Levelling the Boathouse

After the date for work to begin on the boathouse was pushed back yet again this Easter term just gone, we were starting to wonder if it would ever start at all- if it had all been an elaborate ruse to distract us, or something. We had moved our boats to racks on the grass outside at the very beginning of the term, expecting bulldozers and cranes to move in the next week, but six weeks passed without event. Then came Bumps Week. Some boat clubs might have struggled in response to having their electricity suddenly turned off in the middle of Bumps, but not SCBC- we powered through, and sure enough work on the boathouse had begun.

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New racking arrangements

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“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”

The site was levelled at the beginning of the summer, and construction fencing built around the place where the Combined Boathouses once stood. Work has been gradual but constant- the old building torn down and the rubble removed, the site flattened, plumbing plumbed (yes, my technical knowledge of construction has no bounds). A couple of weeks ago I was greeted at the boathouse by a cheerful Roland- ‘We have water now!’

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The remains of the boathouse

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A week later, the rubble has been cleared

If everything goes to plan, we’ll have a new, shiny boathouse ready for use by the end of next Easter, complete with a shared erg room, college May Rooms, showers and changing rooms and a kitchenette for making that essential hot cuppa post-February-outing. Our last Mays campaign was rowed from racks on the grass and oars stacked in a metal storage container without much grief, but winter will be a very different situation; one of our main challenges will be to keep everyone (in particular, novices) motivated after outings in cold and rain when we can’t retreat to a warm May Room afterwards. That said, the difficulties we might have in rowing without a boathouse for one year are made worth it by the prospect of a fantastic new boathouse that Selwynites will be able to enjoy in years to come.

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The 2015 Newton Women’s Boat Race: SCBC’s Hannah Evans reports about her experience

In April this year the Newton Women’s Boat race was held on the Tideway for the first time, and I was privileged to be part of it. However the road to racing on the Thames did not start this year, the move to the Tideway has been known since 2012 and since then Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club has been preparing for the race.

BoatRace

I came to Cambridge in September 2013 before my course here started to being training with CUWBC, it already was clear that the club was making preparations for racing on the Tideway despite the races being held in Henley that year. Throughout the 2013/14 season we went to London to race and train on the Tideway. At first, I found it very intimidating as the river there is very different compared to anywhere I had trained. However, the more we trained on the Tideway the more comfortable I became. At the end of the season, I competed in the Blondie-Osiris Boat Race losing by half a length. Despite this disappointment, I knew that I wanted to be in another boat race because overall the year had been a lot of fun. Last September with a brand new squad, we saw a various changes to prepare us for racing on the Tideway; 5km weekend pieces at Ely became the norm, there were a greater number of visits to the Tideway to train and multiple sessions watching past Boat Race videos. We also saw the change in our land training sessions, 5km erg tests rather than 2km, and I can promise you a 5km is defiantly worse! Not only had the training changed this year so had the interest from the media and the sponsors to make raise awareness of the race, it made the process more exciting but throughout it all the focus was on the training rather than the excitement of the first women’s race on the Tideway. For me it was a very challenging year, more so than my first year trialing, however when the crews were finalised I had made the Blue Boat.

The most concentrated media attention we had before race day was at the weigh-in which was held just over a month before the race. This marked the official announcement of the Boat Race crews. The event was held in the Royal Academy in London and was probably one on the most bizarre days my year. Standing on a set of scales in a uni-suit in front of many members of the press, whilst Claire Balding read your name and weight was a very surreal experience.

When the race came, although it was the first on the Tideway, it did not feel like we were doing something new or different. It was the course we had trained for all year and the race we were ready for.

We moved to London a week and a half before the race to begin final preparations. The time we spent as a crew in London was some of the most enjoyable of the whole year, being able to really focus on rowing close to the race and come together even more as a crew.

I do not remember much of the race itself, and it was over surprisingly quickly. Before the race I had expected to be aware of the flotilla following us and thought the noise of the crowds would be very distracting, however I noticed neither during the race. Despite losing I know we did our best that day, I can look back on the race and the year proud to have been part of that crew and the squad.

Throughout the year we were often asked ‘What does the boat race mean to you? What does it mean that the women will be on the Tideway too?’ I think the answers I gave were probably always a bit disappointing, I had not really thought that much about the impact the race could have on women’s sport but now feel we are yet to see the full effect it could have. I feel very privileged to have been part of the first race on the Tideway and I look forward to seeing many more Cambridge crews race down that course.

Throughout the process the college has been very supportive, particularly the Master Roger Mosey. Research for my degree has taken me away from Cambridge this term so I cannot race in Mays, which I shall be sad to miss. I had a lot of fun racing with the college last year and I wish them every success this year.

The 2015 Newton Women’s Boat Race: SCBC’s Hannah Evans reports about her experience

In April this year the Newton Women’s Boat race was held on the Tideway for the first time, and I was privileged to be part of it. However the road to racing on the Thames did not start this year, the move to the Tideway has been known since 2012 and since then Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club has been preparing for the race.

BoatRace

I came to Cambridge in September 2013 before my course here started to being training with CUWBC, it already was clear that the club was making preparations for racing on the Tideway despite the races being held in Henley that year. Throughout the 2013/14 season we went to London to race and train on the Tideway. At first, I found it very intimidating as the river there is very different compared to anywhere I had trained. However, the more we trained on the Tideway the more comfortable I became. At the end of the season, I competed in the Blondie-Osiris Boat Race losing by half a length. Despite this disappointment, I knew that I wanted to be in another boat race because overall the year had been a lot of fun. Last September with a brand new squad, we saw a various changes to prepare us for racing on the Tideway; 5km weekend pieces at Ely became the norm, there were a greater number of visits to the Tideway to train and multiple sessions watching past Boat Race videos. We also saw the change in our land training sessions, 5km erg tests rather than 2km, and I can promise you a 5km is defiantly worse! Not only had the training changed this year so had the interest from the media and the sponsors to make raise awareness of the race, it made the process more exciting but throughout it all the focus was on the training rather than the excitement of the first women’s race on the Tideway. For me it was a very challenging year, more so than my first year trialing, however when the crews were finalised I had made the Blue Boat.

The most concentrated media attention we had before race day was at the weigh-in which was held just over a month before the race. This marked the official announcement of the Boat Race crews. The event was held in the Royal Academy in London and was probably one on the most bizarre days my year. Standing on a set of scales in a uni-suit in front of many members of the press, whilst Claire Balding read your name and weight was a very surreal experience.

When the race came, although it was the first on the Tideway, it did not feel like we were doing something new or different. It was the course we had trained for all year and the race we were ready for.

We moved to London a week and a half before the race to begin final preparations. The time we spent as a crew in London was some of the most enjoyable of the whole year, being able to really focus on rowing close to the race and come together even more as a crew.

I do not remember much of the race itself, and it was over surprisingly quickly. Before the race I had expected to be aware of the flotilla following us and thought the noise of the crowds would be very distracting, however I noticed neither during the race. Despite losing I know we did our best that day, I can look back on the race and the year proud to have been part of that crew and the squad.

Throughout the year we were often asked ‘What does the boat race mean to you? What does it mean that the women will be on the Tideway too?’ I think the answers I gave were probably always a bit disappointing, I had not really thought that much about the impact the race could have on women’s sport but now feel we are yet to see the full effect it could have. I feel very privileged to have been part of the first race on the Tideway and I look forward to seeing many more Cambridge crews race down that course.

Throughout the process the college has been very supportive, particularly the Master Roger Mosey. Research for my degree has taken me away from Cambridge this term so I cannot race in Mays, which I shall be sad to miss. I had a lot of fun racing with the college last year and I wish them every success this year.

SCBC May Campaign 2015: Gothenburg Training Camp

This Easter the SCBC men’s squad left Cambridge and headed to Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, for a training camp on the Rådasjön lake. We stayed at Mölndalls Roddklubb, sleeping on the floor of their well-appointed boathouse and using their fleet of boats for our outings. The weather was a little windier than we are used to from the Cam but once it had settled down we were able to use the large lake to get in some good continuous rowing without interruption from other crews or corners.

The Rådasjön lake, just southwest of Gothenburg.
The Rådasjön lake, just southwest of Gothenburg.

We had a team of eleven rowers of varying experience attending the camp, so this was a useful opportunity for knowledge exchange in an environment without other commitments to take our focus away from rowing. The time spent in the gym working on our power curves on the ergos was very useful and should contribute to making our boats more effective this Easter term, and was simply time that we’d not have been able to find together in Cambridge.

Erging for one.
Erging for one.

On our last full day we joined in with our host club’s circuit training session, only realising that it was two and a half hours long after agreeing to it! It was an interesting event with a lot of energy in the room leading to a real mania coursing through the end of the session, which helped us all push along.

Overall it was a very useful camp to go on, providing a great opportunity to think more about what we’re trying to do in the boat and get closer towards that aim, as well as improve our fitness and strength in the gym. Of course, this would not have been possible without the assistance of the Henley Fund, whose support is greatly appreciated. Hopefully our efforts on the camp will translate into some pleasing results for SCBC this June.

Back at Stansted and better at rowing, if somewhat dirtier.
Back at Stansted and better at rowing, if somewhat dirtier.

M1 at the Winter Head to Head

M1 raced the CRC Winter Head to Head at the end of January, completing the first leg in 7.05, and the second in 7.34.

Here’s a video from the cox’s seat:

Cox – Peter Mooney

Stroke – Nigel Coburn

7 – David Broder-Rodgers

6 – Rob Galbenu

5 – Ed Lewis

4 – Nick Jones

3 – Marcos Gallego

2 – James Perry

Bow – Peter Wilkinson

Coach – Reana Maier

May Bumps – day 4

Hi everyone,

Here’s a very brief round-up of today’s Bumps ahead of BCD. More details and proper race reports to follow tomorrow!

M1 – bumped Trinity Hall on Plough Reach

W1 – bumped by Churchill at Ditton

M2- bumped by Emmanuel II at the Railings

W2 – bumped by Murray Edwards II at the Pink House

M3 – bumped Wolfson II at First Post

W3 – bumped by Kings III at the Railings

M4 – rowed over head of Div 6/tail of Div 5

May Bumps 2013 – Day Two

Another eventful day on the Cam, with exactly the same overall results as the first day for S.C.B.C.

The day started with the Hermes M4 boat restored to their sandwich boat position at the head of Division 6 thanks to a scratch from F.a.T. V higher up in Div. 5. A strong row over at head was followed by an impressive long-haul bump on Homerton III, which took from the Lock until Ditton. The Hermes boys will be hoping to continue their ascent today. The Pimm’s boat gave a much better showing of themselves on Day 2, gaining one whistle on Clare III, who had had the advantage of W3’s crash yesterday. Sadly, Emmanuel IV, who had overbumped the day before, were steadily pressing up on Selwyn, and despite some sturdy resistence from the girls, got the bump.

M3 were also looking to make up for a disappointing first day, hoping to hold off St Cat’s III for the course. Despite some pre-cannon drama ahead of us, with Wolfson II losing a gate on the row-up (they got it fixed in time, but still only held Jesus halfway down First Post reach), M3 had a much calmer and stronger start than yesterday, and settled into a good race rhythm. Cat’s began creeping up and though M3 held it together strongly, and made them fight all the way to the Gut, they were just unable to muster that extra 10% to start pushing away. Day 3 will see them attempt to learn from this with Christ’s III (their fellows’ boat) behind.

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M3 Row Home. (c) L. Santinelli

After Day 1’s disappointement, W2 were looking for a strong performance to give themselves another shot at Pembroke, whom they had nearly bumped on the first day. With a strong Girton II crew pushing from behind, W2 started well and a massive crab from St Cat’s ahead gave them hope of a revenge bump. Sadly, Girton gave it everything and managed to catch the girls just before they could hit Cat’s, who were parked on the bank. The resulting clearing led to Cat’s being trapped and granted a technical row-over, allowing Magdalene II to power through and get an unconventional ‘Overbump and A Half’ on Pembroke III, with the three crews between them out of action.

M2 knew that Darwin I would be more of a challenge than F.a.T. III had been, especially with a catchable Clare II ahead of them. A strong start saw them stay on station with Darwin and maintain that all the way through to the Railway bridge, where Darwin finally ground down Clare for the bump. A strong row-over for M2 though and high hopes for chasing Clare on Day 3. Meanwhile, F.a.T. behind them were bumped by Cat’s and caused a re-row of the entire division below 6th.

In the 2nd division, M1 continued their climb with a powerful bump on Robinson, who had given Peterhouse a long race the day before. Selwyn looked to finish the job early though, and a few strong shunts in the Gut, combined with some erratic steering from ‘Binson saw them get the bump just before Grassy. W1 had a similar fly or die attitude in their race, pushing well up into Girton, as Peterhouse pressed hard behind. With Selwyn hovering less than half a length off Girton’s stern, Peterhouse put in a push to finish it off though, and got the bump.

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M1 after bumping. (c) L.Santinelli