To all current and aspiring boaties,
Welcome back to another year of early mornings, frozen blades, heavy boats, grumpy coxes, and pain. If this is your first experience of rowing, don’t worry – it’s great fun and the description I just gave was a complete lie. Just picture unicorns and fairies and you the most accurate picture of what rowing is really like.
I just wanted to briefly (re)introduce myself to everyone looking to return to MECBC or just dip their toes in the water with rowing. My name is Emily, and I’m a second-year HSPS student, professional procrastinator, and waaaay to keen on rowing. For those of you who know me, you know that my stomach is a bottomless pit, and I order Dominos Pizza far to often for my own good. But one of the perks of rowing, it must be said, is the great excuse it gives you to eat ALL THE CARBS. Anyway, if that doesn’t paint a picture of a responsible adult ready to handle the duties of being Captain of Club, I don’t know what will.In all seriousness, aside from the rainbows and unicorns, rowing has definitely been one of the highlights of my Cambridge experience so far. The camaraderie, the inside jokes, and the way that we all rely on each other to do our best in outings, (most) ergs, and races, means that rowing pushes you to your absolute limits as an individual and as a crew. And when the race is over and you feel like death and have absolutely nothing left in your legs or lungs, it’s the best feeling in the world. It sounds counterintuitive and terribly masochistic (we’re entering slightly strange territory here….), but the bonds you form with crews and coaches is unlike anything else. They are what keep you coming back for more. Of course you want to win, but it’s also about making your team proud, and representing your college, and making sure that, even if a race didn’t go as planned, it’s important that you as a crew did your absolute best, and stay motivated to keep going.Last year, I noviced in Michaelmas, and then was lucky enough to row with W1 for Lent and Easter term, as well as squishing my butt into the cox’s seat for the third boat in the last term. There was a massive intake of novices, but sadly many of the senior rowers graduated and left in 2014. There are a few still around kicking, and many alumni come to see us race, but on the whole we are quite young club in terms of rowing experience. That being said, we made the finals of Queen’s Ergs, our first boat moved up two places in Lent Bumps, and our second boat did the same in the Mays. I won’t lie, there’s still a lot of work to be done if W1 and W3 want to redeem themselves this coming May, but the only way we can go is up. Going down three places and spooning was crushing, but I hope that, instead of feeling disheartened and tempted to resign ourselves to that fact, we come back fighting hard.
I’ve made this joke too many times for it to still work, but I’ll do it anyway. It’s an incredible honour to take Christina’s place as Captain of MECBC. She was such a wonderful friend, leader, and cox and, even though her feet are very small, I hope that I can fill her shoes in this position. There’s a lot to look forward to this year, from off-Cam racing to (hopefully) an away training camp, as well as lots of pasta, stash, and boatie love.