Novices set to impress as new crews prepare for Michaelmas races

The eMen's novice crew prepares for the 2022 Emma sprint in fancy dress

New Club Captain Scott Wilson reports on Wolfson's preparations for a fresh term of racing.

The eMen's novice crew prepares for the 2022 Emma sprint in fancy dress

Captain's report

Firstly, I want to say a massive thank you to last year’s committee. Having been involved as co-Novice’s Captain, I know what a heroic push each and every individual put in, but particular credit goes to the big three: Nancy Karreman, Fanny Seizilles and David O’Loughlin (Club, Women’s, Men’s Captains, respectively). 

Moreover, just as vital – and frequently unsung – have been our coaches: Tom Hewitt (M1), Harry Michalakakis (M2), Paul Carter (W1) and Scott O’Donoghue (W2). I also want to recognise winners of the reinstated WCBC awards this year: David Richardson (2022) and Nancy Karreman (2023) for the ‘Wolfson Seat’, recognising overall contribution to the Boat Club; Manuel Garza (2020), Alex Lau (2021) and Ksenia Leonovich (2022) for the ‘Wolfson Bow’, recognising exceptional novice rowers. 

However, it’s also time to look forwards, and the new committee has already been hard at work. Joining myself as senior captains are Calum Caldwell and Rune Agnarsdóttir, who both enjoyed stellar debut years with WCBC and are taking the reigns as Men’s and Women’s Captains. 

Dan Egan and Harry Roussos have filled the all-important boots of Novice Captain, and are busy raising the new generation of Boaties. Rob Sales continues as Small Boats Captain, and Fanny Seizilles has taken up a new role as Alumni and Fundraising Officer. Charles Norman, Danielle Jones and Rosie Michalik-Denny are keeping us busy as Social Secretaries, and Analia Hernandez makes it a trilogy in her 3rd year as Kit Officer. 

I’m delighted to have such a passionate and diligent committee assembled, and greatly look forward to seeing what we as a club can achieve in 2023/24!

Across college boat clubs in Cambridge, Michaelmas term is focused on training “novice” coxes or rowers in the art of making boats move fast - and having lots of fun along the way! WCBC has welcomed a large influx of new members over the past weeks, and after a fortnight of trial sessions 5 novice crews have been selected. Training has already commenced, and things are looking promising for the next generation of Boaties!

Their first race will be on Sunday 5th November: the iconic Queens’ Ergs, in which crews compete in 8-people 500m relays complete with F1-style changeovers. A fortnight later comes Emma Sprints, the first water race of their budding careers - made slightly less serious by the tradition to wear costumes! On Saturday 25th November is Clare Novices Regatta, before the grand finale: the Fairbairn Cup on Thursday 30th November. Last year’s men’s and women’s novice crews were each in the top 10 fastest of all College’s, and this year we’re looking to do even better!

Both the women’s and men’s sides will be competing at Cambridge’s Winter Head on Saturday 11th November. The term culminates with the Fairbairn Cup on Friday 1st December, and WCBC’s seniors are keen to lay down strong markers ahead of another year of Bumps.

We always are glad to have support, so if you’re around Cambridge on any of these days then come down to the river and watch! Racing times will be put on our social media pages (Instagram, Facebook) as soon as we have them.

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