Wolfson College Boat Club

Sign up

It's about sports. It's about socialising.
But there's more to it.



It's passion. Be part of something special.

Michaelmas term is also known as Novice term. It's the time of the year when Freshers arrive at college, interested in new activities and hungry for new experiences. Anyone who's interested in joining WCBC and who decides to sign up online, at the Wolfson Freshers' Fair or at the Novice BBQ (see Events on this website) is invited to 'taster' outings on the river. After two weeks, provisional novice crews are assembled: prospective novices now have the option to accept or decline the seat offered to them.


Selection for the novices' first or second boat (NM1 / NW1 and NM2 / NW2, respectively) depends on previous experience, fitness, talent and commitment. Reliablilty is highly valued: an outing can't happen without a complete crew! First boats will typically tend to get four outings a week - one of which on weekends - and two gym sessions, while second boats do three outings and one gym session.

Morning sessions typically start at 7am, push-off - that is, setting off - being at 7:30am at the earliest due to regulations. As most people have lectures or lab work at 9am, care is taken to get everyone back to the boat house in time. Evening gym sessions are organised so it fits best in the schedule of the rowers and coaches.

Over the course of Michaelmas term, crews are entered into various races and events, the most important of which are Queens’ Ergs in week 5 and the Fairbairn Cup at the end of term.

Queens Ergs

Obviously, an important part of WCBC life are socials - they happen fairly regularly, sometimes in the shape of a pub meet, sometimes a full-blown pub crawl. Also, the Fairbairn Cup is immediately followed by the traditional Boat Club Dinner, dresscode: black tie. It's a great occasion to really get all the boat club members and their friends - who can come as guests - together just before term ends and everybody leaves. Crew pictures are taken, and the whole occasion is remembered for quite a while!


Fairbairns' will have been the last time novices row together in their respective novice crews. Whoever decides to stick with rowing - most people, we hope! - is expected to keep training on their own over term break: in the first week of Lent term, selection for the College’s senior boats start. An exciting new world of competitions and glory is waiting!