On Sunday 2 April Oxford University Boat Club rowed to victory in the 163rd Boat Race, and amongst the crew was not one, but three Old Abingdonians.
Of particular interest this year has been the Cook brothers, siblings Jamie (OA 2010) and Ollie (OA 2008), gaining attention from the media in the wake of the Winklevoss twins’ appearance in the Oxford boat in 2010. This year was Jamie’s third Boat Race, and while it was a Dark Blue debut for older brother Ollie, it comes off the back of great success for him as Senior World Champion, winning the Men's Coxed Pair at the World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam the previous year. Speaking recently at the FASBC Boat Club Dinner, Ollie described it as a 'huge honour' to be representing Abingdon in the Boat Race.
Ollie took the Three seat, with Jamie retaining his Seven seat. Their pace was set by Vassilis Ragoussis (OA 2011) sitting at Stroke seat, acting as a ‘human metronome’ for the crew. Also a Boat Race debut, Vas’ determination and focus was evident at the crew weigh-in and transferred seamlessly onto race day.
In a tight and exciting race, the Oxford crew were the victorious side in a time of 16:59.
However, these were not the only OA appearances across the weekend. Cambridge University’s reserve boat Goldie also featured two Old Abingdonians, Felix Newman (OA 2012) and Ian Middleton (OA 2013), both highly experienced with this, their fourth year, in the Cambridge squad. There were also performances from Robin Bourne-Taylor (OA 1999) and Martin Haycock (OA 1991) in the Veterans’ Boat Race for Oxford and Cambridge respectively.
We offer huge congratulations to our winning OAs and the greatest respect to the time, dedication, sacrifice and hard work that goes into achieving a place in these prestigious rowing squads. We hope to see more OAs feature in the Boat Race for years to come.