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.


Matthew ‘Alfie’ Alexander