Women’s Squads

Welcome to the Cantabs Women’s Squads. Whether you’re interested in training and racing at national events or prefer the more social side of rowing, Cantabs has something to offer you!

45 Cantabs women ready to race WEHoRR 2017

We are organised into a number of different squads, depending on commitment, aspirations and ability. At Cantabs, we’re lucky to benefit from the best coaching provision of all town clubs on the Cam. Each squad has at least one dedicated coach, whose bios can be found here.

At WEHoRR in 2017, three squads were represented in the five-strong contingent from Cantabs. The A, B and C crews were formed from athletes from the Senior Women’s Squad, finishing 14th, 59th and 96th, respectively. The D crew was formed from athletes from the Intermediate Women’s Squad, and the E crew was formed from athletes from our Junior Squad. In 2019, Cantabs A finished 19th, missing out on the Provincial Pennant to Nottingham RC by less than 1 second. Unfortunately, the 2020 event was cancelled due to high winds, though Cantabs were able to race Nottingham at an unofficial event at the London Docklands, where they convincingly won multiple pieces.

All of our women’s squads participate in the Cambridge Town Bumps. In 2018, Cantabs fielded 11 women’s crews for bumps – the 2nd highest number of women’s crews in the event’s history, behind the 12 we entered in 2017! The Cantabs women’s crews climbed 44 places in 2018 and 2019, including 7 crews getting blades. Cantabs are holders of the Town Bumps headship, and have the highest-ranked W2 (3rd on the river), W3 and W4 of all clubs. 4 of the top 7 women’s crews in Division 1 are Cantabs.

Please contact the women’s captain for more information on any of these squads.

Senior Women’s Squad

This squad is aimed at rowers who are committed and who want to race competitively. You don’t have to be experienced to join, but you should be enthusiastic! The Senior Women’s Squad mainly focuses on racing at national events including Henley Women’s Regatta, Fours Head, WEHoRR and the Dorney regattas, but we also compete at a lot of other events along the way.

In 2019/20, whilst the season was cut short due to high winds and COVID-19, there were notable successes including wins once again at Pairs Head, three top 3 finishes at Scullers Head, and dominating performances locally including being the fastest W8+ at Fairbairns, beating the lightweight women’s blue boat.

In 2018/19, the Senior Squad started the season by winning 2 pennants at Pairs, the Club W4x at Fours Head and MasC4- at Vet Fours Head, before going on to dominate in eights racing on the Cam and winning at Hammersmith Head and Vets Head (unfortunately WEHORR was cancelled). The summer regatta season saw success, including wins at Met Regatta, Nottingham Regatta, and two Cantabs crews finshing in the top 3 of their time trials at Henley Women’s.

In 2017/18, the Senior Squad broke 3 on-Cam course records, won at Pairs Head, Vet Fours Head, British Masters Regatta, and had some good performances and very narrow misses at WEHORR and Henley Women’s Regatta, as well as comprising 7 of the 8 athletes in the Cambridge Power8 Sprints crew.

In the 2016/17 season, the Senior Squad won Pairs Head, Vet Fours Head and WEHORR pennants, and won at Wallingford Regatta, British Masters Regatta, and Henley Women’s Regatta.

You can read more about our Senior Squad here. Please contact the women’s captain, Ellie Darlington, for more information on joining this squad.

Intermediate Squad

This squad is aimed at women who have some rowing experience and would like to develop their skills, or those who still want to compete, but have other commitments such as work or family.

The Intermediate Women’s Squad training plan consists of 4-5 sessions a week including ergs, outings and circuits. This squad mainly races on the River Cam, but also fields competitive crews at and local races in places such as Peterborough and Bedford, and they race at WEHORR each year.

The Senior Women’s Squad coaches keep an eye on athletes in the Intermediate Women’s Squad, and those who are making good progress will be invited to join the Senior Women’s Squad.

You can read more about our Intermediate Squad here.

Progression Squad

This squad trains 2-4 times per week, mostly consisting of ergs and outings. The focus is generally on races on the Cam, of which there are many to choose from: Winter League, Town Bumps, Head of the Cam, Winter Head, Christmas Head, Head to Head, Autumn Head, Cambridge Nines Regatta… the list goes on!

You can read more about our Progression Squad here.

Learn to Row

If you are a woman interested in learning to row, you can find out more here.

Social Rowing

We also have a stand-alone women’s squad, who go by ‘Racks Out’. Racks Out are a more social crew, who compete on-Cam but also have fun racing regularly abroad at regattas and head races in places including Heidelberg, Warsaw and Budapest. You can find out more about them here.

Masters Rowing

All of our women’s squads, contain masters rowers – we have no separate masters squad, instead encouraging masters age athletes to pick the squad which suits their training and racing aims most closely. When masters events take place, each squad often sends masters crews to compete.

The Senior Women’s Squad enters high-level masters competitions as well as more local races with masters events. In the last 12 months we have won the Vet Fours Head W.MasC.4+, Pairs Head W.MasC.2- and Vets Head W.MasD.8+ pennants, and won gold at the British Rowing Masters Championships in the W.MasA.1x and W.MasC.4-. Crews have also gone to (and medalled at!) the World Rowing Masters Regatta. Masters-age athletes in other squads enter masters status events wherever there is interest.

The 4- with their gold medals

Winning masters C 4- at the 2016 British Rowing Masters Championships

Please contact the women’s captain, Ellie Darlington, if you are interested in joining one of these squads.