Captain's Word

Captain's Word - Michaelmas 2016

Two years ago, Caius Boat Club said goodbye to our historic home on ferry path. Now, in a matter of days we will be welcoming back some of our many benefactors, to the official opening of our state of the art new Boat House - though still with an unmistakably Caian aesthetic. We are in awe of the support they have shown us and hope to do them proud.

I am now in my 5th year of a Medicine degree at the college and have rowed with Caius since novicing in the days of Gordon Beck. So it is with humility as well as excitement that I follow in the footsteps of him and all other Captains of Boats who have given their all to the club. Melissa Leonard, the immediate past Captain has provided a healthy club to nurture into 2017.

And the club is surely growing - two men’s crews and a women’s eight represent the old guard (‘In my day we boated from a portacabin’ etc. etc.) with varying degrees of experience and strength. Colm Mac Donnchadagh and Tobias Rudkin are the new head coaches for the men’s and women’s sides respectively, while Will McDermott (previously of Selwyn) provides coaching to our race-essential coxes. The novice intake for the term is also larger than it has been in previous years, with 3 novice men’s, 2 novice women’s and mixed eights providing surprisingly dedicated newbies the chance of a quintessential Cambridge experience.

It’s not all about quantity though: the NM1 stormed to victory at Queen’s Ergs pulling an average of 1:29.9 over a 8x500m relay, NW1 placing a strong 3rd and NM2 coming 2nd out of comparable 2nd crews. NM3 and NW2 also producing fantastic performances that hint at a depth in the squad that will be built upon over the coming weeks and months.

The 2017 CUWBC squad was announced recently featuring 6 Caians: Oonagh Cousins, Iona Casley, Rachel Elwood and Melissa Wilson as oars women, and Evie Lindsay and 1st year Matthew Holland as coxswains. On the men’s side we have George Hawkswell and Edward Nash both trialing for a place in a strong lightweight eight.

GTM

Matthew ‘Alfie’ Alexander

Captain’s Word - Pre-Bumps 2016

With May Bumps less than a week away excitement is building it the CBC portacabins! This Mays we have 3 women’s crews and 4 men’s crews competing and hoping for bumps glory. The Getting On Race is held this Friday over the bumps course and will be the opportunity for M4 and W3 to prove they are quick enough to race bumps. The qualifying crews will then join the rest of boats on Wednesday to kick of 4 days of racing. With crew lists going up it’s time for a run down of the boats:

Similar to last year, M4 is made up of Caius Loungers. They are being organised by Nicholas Grantham and coached by Ben Trigg (Caius M1 ‘15, ‘16). They will be racing in the Neil McKendrick. They have had a few crew changes from last year but have been training hard and are hoping to improve on last years campaign where they went up 3 (narrowly missing out on blades due to LMBC bumping another LMBC crew). They qualified in the Getting On Race today and so will be racing as M4.

M3 have been building on some of the work from Lent term as Caspar Hammond (CUL triallist cox) continues coaching them. They have a few additions from the Lent M2 crew who have brought some more experience to the crew. After some crew rotation and disruptions due to exams they are benefiting from some time on the water as a crew. They will be racing in the Tony Baker and will start off 11th in the M4 division hoping to chase down Homerton M2.

M2 has had a number of experienced rowers join the crew this term, and are aiming to reverse the trend of Lents. Once again they will be racing in the John Barabino. They are being coached by Peter Carey (Goldie ‘16) and have been gaining speed the past few weeks since crew selection. They are keen to regain the title of fastest M2 on the river, currently held by LMBC, but are in a challenging position this May. On day 1 they will be chasing Hughes Hall M1 (with a substantial number of blues) as they start of 8th in the M2 div.

Finally, M1 will be aiming to row over for four days, top of the M1 division. The Jack McDonald has been raced by five Mays Headship crews, on the 12th June they are hoping to make it six! With some quick crews behind them, M1 has really upped their game this term and are gaining speed each session. They are once again coached by James Scott (2 x HRR winner with UC Berkley). Following a convincing win at Nines Spring Regatta, the men are confident going into their final week of prep.

On the women’s side, we kick off with W3 which is being organised by Sophie Aspinall and coached by Jonny Casey (CBC Alumni). W3 is made up of MCR rowers, some who have a bit for experience having rowing in W2s in the past few years and a few learnt to row this term. They will be racing in the John Lehman. They have bought a great deal of enthusiasm and drive to each training session, making huge improvements throughout the term. They had a solid row in the Getting On Race but unfortunately didn't gain a position in the charts.

This year W2 has benefited from the size of the women's squad and the intense competition for seats. Being coached by CBC boatman Simon Goodbrand and Will McDermott (Blondie ‘14) they are committed to getting W2 bumping up this Mays! Finishing second in their category at Champs VIIIs and some successful sparring bodes well for W2. On Wednesday, they will be lining up the Maggie Burgess on station 5 and on the cannon they will chase down Murray Edwards W2!

Finally, W1 is embarking on the final week of what has been four years of preparation. Starting off 9th in 2012, they have been rapidly climbing the bumps charts and have reached 2nd on the river. However, last year’s W1 learned just how hard it is to bump a crew off headship. Since Michaelmas, there has only been one aim on the women’s side: the headship! Easter term brought about a switch up in coaching with Jon Dean (CUL ‘13) and Angus Knights (Goldie ‘14) joining forces to make Caius W1 the fastest women’s crew on the river. They have since been dominating sparring and recently won Champs VIIIs, beating the crew that stands between Caius and the top spot. Day 1 of bumps W1 take on Downing in what is sure to be a fierce battle for headship!

Check out our Facebook event for information about supporting Caius at the bumps - on Saturday, we’re hosting supporters at Caius Meadows, just after Ditton Corner so do come down if you are around!

Captain’s Word - Early Easter 2016

As the signs of spring start to show and everyone returns from their Easter vacation, CBC is clocking up the mileage and really stepping up for Mays training. With several trialists returning to the squad, competition for seats is high and everyone has their sights set on Mays success.

Small Boats Regatta saw our 2015 lightweight duo, Emma Walker and Ella Barnard, team up in the Lowe Double Sculls (women's) and face a double from this year's lightweight crew. They were pipped to the post, with a margin of 2 seconds, by the eventual winners. In the Lowe Double Scull (Mixed) category, we had M2 representation in the form of ‘rower-turned-cox’ Emily Smith joining Michael Gardiner. Unfortunately, they came up against some tough competition and lost out to a strong Clare crew. In the Delafield Championship Sculls, there was another CUW battle with Iona Casley up against a fellow lightweight from the 2016 crew. Iona proved her dominance on the Cam, winning by 4 seconds.

Following a few more weeks training in eights, it has been an eventful bank holiday weekend for Caius rowers. On the Cam, Spring Head to Head provided our second boats an excellent opportunity to trials different racing line ups as selection heats up. Meanwhile, over in Nottingham, there was strong CBC representation on the BUCS podiums. Oonagh Cousins raced in the Cambridge women’s intermediate coxed fours, finishing 2nd just behind Nottingham. Our women’s captain, Evie Lindsay, coxed the a CUW novice four to silverware just behind Durham. Iona Casley raced for CUW in the lightweight coxless four and earned herself a gold medal. Three Caians, three medallists - CBC is very proud!

With our trialists starting to return and crews beginning to become set, Mays is looking to be an exciting term. We welcome back the Loungers crew, who narrowly missed out on blades last year. They are being coached by our very own Ben Trigg again. We also have a women’s MCR boat who are hoping for some foliage come bumps. Coaching them is recent CBC alumnus and old alumni officer Jonny Casey. On the men’s side, M3 is being coached by Caspar Hammond, hoping to follow on from last term’s work and benefitting from some new additions to the men's squad. M2 faces some tough competition, but have an M2 headship to reclaim! Peter Carey, the bow seat of Goldie this year, is coaching them this term. Meanwhile James Scott continues coaching M1. After comfortably holding onto the Lent Headship, M1 are making a step up for May to keep that top spot. On the women’s side, W2 is aiming to reverse the trend of recent years and start bumping. Our boatman Simon Goodbrand and Will McDermott, Blondie cox 2014, are joining forces to coach them. For W1’s coaching, we have Jon Dean, CUL cox 2013 and holder of many headships with Caius M1, and Angus Knights, stroke seat of Goldie 2014, using their combined expertise to make W1 the fastest women’s crew on the river. Caius is the only college to ever have achieve a Mays Double Headship (2000 and 2002), and we are so close to achieving it a third time. Caius Meadows will be the place to be on Saturday the 11th June.

As always, Caius Boat Club extends its sincere gratitude to the alumni network and to our sponsors Redington. We would not be where we are in today without the incredible support of all of those following Caius Boat Club. It’s great to know that there’s a community beyond the crews in the boat, and that that community follows CBC closely. We are extremely grateful for all of the support!

Go The Mighty

Melissa Leonard

End of Lents 2016

As the term draws to a close it’s a great opportunity to reflect on the exciting events of last few months. It’s been an exciting term, with racing early in the term proving successful for both current and alumni crews. The boathouse continues to approach readiness and those cycling along the river may now see the completed facade!

Alumni crews raced in Pembroke Regatta, with the men’s Gonville Boat Club Alumni crew (sporting 23 headships between the 9 men) winning over Pembroke’s Alumni in the final round. The women’s alumni crew was runner up in their division, demonstrating the depth of the Caius Boat Club squad even in those who’ve graduated!

George Hawkswell, our Men’s Vice-Captain, worked hard to be able to put out three full crews for Lent Bumps, which had a mixed bag of results. M3 had a great performance in the getting on races and enjoyed their first experience of bumps even though the results weren’t quite as hoped. They were coached by Caspar Hammond. M2, consisting predominantly of last term’s novice men, was surrounded by strong M1 crews and despite gutsy performances each day did not rise in the charts. They were coached by Patrick Short. M1, as you have probably heard by now, rowed over every day to complete one of two constitutional aims in retaining the Lents Headship. They were coached by James Scott.

Evie Lindsay, Women’s Vice-Captain, managed to boat and race a W2 as well as the usual W1 in the Lents. We don’t often manage to muster a W2 and the girls will take the experience that they gained into the Mays, giving them that much more of a racing experience advantage over clubs that didn’t field two boats. W1 had to deal with many disruptions to training throughout the term but really pulled together as a crew to make the most of the bumps week. They were chased by some rapid crews, most of which were on for blades and unfortunately fell victim to the unpredictability of bumps! They were coached by Brie Stark. To make the most out of the term’s training, W1 headed to the Tideway for WeHORR. Some of W1 had never raced off-Cam, so it was a great experience (despite the mini hailstorm!) and a chance to see the rowing world outside of the Cambridge Bubble.

While term is winding down for many, CBC is still training hard. M1 are currently at Henley-On-Thames to race Pembroke College, Oxford for the intercollegiate race at the Henley Boat Races. The wider squads have been spending the last week out in small boats, learning key skills to transfer into VIIIs next term. The Easter training plans have been set, and all the crews are hitting the gym hard to make sure we get bumping in Mays. Both the squads have a clear goal for Mays: The Double Headship. The Mays Double Headship has only ever been achieved twice so far - and only by one college in the history of bumps (Caius in 2000 and 2002) - and it’s our privilege to be driving towards that goal once more.

To this end, I must extend my sincere gratitude to the alumni support network and to our incredible sponsors Redington. This goal would be nothing more than wishful thinking if not for the assistance of all of those who follow Caius Boat Club. We are extremely grateful for all the support!

Melissa Leonard

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End of Lents 2015

Coming into Lent term, Caius had a few hurdles to overcome. This year, two whole divisions were cut from the bumps program, causing our M3 and W2 to row the getting on race, a task neither would have had to endure in years past. Some 40 boats attempted to qualify for 15 spots, and unfortunately neither of our entries made it into the bumps. Even so, many members of these crews came out to support all other CBC crews in the bumps, providing a key cheering party from the bank.

The women’s side had few returning seniors – as is usually the case with Caius having so many triallists in CUWBC – but several key ex-novices stepped up to the plate. A senior rower from W1 told me at last night’s Boat Club Dinner that this Lents crew had become one of her favourite crews she’d rowed with during her time at Caius. They had an unlucky draw of being placed in front of boats who had, from the start of term, won or come in the top three of many races on the Cam. Rather than be intimidated by this starting line-up, I remember being struck by the excitement of the women on every single day of bumps. Their goal was to row better than the day before, and to be proud of their attempt, and they did so, no questions asked. Their final tally – down three over the week – did not characterise the atmosphere and dedication of this boat.

M2 had a likewise challenging draw, with Churchill M1, a boat who had consistently posted race times rivalling boats in the top division, behind them on day one. Like W1, the boat boasted half ex-novices and, to add to the challenge, two different crews (due to laboratory commitments) across the week. On day one, they gave Churchill the longest fight for any of the 5 (yes, 5) bumps that Churchill M1 achieved during the week, holding out until the Railway Bridge. They managed to hold off a quick Jesus M2 crew and, on the final day, bump Selwyn M1, thus retaining the M2 Headship. This crew had a fantastic work ethic throughout the Lents campaign, and it really showed in the grit they demonstrated during the bumps week.

M1 was drawn together throughout the first few weeks of Lents, with many seats highly contested until the final week before bumps. The success of this boat was ensured by a common goal: take back the Lents Headship. The crew trained 11 times a week, with double outings at Stretham on the weekends. The key for this crew was the strong foundation that many returning Headship rowers provided—with Chris, Alex, Jonny, Joe and Pete as a driving force—as well as the keenness of people, like me, who wanted to finally get a taste of Headship victory. We worked well as a unit, and that’s what it took on day 2 to take back the Headship station: a gutsy row that started off the line at rate 47 and never sunk below rate 39, taking Downing down before the Railway Bridge.

Caius looks forward now to the Mays, where we will welcome back many of the Lents rowers as well as our Cambridge triallists. There is a lot at stake in the Mays: Caius M1 looks to solidify their Headship, with Caius W1 sitting second (eyes surely on the Headship) and Caius M2 looking to grab back the M2 Headship.

Pete Walker, who will sadly be leaving us after 8 years of rowing with Caius, ended his time with a fantastic speech at Boat Club Dinner. I’ll leave this Captain’s Word off with a quote from his speech:

“Being in Caius does not guarantee you success, but it does guarantee you the opportunity for success.”

And it has been, and will be, the many CBC rowers who take hold of this opportunity that will continue the success of Caius Boat Club.

Go The Mighty.

Brie

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Lent 2015

Caius Boat Club had a fantastic showing at Fairbairns. The novice men clocked in impressive 4th and 24th place in the first division, with the mixed men/women’s novice 8 clocking in 26th in their division. The first novice women’s boat managed to post an impressive 17th, rowing the entire race with a broken footplate! On the senior side, M1 posted a 6th place finish, the 3rd fastest Cambridge college. The W1 4+ earned 8th overall, finishing the race with a great side-by-side battle with Queens’ W1, who went on to win the entire division.

At Fairbairns boat club dinner, two new awards were given out alongside the usual awards. Two historical, important blazers were found in Dr. Jimmy Altham’s closet, and from these, the Captain of Boats decided to create two new awards: The Captain’s Blazers. The Captain of Boats awarded these two blazers to the first year (novice or senior) rower/cox from the men and the women’s side who best embodied the CBC spirit: teamwork, leadership, passion and pride in the club. The lucky winners get to keep (and wear, of course!) these special blazers until Mays boat club dinner, where they return them to the Captain of Boats, to be given out to two new first years at the next Fairbairns boat club dinner.

After an eventful dinner, the Caians packed up and headed to training camp in Seville, Spain. Our training camp officer, Louise Ashenden, created a spectacular camp at the Elite Training Centre located right next to the World Championship Course in Seville. 27 attendees spent 5 days completing 3-a-day workouts: two water based workouts and one land based workouts. Thanks to a very generous pledge from the Gonville alumni funds, the total camp cost amounted to only £200 for each member – inclusive of flights, accommodation, all meals and a bicycle tour around Seville! It was an amazing experience that we hope to replicate in the future.

CBC looks forward to Lent Term 2015 for a few reasons: beginning work on the demolition (and reconstruction!) of the beautiful boat house, continued upward trend of the women in bumps, and regaining the men’s headship.

Welcome to 2015, where we intend to find headships a’plenty.

Also, remember to like our Facebook page for updates! https://www.facebook.com/CaiusBoatClub

Go The Mighty

Brie



November 2014

It’s a huge pleasure to be taking over the helm from Sam Lloyd as Caius’ Captain of Boats for this coming year. I’m not at all intimidated by not having a boathouse for this season – if anything, I look forward to keeping Caius the most formidable club on the Cam, boathouse or not. I came to Cambridge in October of 2012, and had the opportunity to travel to Basel with M1 to race the famous Basel Head. It was a tremendously fun experience. I chose to pursue CUWBC for that year, claiming the lightweight cox role for the 2013 boat race, and becoming close friends with many Caians in the program. I decided that 2013-2014 would be the year that I dedicated my time to Caius, where I coxed M1 periodically, spent much time coaching W1 (specifically in the Lents term) and went up three slots coxing W1 in the Mays. My biggest goal for this coming year is to continue the success of both the women and men's senior squads, and importantly, to build a very strong novice intake.

Caius senior men began their season with Autumn Head, where M2 had an impressive showing as the fastest M2 boat, placing 19th out of 128 boats. Caius welcomes back only a few familiar faces to the men's squad this term but is eager to post a quick time at Fairbairns. Training has been going well, with new coach James Scott (University of California - Berkeley, 2x Henley Royal Regatta winner) and Vice Captain Joe Wallace at the helm of the senior men's program.

Caius senior women have also welcomed back only 5 returners for the term, but aren't letting that get them down. Led by Vice Captain Melissa Leonard and coach Ben Swan (of the senior men's squad), they are looking forward to bettering 2013's Fairbairns time in their 4+.

Many kudos go out to the Lower Boat Captains: Laura Bolton (men), and Christina Pope and Emily Morgan (women) who are helping to develop 5 novice boats. The novice men recently did mixed 8s with the senior men and the novice women will soon combine with the senior women for a similar session. These sessions have really inspired the novices to train hard for the upcoming Queens Ergs, Clare Novices and, of course, novice Fairbairns, which the novice men's 1st boat won last year.

I've been trying to engage with social media more frequently, to bring alumni into the CBC lifestyle more and more. Keep checking the FB page (https://www.facebook.com/CaiusBoatClub) for club training photos and, of course, our very popular Throwback Thursday photos. Though we're losing our historical boathouse, we haven't forgotten our history - join the Throwback party by sending your old Caius rowing photos to any of us on the committee.

Next update will be after Fairbairns and before our December training camp in Seville, Spain.

Go The Mighty

Brie

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Tuesday 1st September 2013

A New Dawn
It is the start of a new term, marked by the first circuits session of the year, and we are certainly putting to the test the summer training that had been put in! I am sure there will be many the burning quads tomorrow. And as of every year, Michaelmas term means one thing: Novices! This will all kick off with Open Boathouse on Saturday 12th October (12-6pm at the boathouse) at which we officially welcome all Caius students (especially freshers!) to Caius Boat Club with a BBQ, opportunities to get in a couple of boats, displays of what CBC is about via videos and photos, an erg competition and of course some free CBC stash to start the year!
This year we have many people trialling for University boats, with Melissa Wilson (Mays W1 2012-2013, Blue Boat 2013), Jilly Tovey (Mays W1 2012-2013, Lightweight Boat 2013), Christina Ostacchini (Mays W1 2013), Emma Walker (Mays W1 2011-2013), and new joiner of Ella Barnard. Trialling for the Men’s Blue Boat and Goldie are Sam Fawcett (Mays M1 2013), rising-star Ivo Dawkins (Mays M2 2013), Jon Dean (Mays M1 2011-2013, Lightweight Blue Boat 2013), Pete Walker (Mays M1 2008-2013) and Chris Revell (CUBC Squad 2013, Mays M1 2011-2013). As always we wish all our trialists the best of luck in the season ahead.
Caius Men’s 1st VIII has been invited to compete at Barcelona International Regatta later this term, a cause of great excitement and a new challenge for the men to come up against. This we hope to give us an excellent platform for Fairbairns cup and the rest of the year.
It is with some sadness that our long term sponsors Linklaters will not be continuing their funding for this year. On behalf of Caius Boat Club I would also like to thank our Linklaters for their support over the past few years, Linklaters has done a great deal to put CBC in the position it is today. As such, CBC is currently looking for a new sponsor, we are particularly interested in firms that are keen to spread their name to soon to be Cambridge graduates, as well as the wider public. If you would like to know more about opportunities of sponsoring Caius Boat Club, please enquire here! (captain (at) caiusboatclub.org)
Go the mighty Doves!

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March 18th, 2013

Now that term has ended and most non-rowing undergraduates have disappeared off home, there is a little more time to enjoy what we are doing at CBC. The girls are finishing off their term by getting some practice in smaller boats, which most of them haven’t rowed in before as rowing on the Cam is dominated by eights. I seem to remember falling in a lot more in my first few outings in a single than they seem to be doing, and hopefully the weather might just brighten up a bit this week too for them. In any event, it should be a really useful and fun end to their term. On the men’s side, M1 are spending a week training in Earith at the Cambridge Rowing and Sculling Centre under the guidance of Peter Haining and Marcus de Grammont, in the hope of getting some longer paddles and technical fine-tuning done before the Head of the River and Henley Boat Races this weekend. M2 will also be going to Head of the River with a stiff challenge set by the Men’s Captain of a top 150 place finish.

Hopefully the Facebook and Twitter updates kept all abrest of the action during Bumps. Since then, there has been a great deal more rowing and quite a few trips elsewhere for CBC. The women’s 1st VIII put in a really good performance (in a scratch crew!) to place 93rd in WeHoRR, 4th amongst Cambridge college crews, and once again Caius were one of the only colleges to successfully take two women’s VIIIs to the race. The day after, the men took to the tideway, with M1 placing 9th and M2 37th in the Hammersmith Head in conditions that were about as savage as even the Thames can produce. The following weekend, M1 got some good training under their belts over at Radley College (with thanks to M1 coach Ed Bosson for organising this trip!). I am strongly of the opinion that rowing “off-Cam” as it is uniquely referred to in Cambridge is an incredibly important part of the rowing education of any budding CBC rower or cox, and hope that all have thoroughly enjoyed these experiences over the past few weeks.

Finally, a word on our University oarsmen, oarswomen, and coxswains who are reaching the end of their season. Alex Ross will be rowing in Goldie on 31st March against Isis, his second time in Goldie and he will be looking for revenge from 2011 when his Goldie crew lost. With the Tideway currently throwing up some interesting conditions pretty regularly, it should be an interesting boat race day to watch! Five Caians are set to represent the University one week earlier at the Henley Boat Races – Fay Sandford and Melissa Wilson rowing for the CUW Blue Boat, Jilly Tovey rowing and Brie Stark coxing the CUW Lightweight Boat and Jon Dean coxing the CUL crew. We all know how much they have put into this year, and wish them the very best of luck on Sunday. With Caius M1 also racing against Balliol College, Oxford, I sincerely hope to see a huge Caius contingent on the riverside, cheering on every Caian racing on the day in what should be a great day out.

This weekend looks set to be a big climax to a great term at CBC. If you are in London and/or Henley and are thinking about coming along, please do get in touch for details – the more support the merrier.

Go The Mighty and God Damn Bloody Oxford
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February 9th, 2013
Lent Racing
Racing season is well and truly underway at Caius Boat Club, with 3 of the traditional on Cam races having already been completed. You can read race reports elsewhere on the website, but highlights from my point of view include a strong performance from M1 in winning the Robinson Head, a very creditable 2nd place for W1 in the Newnham Short Course despite having two subs on board, and M3’s victory in the lower boats division in the same race. The latter result here is representative of the substantial novice intake we have had this year, with a couple of novices vying with more experienced members of the squad for places in M2, and really bulking up M3. With continued dedication to training, M3 look set to go well in the Lents. One ex-novice in particular has ruffled a few feathers even further up the men’s senior squad, recording a 2km erg below 6:30, which would place him fairly well in the M1 times!
Unfortunately weather has prevented any official off-Cam racing so far this year, as Peterborough Head of the Nene was cancelled for the 4th time in 5 years, and BUCS Head next weekend has just suffered the same fate. Despite this, the men’s top boat earned some useful, if on occasion bruising, experience against the Cambridge University Lightweight crew, who are now set to be coxed at the Henley Boat Races by Caian Jon Dean. Both the men’s and women’s side are making advanced preparations for their assaults on their respective Head of the River races on the tideway this year, with the top two boats on the men’s side looking to go to Hammersmith Head to get some much needed experience on the choppier water before the Head itself. Also enjoying themselves on said choppy waters currently are Alex Ross and Chris Revell, both of whom continue to trial for CUBC, with Alex looking set to compete on the tideway on 31st March.
Much of the attention of Caius Boat Club as a whole currently is rightly focused on the recent attainment of planning permission for the new boathouse. With planning permission obtained, the next task is to raise the funds required to build the new boathouse. We are therefore now looking for support from all supporters of Caius Boat Club, be they alumni, parents or just good friends, to help in this exciting redevelopment which will give Caius the best boathouse on the Cam. The current boathouse is in a state of disrepair and is simply no longer fit for purpose for a much expanded Caius Boat Club in the 21st Century. Our new design will give the current rowers a platform for excellence which the recent success of the club truly deserves. We are therefore appealing to all Caians to give as generously as they can to this necessary and ambitious project. If you would like further information, either in the form of a Boathouse Brochure, or to meet up with the Development Director to discuss the project, please contact the Development Office on development@cai.cam.ac.uk.
With Pembroke Regatta just around the corner, and bumps only 17 days away now, we are very much coming to the business end of Lent Term here at CBC. Look out for more updates on the website, and our Facebook and Twitter pages, as all of our crews look to make their long winter training schedules count over the coming few weeks.
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February 9th, 2013 Lent Racing Racing season is well and truly underway at Caius Boat Club, with 3 of the traditional on Cam races having already been completed. You can read race reports elsewhere on the website, but highlights from my point of view include a strong performance from M1 in winning the Robinson Head, a very creditable 2nd place for W1 in the Newnham Short Course despite having two subs on board, and M3’s victory in the lower boats division in the same race. The latter result here is representative of the substantial novice intake we have had this year, with a couple of novices vying with more experienced members of the squad for places in M2, and really bulking up M3. With continued dedication to training, M3 look set to go well in the Lents. One ex-novice in particular has ruffled a few feathers even further up the men’s senior squad, recording a 2km erg below 6:30, which would place him fairly well in the M1 times!
Unfortunately weather has prevented any official off-Cam racing so far this year, as Peterborough Head of the Nene was cancelled for the 4th time in 5 years, and BUCS Head next weekend has just suffered the same fate. Despite this, the men’s top boat earned some useful, if on occasion bruising, experience against the Cambridge University Lightweight crew, who are now set to be coxed at the Henley Boat Races by Caian Jon Dean. Both the men’s and women’s side are making advanced preparations for their assaults on their respective Head of the River races on the tideway this year, with the top two boats on the men’s side looking to go to Hammersmith Head to get some much needed experience on the choppier water before the Head itself. Also enjoying themselves on said choppy waters currently are Alex Ross and Chris Revell, both of whom continue to trial for CUBC, with Alex looking set to compete on the tideway on 31st March.
Much of the attention of Caius Boat Club as a whole currently is rightly focused on the recent attainment of planning permission for the new boathouse. With planning permission obtained, the next task is to raise the funds required to build the new boathouse. We are therefore now looking for support from all supporters of Caius Boat Club, be they alumni, parents or just good friends, to help in this exciting redevelopment which will give Caius the best boathouse on the Cam. The current boathouse is in a state of disrepair and is simply no longer fit for purpose for a much expanded Caius Boat Club in the 21st Century. Our new design will give the current rowers a platform for excellence which the recent success of the club truly deserves. We are therefore appealing to all Caians to give as generously as they can to this necessary and ambitious project. If you would like further information, either in the form of a Boathouse Brochure, or to meet up with the Development Director to discuss the project, please contact the Development Office on development@cai.cam.ac.uk.
With Pembroke Regatta just around the corner, and bumps only 17 days away now, we are very much coming to the business end of Lent Term here at CBC. Look out for more updates on the website, and our Facebook and Twitter pages, as all of our crews look to make their long winter training schedules count over the coming few weeks.
--- Tuesday 15th January 2013
A New Era

With Full Term only starting today, many members of Caius Boat Club have already managed a full 12 days of training. I would like to start off by saying a particular well done to the ex-novices who came back as early as 3rd January and started training with the senior squad – we didn’t give them a great deal of time to adjust to the rigours of a 2 session a day training camp and they did so in exemplary fashion. It was particularly pleasing to see Murray Edwards note the “Caius Armada” of 3 men’s VIIIs, which we have managed to float a couple of times already before term has started. One of the things I would like to see more of at Caius is opportunities for people who are not able to commit the amount of time that those at the top of M1 do to both train and perform at a good standard, and I think that the new 3-tier training system being used by Jonny Casey and Chris Halls in organising the men’s training will go some way to achieving that.

The focus of our training now turns to the Lent Term races in the run up to bumps, which come thick and fast for both sides of the club. In just over 10 days we will see W1 and M1-3 partake in the Winter Head to Head race against other colleges on the Cam, before W1, M1 and M2 take a trip to Peterborough for the Head of the Nene. This is a 5000m race which will test the stamina of our athletes to its limit in the run up to bumps. We then look forward to the Pembroke Regatta, in which we hope we might even manage to field 4 men’s VIIIs, 2 women’s VIIIs and 2 alumni VIIIs, one for the men and one for the women. If you are an alumni and might be interested in rowing at the regatta then please do let one of the committee know! It is generally followed by a good curry and a few drinks, and is a thoroughly enjoyable day for all involved. This takes us just about up to the Lent Bumps, which start 6 weeks today – I hope this serves as a notice to all crews that they haven’t got long to get themselves into racing shape!

There is further excitement about the club currently with the news that, finally, our plans for the new boathouse have received (conditional) planning permission! It has been a long hard slog to get to this stage, and I cannot express enough our thanks to the Boathouse Steering Committee, including our Senior Treasurer Jimmy Altham, the Domestic Bursar Alan Jermy and Development Director Anne Lyon, for their enduring support in getting this project approved by the Council. We are hopeful that this project will transform our existing boathouse, which is entirely unfit for purpose as a modern boathouse in the 21st century supporting a boat club of elite athletes and recreational rowers alike, will provide the impetus for a new era at Caius Boat Club. More to come on this project in the coming weeks.

For now, it is back to the erg room and on river training for another 10 days before race season begins here – let’s hope it warms up a bit and stops snowing at least some time before bumps!

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2nd January, 2013

New Year’s Resolution


The new term is almost upon us in Cambridge and CBC have many members returning tomorrow to get some training done before the term starts proper. With Lent Bumps only 8 weeks away from now, there is much work to be done on both sides of the club. The new season begins in high spirits however, after a thoroughly successful week spent in Chester after the end of last term in which the senior squad welcomed the “rowers known formerly as novices” into their ranks. As well as managing a pretty large amount of training on the water, there was plenty of fun on the social side of things, perhaps a bit too much fun for two members of the committee who ended the last evening after the end of training for the week feeling rather ill in a local night club.


Building on partnerships forged over the past few years with both Royals Chester RC and Grosvenor RC, we managed a total of 11 outings during the week, and owe a debt of gratitude to Harry Brightmore (ex King’s Chester pupil) for coming in to cox us and also, as always, to Pip and on this occasion also James Price, both of whom kindly gave up a week of their time to coach Caius crews. All this was despite the weather, which whilst being kind enough not to rain, was so cold that on one morning I managed to snap a plastic spacer on one of our Vespoli’s which had simply frozen solid. On that note, it is with great pleasure I can say good luck to Chris Revell, Pete Dewhurst and Alex Ross for their training camp in slightly sunnier Banyoles with CUBC, as well as Melissa Wilson, Jilly Tovey, Fay Sandford and Brie Stark who are off to France with CUWBC, as is Jon Dean with CUL. It is an equal credit to the strength of these athletes and the Caius coaching system over the past few years that Pete and Brie are alone amongst those names in not having learnt to row or cox at Caius!


Looking forward to this term, with bumps just 8 weeks away and a likely 4 or 5 races between now and then, it is going to be a pretty packed schedule for all of us here at CBC. With plenty of novices returning to the men’s side of the club to continue rowing this term, the men will be looking to rebuild following the losses experienced by both M1 and M2 at the hands of Queens and Kings at the Fairbairn Cup last term. With Will Hoppit coming back to the club to coach the top senior men’s boat and plenty of new faces around, there is a sense of anticipation and excitement as we look to start the term’s training tomorrow. The women fared much better in the Fairbairns, with their Coxed Four of Claire Oakley, Catherine DeBoos, Kelly Richards, and Emma Walker, coxed by Callum Picken, winning the women’s four division, and their VIII finishing a creditable 6th in the VIIIs division, less than 6s adrift of 2nd place. The girls will be looking to build on these results and continue their rise up the bumps charts come Lents.


I can only apologise again for not updating this more frequently last term – any avid readers please do feel free to pester me if I get behind!


Best Wishes from all of us at Caius Boat Club for the New Year


Gordon


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Sunday 23rd September 2012

The calm before the storm


The past two weeks have been surprisingly busy for Caius Boat Club, but this weekend represents a small lake of calm before the storm of the returning undergraduates later on today and then the new freshers arrive over the next 10 days or so. This will culminate in the Open Boathouse event on Saturday 6th October (1-5pm at the boathouse) at which we officially welcome all the new freshers to Caius Boat Club with a BBQ, opportunities to get in a couple of boats, displays of what CBC is about via videos and photos, an erg competition and of course some free CBC stash to start the year! We are also lucky in having at least three new experienced rowers and coxes join us this year - If there is anyone else out there who is joining CBC this year and has rowed before please do get in touch! (Captain@caiusboatclub.org).


The major source of business for me as Captain has been an effort to update a few bits of our equipment and bring in some new bits and bobs to aid training this term. In no particular order we will have in place by the time the freshers arrive: 4 new Concept 2 Model E ergs (complete with wireless racing functionality, which might just allow for some proper bumps’ ergs!), 2 new cox boxes, a trampette (requested by Pip Price, who we are lucky in having coach and help out with all things CBC for a third year in sucession), 2 skipping ropes (also Pip), a set of Kettle Bells, 2 new Olympic Weights Bars, new Swiss Balls and perhaps most confusingly, some bright yellow Chalk Powder (again Pip, though I dread to think what it is for…). It is hoped that this will help the squad training as the men begin their quest for the Three Championships for the third year running, knowing that the only way to achieve it is with as much blood, sweat and tears as has been poured into the last two years, and the women hoping to build on their substantial progress from last year and continue their rise up the bumps charts.


The four aforementioned CBC men trialling for the blue boat and goldie have completed their first couple of weeks of (pretty intense) training and whilst competition remains high amongst the squad, they will continue to work towards their goal on 31st March next year. The men have now been joined by no less than three CBC girls who are hoping to take a place in either the heavyweight or lightweight blue boats – CBC will be supporting Fay Sanford (Women’s Blue boat 2011 and 2012), Melissa Wilson (W1 2012) and Jilly Tovey (W1 2012) all the way to the Henley Boat Races in March, and it is a sign of the improvement in the women’s side of the club that we have 3 serious triallists for places in the University boats. Jon Dean (M1 cox 2011-12) is hoping to make his mark in the University Lightweight squad and cox them at the same event. We wish them all the best of luck.


Our attention now turns to the first few weeks of training, which we are hoping to make somewhat less disjointed and more productive than they can often be, how to get the most out of our novicing programme, and our race plan for the Michaelmas term. I also hope to be able to provide the latest update on the ongoing saga with regard to attaining planning permission for the boathouse soon.


As always, if you have any questions or want any more information on what is happening at Caius Boat Club please do get in touch on Captain@caiusboatclub.org, or with another member of the committee who’s contact details you will find on this website.


Go The Mighty!

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Monday, September 10th, 2012

Laying the Groundwork


I arrived back in Cambridge today in time to start my Masters course tomorrow, and merely being back within the City limits has brought into sharper focus the speed with which the new season is approaching for CBC. I hope that the majority of CBC rowers have used their summer more productively training-wise than I have – a summer rather too full of frivolity and food which I shall being to atone for with 2 weeks of hard training before the majority of Caians return when rent commences on 23rd September, in just 2 weeks’ time. Already in residence are our triallists for this year’s CUBC squad, Alex Ross (Blue 2012, Goldie 2011), Pete Dewhurst (Goldie 2012), Sam Lloyd (CUBC Squad 2012, Mays M1 2011-12) and Chris Revell (Mays M1 2011-12). We are particularly pleased that both Alex and Chris are commencing PhDs this year, and as such will hopefully continue to play a large part in the life of Caius Boat Club over the coming years, wish them all success in their University in endeavours, and look forward to welcoming them back for the Mays in Easter Term!



Following one of the most joyous Mays Campaigns for Caius in the last few years, with M1 retaining the headship, rowing over ahead of Downing for four consecutive days, W1 reversing their recent downward trend and bumping up two and W2 being awarded blades for going up four including a quite spectacular row-over on day one, attention over the summer has turned to laying the groundwork for another year at CBC. I am fortunate enough to have been elected as Captain for a second successive one year term and hope to build on my experiences from last year to make this year even more enjoyable and successful for all those involved in the boat club. To this end, my summer has involved co-ordinating negotiations over new ergs (we hope to have four new Model E Concept 2s in place for the start of term), the permanent housing of the “Swingulator” machine and a further rejuvenation of our cox box fleet (thanks here are due to Jon Dean and James Hill).


One of my major priorities as Captain this year will be to engineer a more active association between the CBC and its alumni. Last year the (now annual) Eustace Dinner event was expanded to celebrate the 185th anniversary of the boat club with a day of BBQ and tub racing on Cam, which was thoroughly enjoyed by the 80 or so attendees. I would like to establish both this and a Henley Royal Regatta meet up as integral parts of the Caius Boat Club calendar. A more ambitious project which will be carried out in conjunction with Peter Walker and Hugh Carson is the establishment of Gonville Boat Club as an official boat club under British Rowing, allowing entries into competitions such as Pembroke Regatta, and (perhaps less realistically) Vets’ Henley. If you are reading this as an alumnus, please do get in touch with me on Captain@caiusboatclub.org if you agree/disagree with any of the above or have any ideas of your own as to how we might better interact with our alumni!


I made the commitment to update this log as frequently as possible and hopefully bi-weekly at the start of last year, but was disappointed with my effort in the end. I shall redouble such efforts this year, and hopefully keep you all a little more updated into the world of Caius Boat Club. In a couple of weeks I will update on proposed training, coaching and racing plans for Michaelmas term, and will also hopefully be able to update you on the progress of the redevelopment of the boathouse.


If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me or any other member of the committee, whose contact details can be found on this website.



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Friday, 13th January 2012


Dear all,

Caius Boat Club returns en masse to Cambridge this weekend after a well-deserved winter break and a training camp that provided a great deal of experience and a lot of fun. As the attention of the Cambridge Rowing world turns to Lent Term, and of course, the Lent Bumps, Caius are looking to integrate the novices into two senior squads which are determined to take on all comers this term.


Winter Training is never really a great deal of fun when you aren’t together as a team, so stories that circulated around the squad of Chris Revell’s typically outlandish 10 x 500m on the erg on Christmas Day served to inspire, scare and drag groans from the men’s side in equal measure. A sizable contingent of the club (around 10) went skiing on the Varsity Trip in the first week of the holiday which was a vast amount of fun as well as (useful?) cross-training. At the same time a few of the graduate students, amongst others, spent some time sculling on the Cam, but from then on it was a diet of lonely ergs and heavy weights for the rest of Christmas.


As New Year drew closer, and I spent more and more hours attempting to transport, feed, house, boat and entertain 40-odd rowers, coaches and coxes in a place “up north” called Chester, excitement gradually began to build for the annual CBC training camp. Staying in both some luxurious cottages and my own house (thanks to my parents for going away for the week!), we enjoyed an uninterrupted stretch of river about 7km long and amply wide with but a scattering of boats on, something that can only be dreamed of when training on the Cam. Not wanting to waste such an opportunity, we got all 4 VIIIs out on eight occasions whilst 3 of the VIIIs got out a further 3 times – for those rowing in the John Barabino, that meant just over 100 miles of paddling in 7 days!