Annual Report

The Boat Club remains to be an integral part of College society and the Cambridge experience where everyone (undergraduate, graduate, Fellow, and Staff) is encouraged to try rowing, no matter their ability. Sidney is right to be proud of its friendly participation spirit and with around 100 members the Boat Club continues to champion this attitude. Successes of the year include: the best-ever attended Alumni Dinner to celebrate our 180th anniversary and 40 years of women in Sidney, the purchase and naming of a new Men’s IV, fielding seven novice crews in Michaelmas, and excellent progress in Lent and May Bumps, with M1 achieving blades in the Mays.

The Boat Club began our 180th year in Michaelmas optimistically with seven novice crews; we continued with the recent tradition of naming our novice crews after previous Captains of the Boats with four men’s (Woods, Marsh, Worrall, Homer) and three women’s (Shipley, Meegan, Snow). We also welcomed back many old faces for the end of Term Boat Club Dinner and the alumni Fairbairn Cup race as part of the Lord Protector Boat Club. The LPBC Women’s +IV came second in their category, the LPBC Men’s VIII also raced but suffered a mix-up with subs, meaning our previous Captain of the Boats, Camille Lardy unexpectedly raced the course twice in the space of a few hours.

The Boat Club Alumni Dinner held on Saturday 21st January 2017 was a fantastic event with alumni and current students alike remarking upon their enjoyment of the panel discussion before dinner where the audience enjoyed tales of the Boat Club over the past 40 years from a panel of prominent past and present female rowers. It would appear few things have changed in SSBC with early mornings, last-minute sub requests, and the Beam Challenge remaining a favourite post-Boat Club Dinner exercise. In addition to these festivities we also celebrated the 25th anniversary of Tim Rhodes as our Boatman. Tim has been a constant for many generations of SSBC students and we are incredibly grateful to him for sharing his knowledge and expertise over the years.

Sidney fielded two men’s and one women’s crew for the Lent Bumps. The men’s side suffered a few rough races, putting up a tough fight in each, and performed strong row-overs for most days. The women’s side started off with spectacular promise, bumping up the first two days but, tragedy struck on the third and fourth days with catastrophic rudder failures ending a strong campaign.

Easter Term began well with four senior crews and a mixed novice crew training throughout with all senior boats entering the May Bumps. The Bumps began with M2 making the sports headline of the local Cambridge newspaper (twice!) with their strong row-over, but the glory of this season goes to M1 who achieved blades finishing with a spectacular textbook bump on First and Third on First Post Corner. This is the first time our M1 has got blades since 1995 so we have joyfully celebrated their victory and hope for many more in SSBC in the new academic year!

SSBC Committee 2017-2018


Martina Cheadle
Captain of Boats 2017-18