CUBC at the Presidents’ Challenge


The gauntlet has been thrown down to mark the official start of the Gemini Boat Race season.

Cambridge University Boat Club student athletes and staff travelled to central London last week (November 30) for the official Presidents’ Challenge.

It saw two-time winning Blue Caoimhe Dempsey (Newnham) accept the challenge set by Oxford’s Sara Helin for the 77th Women’s Boat Race on Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 4pm, while Ollie Boyne (Downing) put down the ultimatum to the Dark Blues’ Tassilo Von Mueller for the 168th Men’s Boat Race (5pm).

CUBC have won the last five Women’s Boat Race, taking a two-and-a-quarter length victory in 2022.

Caoimhe said: “Nights like this are important in a lot of ways. It’s important to meet everybody that is behind the scenes for the Boat Race, and it is also one of the only chances we get to meet Oxford and talk to them, which is very exciting for us.

“We also get to meet a lot of the charities that we work with, which is great we’re so busy with training that we don’t get a lot of time to do that.”

CUBC have won three of the last four Men’s Boat Races, but lost earlier this year by two-and-a-quarter lengths.

Ollie said: “It’s all about nights like tonight that really bring the history of the race through.

“The challenge originates from the first Boat Race in 1829 and it’s just such an historic event. Although a lot has changed, obviously, a lot is still the same and it’s fantastic to bring that together, to see where the club has been and what’s next.”

Mark Taylor/CUDAR