President Sayre accepts Challenge from OUWBC’s Christmann

CUWBC President, Larkin Sayre (Emmanuel College) accepted the Challenge from OUWBC President Tina Christmann last night.  The evening was hosted by Boat Race partners Chapel Down at their London home, ‘Gin Works’ overlooking Regents Canal. 


This moment marks the official start of the Boat Race build up although the squad has been training since late August in preparation for the 75th Women’s Boat Race on March 29th 2020.   The event was the first opportunity for alumni, special guests and Boat Race partners to meet the 2020 Presidents and to hear more about what it means to be part of the Boat Race family.

As Emma Boggis, OUWBC Chair commented in her opening presentation,

“The Boat Race has changed a lot over its history but what is constant is the value it has to those competing and the place it holds in the British psyche.  Both Universities are internationally renowned – are leading the way in terms of academic study and research – continue to attract the brightest minds from across the UK and the world and many of them get the opportunity to have rowing play an important part in their lives.”

2020 will be the 5th year the Men’s and Women’s Boat Race will take place together on the Tideway. It will be the 166th Men’s boat race and it is a special year for the Women because it is the 75th time the Women’s Boat Race will take place.

Three time Olympic gold medallist and OUBC Boat Race winner Andy Triggs Hodge interviewed the Presidents and some of the crew members.  The student athletes shared insights into their studies and why they were inspired to start rowing and how they are inspiring others.  

As Laura Foster (Queens’ College) reflects on the night,

“The President’s Challenge was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the official beginning of the Boat Races campaign! We really enjoyed getting to speak with our sponsors, umpires, and fellow athletes throughout the evening.”

The team members shared their views on why  being part of the Boat Clubs and the Boat Race is such a privilege and how they want to give back to their sport and university.


History was also made as Sarah Winckless (Fitzwilliam College) was announced as the first ever female umpire of the men’s race for 2020.  In fact, it is going to be an all-female team as Judith Packer was announced as Umpire for the women’s race.





Sarah added after the event,

“To be the first woman to umpire the men’s Boat Race is a real privilege.  I’ve been part of the Umpires Panel since 2013 and for me it will complete the set, having been an umpire for both Reserve Races and the Women’s Boat Race.  I look forward to working with this years squads, and the Umpires Panel to ensure that we are set up for the 29th March.”

We would like to extend our thanks to the incredible Boat Race Partners
Wainwright, the official beer partner of the Boat Race,
– Mizuno our performance wear partner,
Aigle our boot supplier,
Rupert and Buckley our clothing partner
– and of course the RNLI our charity partner.


The evening was a great success as Larkin comments, 

“We really enjoyed attending the President’s Challenge and it was an honour for me to share the stage with Tina Christmann and Andrew Triggs-Hodge! I am particularly excited about the all-female umpire line-up, a huge step! I know it will inspire many more women to take on leadership roles in the rowing world. Also thank you to Chapel Down for hosting us!”

Thank you to Ben Tufnell from Row 360 for the great photos!


75th Women’s and 45th Lightweight Men’s Boat Races in 2020


For more information, press only:

Please Contact: Tina Goode

Telephone Number: 07733 346810

Email: [email protected]