Fitz has a well established history of success on the Cam from both the women and the men’s crews. It is a friendly and socially active boat club which encourages people of all abilities and fitness to take part. The first step towards rowing for the college is learning to row in Michealmas Term (‘Novice Term’ to boaties!).

This is an exciting term for new and older members of the boat club. Novice rowers learn a completely new skill for free while senior rowers have an opportunity to coach and engage at all levels of the club. There will be 2 or 3 men and women’s novice boats which are set at the beginning of term, so plenty of opportunity to get on board with the training. Boats then train various amounts, depending on the boat, but most will have two or three water sessions and one land session each week.

By the end of Novice Term you will have…

  • Learnt to row for free under the supervision of the seniors
  • Get to know freshers, 2nd and 3rd years as well as post-grad students
  • Compete in Queen’s Ergs (indoor rowing race)
  • Compete in Clare novices (500m sprint race on the cam)
  • Compete in Fairbairns (2.7km race)
  • Attend Boat Club Dinner at the end of term

To communicate with other novices, coaches and captains please use the novices Facebook group: coming soon!

Download the 2018/19 FCBC Novice Leaflet here!

Typical Novice Questions and Answers

How much of a time commitment is it?

In novice term (the first term) there will be normally 2 outings and 1 land session. The commitment for the 1st senior boat is typically 3 outings and 2 land sessions, which you are able to trial for in the second term however there are lower commitment boats too which can fit around other commitments. Balancing rowing with work at Cambridge is a challenge but easily possible.

How early do I have to get up?

Early mornings are inevitable but at least in novice term, the earliest you would need to wake up is 7am. Being at Cambridge everyone has varied timetables and busy social lives, fitting around this by scheduling afternoon weekday sessions is complicated. Early mornings are not as gruelling as you think!

Do I need to be athletic to row?

Rowing is as much about technical skill as fitness. A good rower is not necessarily the best runner, rugby or netball player.

Will my academic work suffer?

No, if you are organised. Rowing, especially in exam term, provides an outlet for stress and keeps you physically as well as mentally active. This year some rowers gained a 1st as well as being in the 1st boat.

Is it just exercise or are there social events?

Rowing is all about the team spirit so socialising with the team is key! Crew pastas are held frequently and the famous Boat Club Dinners at the end of each term are always something to look forward to (three courses, port and cheese!)

If I find I can’t cope with rowing and academic work who can I speak to?

Both the captains and lower boats captains are always happy to help and advise on commitment.

Rowing is a great way of getting to know people at Fitz and we are looking forward to welcoming you as a new crew member! You can contact us to join or write to us with any questions you might have via the form below. If you’re reading this before October though, we’ll be at the Freshers’ Fair so you can sign up with us then!



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