The Aquaphobes are one of the many men’s masters squads at Cantabs, and the squad which targets races such as British Masters and Vets Head.
The Aquaphobes were initially formed in 2010 when a water polo team wanted to try Town Bumps (hence the name!). They’re one of the most international squads on the Cam, with members originally from Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, the US, Germany, Iran, Ireland and Wales (with a leavening of Englishmen) and though most of them came to rowing late, almost all have competed in different sports their whole lives.
They train year-round, and enter at least one boat into every race on the Cam. They target 3 to 4 off-Cam events, including the British Rowing Masters Championships, head races in Norwich, Ely and Huntingdon, and Vets Head.
Their training consists of at least two water sessions per week (Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons), plus a weekly crew land training session. Some squad members do additional small boats and land training on top of this if they are able to fit it into their schedules.
The Aquaphobes are all masters rowers, with ages ranging from 40 to 60, meaning that they race as anything from Masters C to E, depending on the crew. They operate a large squad, meaning there is a degree of healthy competition for seats, and that they can sympathetically manage the inevitable work and family commitments of masters rowers.