Written by: Kittiphat ‘Am’ Chanthong
Summer is a gloriously peaceful time on the river Cam. Training sessions can be very efficient and enjoyable as rowers and coxes are not worried about getting hypothermia or drenched in cold rain (as often happens in term-time College rowing). Summer is also the time when most College rowers have left Cambridge and those of us that remain here often find it difficult to organise a crew to row with. This year, I was fortunate enough to be invited to participate with Christ’s summer rowing crew. Admiring its simplicity, I used the system created by Christ’s summer rowing organiser, Richard Mifsud, to call for King’s rowers. To my surprise, we managed to have enough people for outings in an VIII, mostly over the course of late August and September.
Inspired by the extraordinary sportsmanship and performances of athletes at Rio 2016 and various rowing events, all of us have displayed the drive and the passion to become better rowers for this incoming academic year, in every outing. The commitment did not waver even when there were 3 sessions per week and a 6:30am meet time. Even those who were away in various places in the world have reported the determination to improve their rowing and fitness over the course of the summer on the dreaded erg machine. These hours spent both on and off water will undoubtedly add to the success of KCBC in 2016/17.
I am confident that these sessions were constructive and beneficial for our improvement as athletes. Most importantly, I hope that that we have had a lot of fun as the KCBC summer crew. I’d like to also thank rowers from other colleges and clubs who came to fill in our empty seats and built invaluable relationships between us. I anticipate that there will also be enough keen rowers for summer 2017, and invitations to participate with KCBC summer rowing extends to many KCBC alumni who work and live in Cambridge (e.g. me). Thank you!
KCBC Summer rowers:
Am Chanthong, Elizabeth Byrne, Niamh Mulcahy, Neil Paul, Matthew Else, Conor Bolas, Sebastián Céspedes, Richard Mifsud (Christ’s), Bowen Ding (Churchill), Siggi Martinsson, Hans Verschueren, Jaza Syed, Elizabeth Dzeng, Mari Niemi (Queen’s), Hrutvik Kanabar and Craig Lambert (Erg Club).
It was a crisp October morning. The dew had barely lifted when three stash-laden KCBC members rowed the CRA tub down from Midsummer Common. Rival College crews looked on in disbelief as KCBC entered uncharted waters, rowing characteristically out of time, in jackets and jeans.
Back at the Boathouse, there was more activity. As would be expected from the cream of King’s, it only took six KCBC Committee members to assemble the newly-acquired BBQ. Mutterings of ‘a lost wheel axle’ disguised the honest truth that we were just incapable of putting a flat pack together. With the onslaught of freshers about to begin, by 09:15 we had two tubs & the bank tub ready – nothing short of a miracle.
The first group consisted of four keen freshers – a small enough group to allow us to iron out a few minor problems with our setup. It was a mere trifle that the bow and stroke side blades were mixed-up on the Chesterton tub. This brought new meaning to the term ‘backing it down’.
At 10:30 the floodgates opened. Sixteen freshers had arrived – action stations! Not to worry, Hrutvik assumed command. Freshers were his forte.
The deluge of freshers was to continue as the day went on – perhaps over fifty passed through the Boathouse doors? Maybe it was the well-executed Boatie Squash which persuaded them to come? More likely, it was the sun. What a glorious autumn day it was!
The last KCBC members left the Boathouse eleven hours after they had arrived. They left with pride in their hearts – it had been a good day. A huge thanks to all the KCBC members who came down today and made it such a success.
Many changes to the website are currently taking place, so please bear with me as I make these improvements. Things may look odd or not work correctly for the next week or so, but I’ll endeavour to keep the site up and accessible whilst stuff is changing. It should come out of the changes much better for it!
There will be a memorial service for the late Revd. Ian Thompson on Saturday 13th Feb, 2:30pm in King’s Chapel, with refreshments served afterwards in the Hall. You are welcome to wear rowing blazers if you wish. Please pass on this message to anyone who may be interested in attending.
Ian’s presence at the club continues to be missed. The KCBC Committee has resolved to establish a permanent memorial in the near future.
We’re now on Twitter! Follow us (@kingsboatclub) to get all of the latest KCBC news, including details of upcoming races and results.
King’s College Boat Club would like to express its condolences to the family of Ian Thompson, who has recently died. Over the course of his time at King’s, Ian was very influential in club affairs, particularly in his role as Senior Treasurer.