Hardy’s Boat Race Diary
Blues and Australia oarsman Hardy Cubasch kicks off his countdown to the big day.
G’day! Until the Boat Race on April 3rd, I will be writing a weekly diary in The Tab to keep you all up to date with what the Blues squad are doing and how we’re shaping up for the big day. If I throw in the occaisional bit of banter to distinguish my diary from the one Silas Stafford did last year in Varsity then you’ll have to forgive me!
It has now been four months since the doors of Cambridge University Boat Club (CUBC) opened themselves to the 2009/10 batch of weird and wonderful students. And oh what a mixture this year has delivered!
During a period of just over seven months, the squad learns to live together like a family of orphaned brothers. Six hours a day are spent alongside each other, many secrets and stories are shared and some of your closest friendships are formed.
However, this is a strange sport. In a town that has no more than ten hours of daylight through Michaelmas and Lent why would any sane young man decide he wanted to spend such a large part if his university day avoiding all the fit college divas of this world and instead hide in the marshlands of Ely. Well, over the next ten weeks we will bring these men of mystery out into the open and see what life is really like within the walls of the CUBC.
With the boys in the ever-hospitable conditions of Ely!
The official season starts three weeks before the beginning of the academic year. Some of the squad are known to each other having already completed a pre-season tour which this year included competing in Russia and New Zealand. However, with the squad starting at around forty, comprising eight different nationalities and a mixture of ages from 18-28, a large majority are complete strangers.
A meeting is called by that year’s President who proceeds to welcome all trialists (any full time student at the University may trial), outlines the season ahead and the way he envisages the squad defeating the Dark Blue. It is all quite serious, the Captain’s Room at Goldie Boathouse is filled with history and tradition, 180 years of crew plaques humbling you in your seat. Each plaque with the simplest of words etched alongside that year’s crew – “Won” or “Lost”.
So who are the two main men at the CUBC this year?
This season the squad is being led by what at first appeared to be a pair of Hollywood axe wielders. The President, Deaglan McKitchen is basically a cut out of cult icon Patrick Bateman. Both a product of the prestigious US prep school The Philip Exeter Academy, an obsession with investment banking and personal grooming alongside conducting discussions in the third person are just a few of the traits they share.
Deaglan is ably assisted by one of the grumpiest and most aggressive men in Cambridge, his Vice President aka Gimli. Canadian Rob Weitemeyer is unafraid of pain and danger, he is stocky, broad shouldered and about as strong and pretty as a caveman. He prides and grooms his beard as Deaglan does his hair, is forever discussing his love of his homeland and people, but most importantly, he is short.
The President and Vice-President of CUBC
Rob suffers from Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia and is therefore medically classified a dwarf (smaller than 4′ 10”). He has certainly utilised his short trunk and tiny limbs to great effect and is the current CUBC push up champion. For those keen to throw down a challenge his bread and butter before term started was 5000 in a week…
Jokes aside, these two boys are possibly two of Cambridge’s most respected, dedicated and decorated athletes having represented their home nations at multiple World Championships.
Both are returning Blues in their final year, Deaglan a student of History, Rob, Natural Sciences, and they balance managing the team and their studies on top of twelve training sessions per week.
It is their leadership and commitment that will be critical in ensuring that the current squad, now down to twenty two, are able to do everything that is possible to ensure Cambridge break the drought and cross the line in front on Saturday 3rd April 2010.
69 days to go…