trinity Hall bore down on us, their cox unable to see what had happened, only holding it up when Aleka raised her hand to stop them. While the umpires at the scene agreed that Fitz had caused an obstruction, the deputy chief umpire awared Tit Hall a “technical bump” against us- obviously deeply frustrating and disappointing for Selwyn, but the result was sadly not retracted despite our appeal.
The last day of Bumps saw us being chased by Homerton W1, a crew packed with CUW returners- not a prospect any of us felt very enthusiastic about! But we decided that if they were going to get us, we were at least going to make it hard for them. Sure enough, we pulled away from them with a powerful start and a high ten, gaining a whistle on Tit Hall, ahead of us. We managed to keep the gap open between us and Homerton past First Post corner, after which they managed to pull back up to station. Aleka made some excellent calls and Selwyn gave it their all, but Homerton steadily closed the distance between the two boats, ending it with a dramatic bump just past Grassy Corner.
On our first day we were all very excited but also nervous, as for some of us it was our first time rowing in bumps. Our nerves were exacerbated by the knowledge that we were being chased by Jesus. However with adrenalin and some really gutsy rowing, we managed to hold Jesus off, they were to close to getting a bump at grassy corner but we kept pushing off of them, until Ditton Corner where they managed to bump us. A very gutsy row from everyone and good coxing calls.
On day 2 we were ready and excited and determined to row a good race, however, we were being chased by St Edmunds W1, a very competent crew, and they bumped us very quickly, with a very quick start and very strong rowing. We were disappointed but knew we could not have put any more into the race.
We were ready and raring to go for day three of bumps. Whilst we were marshalling Pembroke’s coach pulled us aside and asked us to hold St Cats off for a few minutes, until Pembroke could bump St Cats, however this plan did not unfold. Pembroke were too slow off the start, and St Cats put in a solid, strong row, gaining on us quickly and bumping us by 1st post before Pembroke had chance to bump St Cats.
On our final day we were as determined as ever, although a little tired by this point, we were ready to put everything into our final row. We had a fast start, gaining slighting on Cats, getting our first and only whistle in our bumps campaign. However Pembroke carried on solidly gaining on us until they achieved a bump and brought an end to W2’s May Bumps 2016. Despite being awarded spoons, we all knew that we could not have rowed any harder, or put any more effort in and in that respect we were happy and proud of our performance.
M3 went into the first day of bumps full of enthusiasm for the week of bumps. For almost the entire boat, it was their first experience of the carnage that ensues on the river cam. A strong start meant they held FaT |V on station until past the railway bridge. Unfortunately, inexperience in the choppy water caused by ARU meant several crabs were caught and they we’re quickly bumped in the ensuing chaos. Despite this, the crew were happy with their first race and knew they had more to give for the remaining week!
A rousing team talk beforehand from our substitute cox, Lorenzo, rallied the crew together. Today was fly-in-order to avoid the sandwich boat position. Lessons were learnt from the day before and every member made a strong effort to square early and hold their bodies strong. Pembroke ||| were just that much faster though, and easily caught Selwyn ||| just before the railway bridge. Everyone knew they had given there all though, sometimes the crew chasing is just faster!
M3 today saw the return of their main cox, Oli, who loyally came straight from his last exam (smelling suspiciously of Cava). Unfortunately, they also lost Afnan, probably their strongest rower who had to whizz off the America for work. The plan was to try and hold on for the row over, being top of the division and hope Churchill ||| could quickly catch a faltering Queen’s |V, who had gone down the previous day. They started well, with Churchill gaining on Queens and Selwyn holding them on station past 1st post corner. Despite an excellent line taken by their returning cox around the corner, a lack of fitness and experience showed and they were bumped by Queens. An unfortunate day but nonetheless a solid row!
Well aware that they were on the verge of spooning, M3 approached the final day with trepidation. They knew Churchill were fast but could not catch Queens yesterday, so were quietly confident about there chances. However, perhaps from overall tiredness from the previous days racing and of course exams, they were quickly caught to 3 whistles after a slightly dodgy start. Oli called for a power 10, yelling at them to empty the tanks and leave nothing left. They held for a few seconds and nearly pulled away, but Churchill’s excellent fitness and mental discipline meant they were bumped just before first post corner. They had spooned, but not without dignity. There was clearly some excellent potential in their boat and they look forward to continuing rowing next year. Beers were shared round and they could start looking forward to BCD!