#OTD Twenty Years Ago

We hear from alumna Aimee Di Marco as she reflects on her season and the record breaking day at Henley on Thames back in 1999.

A New Course Record Set at Henley Boat Races

We weren’t meant to break the course record.

It was a tough season for CUWBC with no returning Blues and a crew of relative unknowns. We boated from the ship yard in Ely, changing by our cars next to the railway line and keeping our boats on tressles on the floor, often finding the gates frozen shut on our arrival at 6am.
Land training was 6-8pm in Fenners. Training camp was in a flooded and freezing Marlow.  It felt pretty bleak at times.  Ron (may he rest in peace- much missed) and Roger, had a vision for us and were unstinting in their determination to achieve it.
We gelled well socially as a crew, it was the early days of email and we had a continuous stream of banter between training sessions. 
Race day was sunny but windy with white horses on parts of the course.  I knew we had a crew of racers but I think we surprised ourselves when we got off to a flying start with Jen shouting ‘settle! Settle!’ and possibly some expletives urging us to…. perhaps we knew it would all be over in 6 mins and 1 second….. and that was it. Completion. Elation at the result, deflation at the goal, now complete, removing our purpose…. 20 years on and great satisfaction and great friends remain.
So, good luck to the Blue Boat on April 7th. Enjoy every moment!
Aimee di Marco








Blue Boat 1999

Bow: Julia Davies (Gonville & Caius)

2: Rebecca Lewis (Fitzwilliam)

3: Jessica Wilson President (LMBC)

4: Aimee di Marco (Newnham)

5: Adrienne Ferguson (Homerton)

6: Caroline Ng (Trinity)

7: Melissa Bolton (LMBC)

Stroke: Julia Henderson (Emmanuel)

Cox: Jennifer Phillips (Gonville & Caius)