Coxing for CUWBC was a very supportive and confidence-building experience. I went on to cox my first international race the summer after the Women’s Boat Race and then coxed for CUBC for three intense, but rewarding, years. Adjusting to the challenge of coxing on the Tideway was certainly demanding; although I’d steered the big Tideway races before, racing Putney to Mortlake side by side required a new level of skill in tactics, motivation and steering. In a Tideway boat race, both coxes are trying to out-manoeuvre both their opponent and the umpire, whilst also checking constantly how the boat feels, where the opposition is and what’s coming up next in terms of conditions and advantages. All this while 250,000 people watch from the bank, millions of people watch on the TV, and the years of history are ever-present. For a cox, there is no bigger test, or rather, no bigger opportunity.

Rebecca DowbigginRebecca Dowbiggin, Blue Boat 2006, CUBC 2007-9

Think you’ve got what it takes to cox a winning Boat Race crew? Take a look at how you can row for Cambridge.

Esther Momcilovic talks about her experience of coxing the 2013 Blue Boat in BBC Radio 4 Soundscape. Listen to it below:

Esther MomcilovicEsther Momcilovic, Lightweight 2011, Blue Boat 2013 & 2014, President 2014