Team of the Week: UCBC

They’re the biggest boat club in Durham, and one of the oldest in the world: Men’s Captain Jonny Bowers reveals what it is that keeps the Castle rowers rowing.

UCBC is consistently, year by year, the biggest college boat club in Durham. So what is its secret to getting people involved in what is officially the 3rd most boring sport yet invented (after cricket and curling)?

Castle boat club (contrary to popular belief) does not have the most money, the best facilities, or even a boathouse to itself…

What is it, then, that keeps the Castle rowers rowing?

The biggest boat club in Durham in terms of numbers of rowers

Part of the reason is the sheer amount of it.

Freshmen’s Captain Adam Wells was recently heard complaining that he trains so much that he “only goes home to sleep, not even to eat.”

Circuits at sunset

Another reason is the unescapable scope to expand your wardrobe.

UCBC has some of the most varied stash – whether you like strutting about in your skin tight lycra or standing out in a lambswool blazer they can cater for all needs.

Lambswool blazers to die for

But what brings people to rowing the most in Castle is the sheer team spirit.

High off winning the Castle-Hatfield erg challenge for at least the 7th year running, President Ed Hawkins was heard saying “What I love most is the fact that even rugby boys love rowing when it involves smashing Hatfield.”

The annual Castle-Hatfield erg challenge

That, it seems, is UCBC’s secret.

As much as sitting on an erg for an hour is mind numbingly boring, when you know that Hatfield are doing the same thing just 100 metres away, it becomes much more bearable.

You don’t train for rowing because you enjoy it, you do it because it will help you beat the other team, and you don’t want to be the one who lets Castle down.

Founded in 1834, UCBC is the oldest society in Durham and the oldest Boat Club in the North of England

That’s why UCBC, one of the oldest boat clubs in Britain and indeed, the world, has so much to train for: history and rivalry.

That’s why Castle still have over 60 rowers wearing the cardinal and black.

And that’s why UCBC will be a force to reckon with when it comes to the regattas in summer.