Rain. That was the weather forecast for Sunday morning. Our cox warned us about it and we came prepared. But no preparation is enough for a cold and rainy race. Geared up with our reindeer antlers, we headed to the start line and waited our turn.

Our first sprint start was not quick enough and we were immediately left behind, unable to see Newnham NW2’s boat and losing motivation. However, with the unceasing encouragement of our cox, who could see them just a few meters ahead, we were able to keep a constant distance. Despite losing that first race, we did not despair and tried to stay as warm as possible during the break.

With our second opponent-to-be disqualified, the marshals had a few minutes of confusion before deciding we would race against Emma NW3. All our efforts went into that second sprint. We had a great start and reached a very good pace, moving fast and leaving our opponents behind. Everything was looking too good when 7 caught a crab with the same power she was putting into her strokes, which made steering very difficult and sent us into the bank. Even though our recovery was surprisingly fast, Emma was by then 3 boat lengths ahead of us. We gave our best and managed to reduce that distant to 1 boat by the time those 800 meters were over, leaving a few sets of antlers behind.

We will now prepare for the challenging Fairbairns race. It will be the first time Absolut races such a long distance but we are confident that the latest outings and erg sessions will prepare us for it.

Joaquina Delas Vives


Cox – Christina Larkin
S – Emma Heydon
7 – Reana Maier
6 – Freya Sanders
5 – Laurane Saliou
4 – Morwenna Jones
3 – Katharine Moore
2 – Olwen Wilson
B – Maria Rust
Coach – Mark Jacobs

Cox – Catherine Taylor
Manuela Groß
Angelina Munabi
Veera Panova
Olimpia Onelli
Jana Hueppe
Benedetta Pacella
Simona Sulikova
Coaches – Alex Massey and Rob Watson

Novice Crews
Bacardi Breezers (NW1)
Cox – Katie Prescott
Heather Dudley
Manon Huckle
Emily Busvine
Harriett Alford
Georgina Benson
Abbie Vernon
Rosanna Gregory
Julia Gillard
Laura Robinson
Coaches – Jess Manning and Peter Draper

Pina Colada (NW2)
Cox – Fiona Coventry
Suzanne Golder
Nadia Blackshaw
Emilie Cousin
Maddy Green
Elizabeth Briggs
Eleanor Gell
Kleopatra Kyprianou
Maria Elena Kleemann
Fatima Baldo
Coaches – Bekah Holubinka and Katie Miles

Absolut (NW3)
Cox – Olwen Wilson
Danielle Cai
Grace Carton
Joaquina Delas
Kate Wilkinson
Chloe Legard
Lenka Elekova
Georgia Thurston
Lucy Twisleton
Emma Roth
Coach – Sara Holttinen

Tequila Slammers (NW4)
Cox – Katharine Moore
Kate Prescott
Stephanie Soler
Julie Faroux
Anna Milne
Tilly Johnstone-Jones
Jessica Rigley
Megan Rees
Antonia Schrader
Coach – Mollie Jones

Blue Lagoon (NW5)
Cox – Iila Li
Taine Ranaghan
Ngo Chui (Jeanie)
Joanna Kozlowska
Bingaiqn Liu
Tess Lerebours
Jenni Visuri
Susanna Peden
Elise Liu
Bingyang Ye
Coach – Laurane Saliou


This was W2’s first race of term, and for two of its rowers, their first race ever! We were keen to see how much we had learnt so far this term and to get some much needed race practice before Fairbairns. It had been a difficult week leading up to the race, with one rower injured, a change in crew and Christina stepping in to cox for us. However, thanks to Reana we had 8 rowers and were ready to race.

By the time our division was marshalling, it became clear that the event was running quite behind leading to a very congested river. However, this gave us lots of time to check out the crews that had come from around the country to race on the Cam, especially some rather good looking men from the University of London! After the men had set off, we had just enough time to get our focus together and pull out towards the start line. The racing conditions were ideal, with very little wind and no rain. We got off to a good start, settling into a steady rhythm. Christina’s calls for power seemed to be working as she told us we were keeping pace with Robinson’s W1 boat in front of us. However, by the time we reached The Plough, it became clear that we were struggling to find the power required to keep up the same pace and we started to lose our togetherness. As we were overtaken by the University of London’s women on The Reach we pushed harder trying to make it difficult for them, but we didn’t have the stamina to keep going. We crossed the finish line a respectable 6th in our event out of 14 boats, showing that we have potential but still have lots to work on both technically in the boat and in fitness training before Fairbairns.

Katharine, 6

Citi Society Challenge

MECBC entered the Citi Society Challenge with the hope of winning £1000. After weeks of campaigning, we are now pleased to announce that we won! We would like to thank everyone who voted for the club, or helped to promote it during the voting period. The award will go a long way in helping us to expand and keep competing at a high level.


A new academic year and a new MECBC W1. Crew announcements had occurred on Tuesday and with only two outings under our belt, our first weekend together also saw us on the river for our first race of the term – Autumn Head 2014.

With only two rowers back from last year’s successful Mays First VIII, we had many new faces excited to experience their first taste of representing the Club in the First VIII and racing in Octopussy. In a term traditionally dominated by novice-traffic, we were looking forward to a chance to enjoy 2.6 km of uninterrupted rowing and set ourselves a benchmark to work from for the rest of term.

Super keen as we were, we were a tad on the early side to marshalling and Christina had to negotiate reversing around Chesterton corner to avoid being run down on the finish line by boats from the division before ours! For the race itself we had a moderately-strong wind to contend with, but despite this we went off quickly under the Motorway Bridge. We pushed up hard on the boat we chased along First Post Reach, to the extent that they were being told to prepare to give us space to pass. Unfortunately, over the second half of the course in particular, the fact that this was W1’s third outing of term became all too evident in our stamina, technique and togetherness.

On this particular day we know we didn’t show the best of what we’ve got to offer as a crew. But our sights are now on Winter Head and Fairbairns later this term – W1 will be back and ready to show the Cam what we can really do.

Emma Heydon, stroke

Alumnae Rowing Event 28/09/2014

It was a fabulous day today as we took to the river with four alumnae rowers and five current students. Although some members of the crew had not been in a boat for over 20 years, we proved that with over 35+ years of combined experience the alumnae still had it in them – we even tried a piece!

Watch some clips from the outing here:

Thank you to Ying who did the filming and to Mark (Clare’s husband, and ex-NHBC coach) for bank partying.

This outing was part of the 60th Anniversary celebration weekend and the crew list was as follows:

B – Linda (1973)
2 – Katharine (PhD student, Chemistry, noviced Easter 2014)
3 – Miranda (1979, Natural Sciences Geology)
4 – Clare (1981, Natural Sciences, Headship Mays 1984)
5 – Mel (1986, Natural Sciences)
6 – Laura (PhD student, Materials, Peterhouse!)
7 – Reana (PhD student, Education)
S – Emma (PhD student, Public Health)
cox – Christina (4th year, Natural Sciences Geology, Captain of Club)

Christina Larkin

Citi Society Competition

Blue and Red Logo

We are pleased to announce that MECBC has been shortlisted for the Citi Society Competition to win £1000! We are now in the final stage of the competition – the student voting phase.

Winning the competition would enable us to improve our land training facilities, carry out essential boat maintenance, run rowing workshops for local schools, and expand our fundraising efforts to support local charities. We currently have the lowest boat club budget on the river and so this money will make a huge difference to us – enabling us to carry out these plans while keeping our membership fees low so rowing is accessible to all students.

Watch this space for details on our campaigning efforts – and don’t forget to vote either online or at one of Citi’s careers events in Cambridge during October.

The careers events where you are able to vote are:
16/10/14 13:00 – 18:00: Cambridge Banking and Finance Career Event (drop-in), University Centre (Mill Lane)
20/10/14 19:30 – 21:30: Corporate Presentation, Fitzwilliam Museum (Booking Required)
22/10/14 13:00 – 17:00: Graduate Schemes & Internships Event (drop-in), University Centre (Mill Lane)

Online voting will be open from the 23rd – 30th October.

Nines Autumn Regatta 2014

Thanks to the lovely Hannah Laidley (PCBC) for this race report – we now officially challenge Mark and Bomber to  a ‘coach off’!

“Nines Autumn Regatta – Sunday 7th September 2014

Round One – MECBC vs Cantabs

It was a glorious day for a regatta (I just love regattas!) – and after only three training sessions we weren’t sure if our IV could pull it together for our first race, but we were quietly optimistic. Christina was of course vocally optimistic, but that’s what you get when your job is to keep talking. The row down was eerily quiet, not a marshal was in sight, and the only other boat was Henk-Jaap (PCBC) tail-gating us in his single scull. We told him to go away and pulled in to get race numbers. Elaine was so excited she could hardly keep her clothes on. At last, a marshal appeared and started giving orders. It was hard to have faith in her, since her first question was ‘Are you racing?’ (Why else would we be there?) and she had no problem letting kayakers and barges bump into the boats waiting to race. We waited in the reeds. We waited, and floated, and floated, and waited some more. But Cantabs never came. I suppose they must have seen us on the river earlier that week and decided it just wasn’t worth the humiliation of actually turning up. After turning down their kind offer to row the course with no opponent, we spun and headed for home.

Round Two – MECBC vs Xpress

6 hours and a couple of burgers later, we were back at the boat house for the final. We were all really exhausted from our first race, so less confident – but we were determined to give it our all and win Christina her first pot (and Reana her seventh). We found our opposition on the row down, which was a good start, and by the start line for our race we even got in some good bumps practice, knocking into the stake boat and Xpress knocking into us. The umpire/ person on the bank wasn’t too happy and suggested we avoid hitting other boats and stay on our side (the outside lane) of the buoys (pink milk bottles) for the duration of the race.

Emma led us in a confident start, and we held level with Xpress for the first third of the 600m course. Christina had us pushing for 10 strokes every time their cox did – so a lot. The whole thing was one long push basically. In the middle of the race we started to pull away, and by the railings we had clear water between us and them. We didn’t have many supporters on the bank, but their screams of encouragement were enough to pull us over the line in first place. Which meant POTS! I like to think that my Peterhouse expertise and our use of a Peterhouse shell made all the difference, but maybe it was just Reana’s race baking. I guess Mark’s coaching was alright – but he’s no Bomber. It’s been a pleasure rowing with you MECBC!


Rowing and sculling club for Murray Edwards College (founded as New Hall)