Corpus Christi, founded in 1517, is a small but perfectly formed Oxford College; its boat club has the same reputation for ambition despite its size. The website has been written by past and present members and woven into a framework designed by an alumnus; it is a demonstration of what CCCBC achieves through friendship, generosity and boundless enthusiasm.
The club itself was founded in 1858. For well over 150 years, College members have raced in the College’s distinctive red and blue colours, both inside and outside of Oxford, joined by the female members of the College in 1978, when the women’s club was founded. Now, we row, train and race as a unit, the smallest but by no means least ambitious of all the college boatclubs.
Be part of tradition…
CCCBC still competes in the traditional Oxford “bumps” races on the stretch of the river Thames that runs through Oxford City Centre (known to all at Oxford as “The Isis”) racing VIII+ (rowing boats crewed by eight oarsmen/women and a cox) in “Torpids” (the inter-collegiate rowing competition of Hilary Term) and “Summer VIIIs” (in Trinity term). The traditional “bumps” rowing competitions remain unique to Oxbridge, and attract up to 50,000 spectators at the river during the summer competition. The club, therefore, remains proud of its traditions; we have an annual Boatclub Dinner, we win wooden “blades” (oars) as trophies, we race in lycra and socialise in rowing blazers in the Corpus traditional red and blue colours, and our boathouse is situated at the centre of “Boathouse Island” (the stretch of riverbank lined with the college boathouses).
Challenge yourself to learn a new skill…
However, while conscious of our traditions, the atmosphere in the club is equally down-to-earth. Most of our rowers start rowing at Corpus, are coached by current experienced rowers, and compete as Novices in the inter-collegiate “Christ Church Regatta”, held especially for them in Michaelmas term. Senior crews regularly compete outside of Oxford (in the national Head of the River race in London, for instance), and race in IV+ (boats crewed by four oarsmen/oarswomen) or take out our single sculls. In addition, we support talented individuals who want to trial for the University Men’s and Women’s teams; in the last few years we have one man win the Isis-Goldie Oxford-Cambridge boat race as well as sending a number of men and women to trial with both the heavyweight and lightweight squads. There are also opportunities to row in less serious crews and “beer/ bikini VIIIs” (Oxford slang for a boat which does little training before it competes) available throughout JCR members’ time in Oxford.
Form lasting friendships…
There is a real ethos of enjoying what we do. CCCBC a friendly and accepting group of people who really enjoy each others’ company and competing together; we have a successful and diverse membership of about 60 drawn from various years and academic disciplines, and lasting friendships are formed between crew-members.We often socialise as a collective, with cocktails, “crew-dates” (another Oxford “tradition”, whereby one college crew will ‘date’ another at a suitable restaurant), and socials common; recently, we even raced dragon-boats to raise money for a local charity, ReadingQuest.
Be part of it.
Never in my sporting career have I met such a devoted, driven and determined bunch of individuals. Sharing so much time together training, racing and socialising has generated bonds and friendships which will last forever. It is this spirit within the Boat Club which makes us unique and it is this spirirt which makes CCCBC a success.