Senior Women’s Squad

Aimed at those who are committed and want to race competitively, the Senior Women’s Squad competes at national events as well as those on the River Cam.

2017 Winners of Henley Women’s Regatta club 8+ (course record)
Photo credit: Not Just Rowing

The squad comprises a mixture of ages and experience, ranging from those who have come up through the Cantabs Learn to Row programme, to those who joined after rowing/coxing for their college, to those who have competed at higher levels such as the Women’s Boat Race or even the senior World Championships.

Our committed coaching team supports the development of athletes who are considering doing GB U23 trials or trialling for the Boat Races in the future, and we have strong links with CUWBC. Some of our student athletes row/cox with Cantabs for one or two terms of the university year, and then return to their college to race in Lent and/or May Bumps.

Coxes‘ coaching and development is something that is taken seriously during training, with opportunities for coxes to steer boats of a variety of sizes (we also have a coxed pair!). As the number of rowers in the squad continues to grow and expand, we are always keen for new coxes to join the squad.

2017 winners of the Provincial Pennant at WEHoRR

The 2016/17 season saw the following wins:

  • W.NOV.1x, W.IM3.1x, W.IM2.2-, W.IM3.2x, W.MasABC.2- at Rob Roy Small Boats Head
  • W.IM3.1x at Bedford Autumn Small Boats Head (& our W.IM1.2- had no competition but beat all women’s doubles)
  • W.IM1.2- (2nd fastest W2-) at Pairs Head, with our W.IM2.2-, W.IM3.lwt.2x and W.MasBCD.2- all being the fastest non-Tideway-based crews in their events
  • W.IM3.1x at Isle of Ely Head
  • W.MasC.4+ at Veteran Fours Head of the River
  • Fastest W8+ at Fairbairns – 46s clear of 2nd place
  • W.IM3.8+ and W.IM2.8+ (including course record) at Cambridge Winter League
  • W.IM2.8+ at Head of the Nene
  • W.IM3.8+ and W.IM2.8+ at Head of the Trent
  • Provincial Pennant at WEHoRR (14th overall), and fastest Cambridge town crews
  • W4+, W2x and W1x at Radegund Mile
  • W.NOV.2x at Spring Head to Head
  • Women’s club 1x at Wallingford Regatta
  • W.IM2.4+ and W.IM2.1x at Nottingham City Regatta
  • W.MasC.4+ and W.MasC.4- at Nottingham Club and Masters Regatta
  • W8+ at Champs Eights Head (including course record)
  • W8+ at X-Press Head
  • Club 8+ at Henley Women’s Regatta (including course record)
  • Headship and highest-ranked W2, W3 (blades) and W4 (blades) in Town Bumps
  • W.NOV.1x, W.IM3.2x and Mx.ELI.8+ at Sudbury Regatta
  • W.MasA.2x at Peterborough Summer Regatta
  • W.IM3.2x at Oxford City Royal Regatta
  • W8+, Mx8+, W.MasC.8+, W2x at Cambridge Regatta

In 2017-18, we hope to continue to grow and expand the squad, aiming to continue to produce great race results as well as great improvements for our athletes on an individual level! If you would be interested in finding out more or joining the squad, please contact the women’s captain, Ellie Darlington.

If you would like to learn to row or are a relative novice, please contact our lower boats captain.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of training do you do, and how much?
We typically do 2 ergs, 2 weights and 5-7 outings per week although we understand that everyone has jobs/studies/life outside of rowing which means that this isn’t always possible. Land training isn’t at a fixed time of day so that athletes are able to fit their training in around other commitments although we tend to try and form mini training groups where possible.

The 2- winning silver at Ghent International Regatta

Are you any good?
We’d like to think so! So far this season we have won 3 Tideway head pennants (Pairs Head, Vet Fours Head, WEHoRR), won and set a new course record at Henley Women’s Regatta, and were unbeaten on the Cam. We’ve also won many other events in places such as Nottingham and Peterborough, and had a successful summer regatta season with wins at Wallingford Regatta, Nottingham City Regatta, Nottingham Club and Masters Regatta, the British Rowing Masters Championships and good performances at Met.

In 2015, we also won gold at  Ghent International Regatta and had 2 crews selected to represent England at the Home International Regatta.

We had 12 women’s crews in 2017’s Town Bumps, 4 of which were Senior Squad crews. Our top crew is Head of the River, and our 2nd, 3rd and 4th eights are the highest ranked 2nd, 3rd and 4th eights of all the town clubs (and higher than many 1st eights!).

How good do I have to be to join?
We don’t have any strict requirements for athletes to meet to join the Senior Women’s Squad, although we generally hope rowers can pull sub-8 on a 2k (or will after getting back into training if they’ve not been doing a great amount of training recently), with those wanting to be in our top boats looking to pull sub-7:30. The squad ranges in experience from those who learnt to row a year ago, to those who have been rowing at higher levels such as in the Women’s Boat Race or even international competition.

Three members of the crew which won the club 8+ at Henley Women’s learned to row at Cantabs, and 2 progressed through our squad system to move into the Senior Squad in January. Therefore, if you aren’t quite at the top level required for our top boats right now, we can get you there!

Our 2nd 8+ bumping Rob Roy’s 1st 8+ at town bumps in 2016

What’s the coaching like?
Unlike other Cambridge town clubs, the Cantabs Senior Women are fortunate enough to have a dedicated team of coaches who come to all outings and set our training plans, which come in several forms to suit the experience and commitment level of different athletes. Our coaches have the UKCC Rowing and Strength and Conditioning Level 2 qualifications, and have experience coaching athletes of all standards. Additionally, our head coach Tom won a coaching award from British Rowing in 2016. We are also supported by Milosz Wrobel of Cambridge Strength and Conditioning, who runs the CUWBC strength and conditioning programme.

What are your facilities like?
The Cantabs boat house has been undergoing significant redevelopment over recent years, which has seen the expansion of the boat bays and the building of a second floor. The club has its own weights and erg facilities (including C2 dynamics) available to all members, and have benefited recently from the installation of £10,000 of brand new weights equipment and have some brand new ergs on the way. Boat-wise, we have an expanding fleet of women’s boats ranging from singles to doubles/pairs to fours/quads and eights. We have just got a brand new Filippi 8+, and we’ve also had brand new singles, doubles, pairs, coxless fours and quads in the last 2 years.

The Cantabs boat house

I’m a student – can I join?
Yes, of course! Cantabs currently has many current Cambridge and ARU students, as well as a group of former juniors who return to Cantabs in the university holidays. The squad also includes athletes who didn’t quite make it with CUWBC but who want to improve their rowing and compete at a higher standard than returning to their colleges would have allowed.

I’m of masters age – can I join?
Again, yes! The squad ranges in age from 17 to 60+, and a number of our athletes have been successful in masters events internationally as well as nationally. For example, one athlete won gold in the W.MasD.1x and Mx.MasD.2x at the World Masters Championships. Last summer we won gold in the WA1x and WC4- at the British Rowing Masters Championships, and won WC4+ at the Veteran Fours Head in November. We also send crews to the Vets’ Head.

W.MasC.4- gold at British Masters Regatta 2016

I’m a cox – what can you do for me?
As the Senior Women’s Squad continues to grow, we’re always looking for new coxes to join us, whether you’re relatively inexperienced or have been around the block for a long time, male or female. Coxes receive regular feedback from both athletes and coaches, and we also provide one-to-one coxing coaching if this is something that individuals would appreciate. There is also a coxing group, where the club’s coxes meet on a regular basis and share ideas and race recordings, giving each other feedback and helping each other improve.

Is membership expensive?
No, we have some of the most competitive membership fees of all Cambridge town clubs. Students and the unwaged get discounted membership, and the fees include access to the boat house, land training facilities and coaching. If you have your own 1x, racking space is available for an additional fee.

The 2015-16 Cantabs senior women's squad

The 2015-16 Cantabs Senior Women’s Squad

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