Making History at the Boat Races

Cambridge University is celebrating a clean sweep on the Tideway at the 164th Cancer Research UK Boat Races on Saturday, with its male and female crews convincingly winning all four races.  This follows a double light blue victory in the Varsity Lightweight Boat Races at Eton Dorney the week before – the first time since 1993 that Cambridge has won all six Varsity Boat Races.

Credit: The Boat Race
Credit: The Boat Race

Trinity College was represented in all four victorious crews competing against Oxford at the Boat Races by Chemical Engineering student Hugo Ramambason, Cox of the Men’s Blue Boat and President of the CUBC, fourth year medical student Imogen Grant in the Women’s Blue Boat, Millie Perrin (Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic) who was Stroke in the women’s Reserve Crew, and Reggie Mitchell (Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic) and Piers Kasas (Chemical Engineering) in the Men’s Reserve Crew.

Hugo explained the historical significance of this achievement and why it means so much to him.

I couldn’t have dreamt of a more special way to end my time with the CUBC than the double win we scored on Saturday. It’s the first time both our Blue Boat and Goldie have won together since 2010, and the first time Cambridge have won all four races (Men/Women & main/reserve) since 1997. This was the first season we spent in full in our new boathouse up in Ely, and it’s a testament to the improvements in our training quality the new facility have made possible that Cambridge won all the races we contested this year.

Looking back on the tactics of the race itself, he described how the action unfolded:

We felt the race was probably going to be really tight and still be in contact at the finish. Oxford have won 4 of the last 5 boat races, so we prepared for a long and tactical race over the full course. It was a pleasant surprise when we started to really move on about 30s in, and about 90s in we knew we had an opportunity to kill the race there and then. We worked aggressively through the first corner (in Oxford’s favour) to negate any advantage they might hope to obtain, and then pushed on minute by minute trying to create as big a gap as possible. I’m proud of the way in which we executed our race and had the confidence to kill it off so early.  That we delivered such dominance in a year in which pundits predicted a tight race speaks to the quality of our coaching staff and our preparation.

Reflecting on the build up to the Women’s Boat Race, Imogen was grateful for good conditions on the day:

The week leading up to the race we had snow, wind, and waves, so we were very lucky to get a beautifully flat day to race! We wanted a clean race, and to set a pace that our opposition couldn’t stick with and I am so happy we were able to do that.

Everyone returning from last year upped their game and competition in the squad was the fiercest I have ever seen it. I had to fight hard to retain my seat.

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