Cygnet is the civil service rowing club, so do I have to be a civil servant to join?
Absolutely not. However if you are a civil servant you will benefit from a reduced annual subscription.
What facilities are available and what do you have to provide yourself?
Most importantly the club has a fantastic fleet of racing boats from eights to single sculls. The active members, assisted by past members and fund raising, buy these. The club has a well–equipped gym affectionately known as The Shed. The boathouse has large changing rooms, hot and powerful showers, a newly refurbished bar and kitchen, and a regular newsletter. There are also many social activities held in conjunction with BBLRC, our sister club. We also own a bungalow in Shepperton at which we hold regular sculling camps. All you have to provide is suitable rowing clothing and plenty of enthusiasm.
What is suitable rowing clothing?
Specialist rowing clothing is readily available and you will need to get some club kit if you take up the sport and start racing. Generally tight fitting sports kit, such as running or cycling gear is good to start with. Leggings will be required in the winter as will a wind or water proof top. Conditions can vary from sublime, calm and sunny to ridiculous, rough and windy and you are likely to get wet either way. It's always best to bring a dry change with you. You will also need wellies although there are some available at the club.
What sort of boats will I be rowing in?
There are many types of rowing boats including touring boats, gigs, skiffs, coastal and surf boats. Like the majority of rowing clubs our fleet is made up of fine boats or racing boats, which are the long narrow boats that you may have seen in the Boat Race or the Olympics. They are designed for racing and that's exactly what we hope you see you doing!
Is there a regular meeting place for members?
Members meet regularly for training and rowing at the Civil Service Boathouse. Squad training happens all-year-round on Saturday and Sunday mornings and on Tuesday and Thursday evenings as a minimum. Mid-week training in the summer is mostly water-based and in the winter will be a mix of ergos, running, circuits and weights.
What competitions are held throughout the year?
The Club competes in open regattas in the summer and Head Races in the winter. Events take place on the Thames and in the provinces. In addition we usually make an October trip to Dusseldorf to row in the Rhine Marathon, a November trip to Birmingham for the British Indoor Rowing Champs and members have been known to compete in the odd marathon or triathlon as well.
Are all levels catered for?
We accept members of all ages and levels of experience from novice to elite. All we ask is that you are reasonably fit and can swim 100 metres in rowing kit. Your swimming ability will be tested.
Will rowing take up much of my time?
Frankly yes, at least if you want to become any good. It takes time to develop both the technique and the fitness for rowing so if you think you'll struggle to make two evening in the week and at least one morning of the weekend then it might not be the sport for you!
Is there an annual subscription fee?
There is indeed and it is very favourable when compared to other Tideway clubs. There are two different subscriptions depending on whether you are a member of the CSSC. Current subscription rates are detailed here.
OK I fancy having a go, what will happen when I come down?
If you have never rowed before then we will ask you to join one of our Learn to Row courses. If you already have rowing experience, initially a member of the captaincy will meet you and give you a tour of our facilities.