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The Neptunes May 2014 Volume 6, Issue 2

More news is good news Henny Schulte to Buehne, Maria Rust

Michaelmas/Lent term edition of the Neptunes! News abounds in the MECBC world, and this edition of the Neptunes is packed full of it. In Michaelmas term, MECBC welcomed a huge number of novices into the boatie family. On pp. 2-3 of this issue, we recount the races of our senior crews. Turn to p. 7-9 for an exclusive insight into the spreadsheet madness that is being a Lower Boat Captain, and the particular delights of learning to row with MECBC as detailed by ex-novices. Lent term training was made somewhat difficult by building works at the Green Dragon Footbridge. However, the excitement of Lent WELCOME TO THIS

Bumps (p. 5) and the Neptunes Dinner (p. 6) soon recompensed for the challenging scheduling. A new committee was also elected during Lent term (p. 10). In even bigger news, we are planning to buy a second-hand VIII this year. Captain of Club Emma Jones outlines why MECBC is in dire need of a new shell, and how we are proposing to finance it on p. 4. As we continue to train for May Bumps, we will be working hard off-Cam to ensure every student at Murray Edwards can train and compete in satisfying equipment. This term’s issue also includes a rowing dictionary, so we can all enjoy boatie chat in any of five languages (p. 11) as well as an infographic on MECBC’s achievements in landtraining (p. 12). 1

with a strong, experienced crew in which every member had previously rowed for W1, Mark's hopes for the term were high—he wanted us to win Fairbairns. As he kept reminding us, this would be no easy task, and would require commitment to land training, as well as concentration on the water, from week one. Excited by the prospect of being the fastest women's crew on the river, however, we were all eager to rise to the challenge, and regularly reminded ourselves, and each other, of our long-term goal for the term.

On the day of the race, we had a good row over the course, shortening our time from Autumn Head considerably. As it turned out, however, we were not the fastest women's crew that day, and were placed joint third of College crews. With three weeks to go until Fairbairns, we focussed on the areas of weakness which had been highlighted by the race, and by the time Fairbairns arrived, we all felt that we had made improvements. But would it be enough? Excitement, nerves, and anticipation were all high as we prepared to push off and marshal for the race. An extra incentive to row well was provided by the new President of the College, Dame Barbara Stocking, who had come down to the banks herself to cheer us on. On finally completing the course, we were generally happy with how we had raced, despite having had a few unsteady moments, and eagerly waited for the results to be posted. When final results were announced, we discovered that we had again been placed third out of all women's crews. Not quite the winning position we had hoped for, but an impressive result nonetheless, and despite the final outcome, there is no doubt that this term will stick in my mind as the term when we 'were winning Fairbairns'.

Michaelmas term W1 report

Emma Jones Captain of Club 2013–14



After making solid progress during the first few weeks of training, we entered Autumn Head and won our division, along with a shiny tankard. Mark warned us not to get complacent, stating that the real indication of our potential for Fairbairns would be later in term at Winter Head, by which time it would be too late to make any significant gains. Weeks of training later, complete with several long 'over-the-lock' sessions, Winter Head was upon us. But days before the race, Georgie, our cox, slipped a disk in her back making her unable to compete. After an initial panic at finding ourselves suddenly without such a vital crew member so shortly before a competition, we were reassured at being placed into the very capable hands of Christina, another MECBC cox. 2




Michaelmas term W2/W3 report

Ana Diac W2/W3 Michaelmas term

Marshalling was a fun bonding experience in terms of passing bags of Haribo up and down the boat again and again in between bouts of uncontrollable shaking and assessing how intimidating the other crews looked. The race was long and gruelling against a merciless stream and a vicious headwind. Nevertheless, we persevered and got through what felt like the longest few minutes of my life. At the end, we were all mildly amazed that we were still alive after shivering so much we could no longer see straight. Back at the boathouse, we were almost totally submerged in layers of clothes and blankets with only a hand and our heads popping out to enjoy Reana’s legendary race-baking. Putting the hypothermia behind us, Michaelmas for W2/3 ended in a delicious dinner with imaginative awards being lavished on all crew members and a real sense of achievement—a far cry from a rainy and shaky start of term.

Results Michaelmas 2013 Autumn Head W1: 1st in division Winter Head W1: 3rd in division Fairbairns Cup W1: 3rd in division W2: 4th in division

Results Lent Bumps 2014 W1: up 3 stations W2: down 1 station W3: up 2 stations


a boat last term seemed like an insurmountable challenge after a three month long (!) summer break in which I did anything but row. I was reassured by the fact that the general vibe seemed to suggest I was not alone; the level of confusion generated by whether strokeside blades were marked green or red baffled all of us. Having said that, once we managed to drag Owen out somehow (much to my dismay, he seemed so much heavier than Winston) and got back on the delightful blue expanse that is the Cam, it really was like we had never been away. Our timing was impressive, the boat was sat and morale was high despite the constant soul-drenching drizzle. This is the way Michaelmas began for the hybrid W2/3 crew and that’s pretty much the way it panned out. The early morning outings were unfailingly cold, dark and blurry but our incredibly dedicated coaches, John and Alex, countered the pathetic fallacy with enthusiasm and military precision. By the time Fairbairns was on the horizon, we were motivated, resilient and marginally fitter than we had been a few weeks before. GETTING BACK IN

Full results and race reports can be found here:


have seen much success for MECBC. On the river we have performed strongly, with our First VIII being placed 3rd of all women's college VIIIs in Fairbairns 2013, and both our First and Second VIIIs winning blades in Lent Bumps 2013. Off the river student engagement with rowing, and interest in the Club, has increased dramatically. Club membership has doubled in size since Lent 2010, and we have been consistently training up 4–7 crews every term. With only two VIIIs suitable for competitive racing and productive training, however, we have reached a situation where we are receiving more interest from students than the Club can accomodate given the number and type of our boats. We have tried our best to schedule crews for all those interested in the sport rather than turning people away, but this is becoming quite difficult. Scheduling water training has been complicated, particularly in Michaelmas 2012 and 2013 when the Club had 5 novice and 2 senior crews. Entering races, such as Fairbairns and Bumps has also been logistically challenging, and over the past 3 years, the Club has spent over £1,000 on renting extra boats to ensure that all of our crews are able to compete. It has become apparent that the boats currently owned by the Club are not sufficient to meet the needs of its members. A secondhand VIII shell for use in training and racing by novices and lower senior crews would be of great benefit, providing a better platform in which novices could learn to row and progress to regular training and racing—both as experienced novices, and then as seniors. In this way, complicated scheduling clashes could be avoided, and the competitive potential of our developmental squad improved. A new boat for MECBC



Emma Jones Captain of Club 2013–2014


The estimated costs of an appropriate second-hand shell are £11,000. The Club has already raised £7,000, and Murray Edwards College have generously agreed to match any amount we fundraise until June 2014. Consequently, we have started a fundraising campaign aiming to raise the necessary £2,000 and be able to afford a new boat by June. As part of this campaign, we raised over £200 from a raffle in College, the winners of which were drawn duing the Neptunes Dinner on February 15th (see Christina Larkin's article on p.6 of this issue). We are also planning a sponsored cycle from Cambridge to Oxford at the end of Easter term. So far, we have already raised over half the necessary funds, meaning we are £800 short of a new shell. The possibility for your donation to make a significant difference to the Club in the very near future has never been greater. Every contribution, regardless of size, will help to ensure everyone in College who wants to row has the possibility to do so. If you would like to make a donation to MECBC, please visit or email me at JOHN GIBB



Lent Bumps Report 2014

Laurane Saliou Captain of Boats 2014–2015 is hard to understand the Magic of Bumps if you have never rowed in Bumps before, but I will try to render the excitement for you all here. I remember listening to Bumps stories throughout Lent term, never truly understanding how people could be so pumped up only talking about it, even get nervous, at the simple mention of the cannons. Needless to say, I was very curious to experience all this Bumping madness myself, and I was not disappointed! First was the “building-up phase”, coming from MECBC Bumps-experienced rowers, though ferocious emails, countless amazing motivational speeches, stories and playlists. Once our racing–selves came out, we were all ready to row and kill some clubs’ hopes of victory. Being the only boat club with THREE boats getting on Bumps, our ferocious armada was even stronger. For quite a few of MECBC rowers, Lent Bumps 2014 was their first ever Bumps campaign, and they discovered the unpredictability and unfairness of Bumps can be a bit harsh. Indeed, the first racing day did not live up to our expectations, with W1 and W3 rowing over, and W2 being bumped after some little steering issues. I THINK IT

In the true spirit of MECBC however, we did not dwell on defeat and came back stronger the next day. W3 went on to bumping Darwin W2, followed by a row over on Day 4, and W2, being bumped by Wolfson W1 on Day 3, then held their position on Day 4. W1, after bumping King’s W1 on Day 3, gave all their rage to LMBC W1, sending them down as well. This brings us to the final day of Lent Bumps 2014. All three crews were ready to give spoons to the crews they were chasing—Pembroke W1, Caius W2, and Clare Hall W2 respectively. And guess what? THEY DID! Day 5 was a glorious day for MECBC (slightly less so for the Cam’s greenery), and the boathouse was filled with ecstatic women. Bumping is one of the best feelings a rower can experience, and seeing all our efforts being rewarded is the greatest beauty of sport. To end this fantastic week, we celebrated our success under our beloved Dome at Lent Bumps Dinner, together with friends from other boatclubs. College's President, Dame Barbara Stocking, also attended (and even stood up with us all for “ a fine for anyone who loves the Bursar (W2 coach)”).

Easter Term Races MECBC is planning on entering these races in Easter term 2014. The most up-to-date events listing as well as race results can be found on our website. 3rd May: Head to Head (W1) 17th May: Champs Head (W2, W3 tbc) 25th May: Nine's Regatta (W2, W3) 6th June: May Bumps GoR (W3 tbc, W4 tbc) 11th –14th June: May Bumps (W1, W2, W3, W4 tbc) 5

Neptunes Dinner


Captain of Club 2014–2015

We thank our alumnae for a wonderful night and look forward to seeing you again at our other alumnae events! We are currently planning a rowing event during the college alumnae weekend (27th/28th September 2014)—please contact the Development Office ( if you are interested. More details will be sent out in the near future.



MECBC invites the boat club alumnae and current members back to College for a fun night of dinner and drinks, this year held in the FDR. The night was full of reminiscing and sharing of stories from the present and past, as well as fantastic food. We even had the chance to view menus kept from past boat club dinners. This included the Mays Supper menu from 1975, in which the boat club was served a “Grassy Corner Pudding”! A successful raffle was held during and in the lead up to the Neptunes dinner, raising over £200, which will go towards fundraising a new boat (see Emma Jones' article on p. 4 of this issue). Prizes included a country retreat holiday at Brackenborrough Hall and vouchers for American Apparel, Ooshi Bubble Tea and the Cambridge Fudge Kitchen. We would like to thank the sponsors as well as those who entered the raffle for their generous support. EVERY TWO YEARS


Lower Boats Captain is not a role to be taken lightly. After a very successful boatie tea at the beginning of Michaelmas, with 100 novices signing up for their chance on the Cam, a term of coaching, erging, and colour-coded spreadsheets was on the table. Laura, Katie and I knew that this year was an exciting one for MECBC and with tubbing sessions behind us, the novice crews Ariel, Pocohontas, Nemo, Bashful, and The Beast were born. As the first competitive opportunity for our novices, Queens’ ergs went down a storm and all teams soaked up the adrenaline fuelled atmosphere while coaches lost their voices screaming words of encouragement. From then on training schedules were underway and despite some shocking British weather, all crews were showing steady improvement and enthusiasm. THE POSITION OF

Effort in training was apparent in practice; those who participated in races produced a set of results to be very proud of! The future of any club is in the hands of its novices and the sheer number of new members is a testament to the inclusivity of the club and hard work of everyone involved. Hopefully, this is pointing towards many more years of success to come! From generosity in subbing to participation in swaps and other social events, we hope that everyone involved will look back on their term fondly and see that the club has absorbed a fantastic wave of new boaties. As Lower Boats Captains, Katie, Laura and I would like to thank all the novices of Michaelmas 2013 and MECBC for their invaluable support, which made for an unforgettable and incredibly rewarding term.

Novice term report

Rowanne Willett Lower Boats Captain 2013–14



I always was into sports, but never quite got the hang of a team sport. Being at Cambridge, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to try out rowing. WHAT IS DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT ROWING?

I most of all like the fact that it's a challenging sport and that it requires a lot of concentration and precision. After a hard outing or erg session, there's an enjoyable, mixed feeling of satisfaction and exhaustion. Additionally, I find the benefit of team work and team spirit extremely rewarding and motivating.

Novice corner From tubbing to fully well-hard boaties in a term: What is novicing with MECBC like?


I would not say that there is something I enjoy the least, but I am quite annoyed with the limitations of my own body, I guess. WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE AS A NOVICE?

My most memorable experience was probably when we overtook two boats in our first ever race as novices in Winter Heads in November. It was a promising start as a novice crew, and I am extremely glad we finished the year placing 3rd in the Fairbairns Cup. It truly wouldn't be possible without the amazing people in the crew and our coaches that believed in us!


Polina Ceastuhina is a graduate student in Gender Studies and noviced in Ariel.

Ru Merrit is a 1st year Historian and noviced in Bashful. WHY DID YOU START ROWING?

I started rowing because on offerholders my college mum was so enthusiastic about it that I thought I would give it a go. I wanted to try to do something completely unfamiliar and new when I arrived at Cambridge and rowing was the perfect solution to this. WHAT IS THE THING YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT ROWING?

like the fact that it's enjoyable exercise. It's really social and it's satisfying when you make progress within your boat.



Probably the effort of getting the boat in and out of the boathouse. You've got to be so careful, I'm always worried about accidentally damaging something or someone! WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE AS A NOVICE?

Fairbairns. It was manic, so many boats, so many novices and so many coaches shouting at various people. It was tense but definitely worthwhile and my first competitive rowing experience. 8


Everyone whom I’ve talked to said I should at least try. Trying something completely new also really appealed to me since I was a little fresher determined to re-invent myself at university and try everything. I made the right choice. WHAT IS THE THING YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT ROWING ?

Somehow, everything. The early mornings might sound tough, but I loved that something was forcing me up to enjoy the sunrise and the morning air. The college banter in the morning traffic jams was also great. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE LEAST ?

Cold hands making it impossible to feather, and the constant fear of crabbing. Luckily that hasn’t happened yet (touch wood). WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE AS A NOVICE ?

Jana Hueppe is a 1st year NatSci and noviced in Pocahontas.

The first outing was after my first Cambridge all-nighter but I was far too excited to feel tired. I was also considerably more awake than the others as lack of sleep and much coffee had taken their toll. The other time was when we rowed together as an 8 for the first time, that was magical.


MECBC Committee MECBC Committee 2014–15 2014–15

( (

Last Lent term, MECBC members voted on a new committee for the upcoming academic year. Congratulations to all those elected, and a big thank you for all those who gave up their time and energy this year to make sure MECBC remains Well Hard.

Husting Quotes A senior cox, our future CAPTAIN OF CLUB knows that democracy has limited use when you're dealing with rowers.

’Like Napoleon, I had to seize control as the Captain of Club, the Commodore of the Murray Edwards fleet (…) when you were least expecting it.‘ - Christina, Captain of Club Rowing and FUNDRAISING—neither works without passion.

‘My personal favourite tagline is: "Putting the Fun back into Fundraising."' - Freya, Fundraising Officer LBCs

must be people of extraordinary diligence and personability...

'I’m organised and friendly…I think.' - Olwen, LBC It's all about showcasing what SKILLS you bring to the job...

'I’m obviously literate – I can write!' - Simona, Junior Secretary To keep up to date with MECBC, for race reports and club history, visit or like our facebook page If you are an alumna and would like to get back in touch, our Alumnae Officer would love to hear from you (


Ramer c’est être. Sein: das ist rudern. Wiosłować to być. A canota înseamnă a fi.


Arrêtez-vous tout le monde! La barreuse est tombée à l’eau. Alle mal anhalten - der Steuermann ist ins Wasser gefallen! Stop! Sternik wpadł do rzeki. Toată lumea opriti-vă! Cox-ul a căzut în râu.


On n’a jamais trop de lycras. Man kann nie genug Lycra haben. Nigdy za dużo lycry. Niciodată nu poti purta suficient de mult elastic. ROW FASTER! THE SWANS ARE COMING!

Plus vite! Les cygnes approchent! Rudert schneller! Die Schwäne kommen! Szybciej! Łabędzie nadchodzą! Da-ti din mîini mai repede! Vin lebedele!


Des pâtes aux pâtes s’il vous plaît. Avec des sucres lents par-dessus. Ich hätte gerne Nudeln mit Nudeln. Und ein paar Kohlenhydrate auch noch. Poproszę makaron z przystawką z makaronu. I trochę węglowodanów z wierzchu. Vreau pasta cu garnitură de pasta, si deasupra carbohidrati, vă rog .





C’est bien avec les bras qu’on rame, hein? Many rudert mit den Armen, oder? Wiosłuje sie ramionami, prawda? Vîslesti cu mîinele, nu-i asa?


Je n’ai dormi que quatre heures la nuit dernière. LetzteNachthabeichnurvierStundengeschlafen. Spałam tylko cztery godziny ostatniej nocy. Am dormit doar patru ore noaptea trecută.

MECBC's rowing dictionary As all our non-rowing friends know from experience, boaties will hardly ever stop talking about rowing. But what if you find yourself in, say, a small rural town in the middle of Bretagne, desperate to discuss the finer details of bow-rigging? Luckily, MECBC members come from all over the world, so we've translated the essential phrases for you–into French, German, Polish, Romanian and Chinese. You're welcome.


Mon lycra n'a pas séché de ces deux dernières semaines. Ça doit être Lent. Mein Lycra ist jetzt seit zwei Wochen nicht mehr trocken gewesen. Es muss Lent sein. Moja lycra jest przemoczona od dwóch tygodni. Najwyrazniej trwa semester zimowy. Hainele mele sportive nu au fost uscate timp de ultimele două săptămâni. Cred că ar însemna ca a venit simestrul Lent.


Well hard corner

Holly Ai Smith


Whilst nothing is as much fun as racing, nothing proves well hardedness better than commitment to landtraining. And what better way to celebrate our erg achievements than some insightful stats! 12




Vice Captain 2013–2014

The Neptunes May 2014 Volume 6 Issue 2  

Find out about Fairbairns, our Lent Bumps Campaign, what it's like to novice with MECBC and much more. Enjoy!