Reef Boericke

Goldie’s Reef has learnt structure, discipline and self-management from his sport


Reef Boericke, shown above alongside Cam Spiers and carrying cox Ollie Boyne, was in the victorious Goldie crew on 26 March, racing against Oxford’s Isis on the Thames. This year Cambridge won all 6 races and achieved another clean sweep, seen before only in 1993 and 2018.

Reef says:

“It was amazing to win – after the disappointment of last year, to come back with quite a few of the same guys and win such an exciting race and contribute to the clean sweep was the best ending to the campaign we could have hoped for. Winning on the Tideway is an unreal experience and I’m so glad I got to experience that before leaving.”

Reef was also in the winning boat for the Goldie-Isis race in 2021 when they won by 6 lengths. With an undergrad in Engineering, Reef is now studying an MPhil in Management at Girton College. Looking ahead, he will undoubtedly be armed with the skills to fulfil his ambition of working in a technology start-up.

Reef’s first experience of rowing was at Cambridge, with the Gonville and Caius Boat Club; a testament to other aspiring hopefuls that you don’t need to have a history in the sport to get involved with rowing. As a tall and already quite fit athlete, he was then encouraged to join the Development Squad and then trial for CUBC the following year. He was in the third eight in his second year, when the Race was cancelled due to Covid. In the two seasons since then he’s rowed in the Goldie-Isis Boat Race twice, once at Ely and once in London. 

Reef says:

“I didn’t try rowing during high school because I enjoyed doing triathlon, but once I came to Cambridge it was an obvious choice. Caius was an incredibly friendly and welcoming club to join, and I greatly enjoyed my novice term and year there.”

Having taken part in sport for most of his life, Reef is used to balancing his commitments; finding time for studies and a demanding training schedule.

He explains:

“Rather than getting in the way, sport has helped me with my academics. It gives me lots of structure in my schedule and the time I do have, I use to focus on work. Doing sport definitely helps improve my discipline and self-management. It also allows me to push myself and find new boundaries. It also helps my teamwork, as a rowing boat won’t go fast if you’re not in tune with your teammates.

Training at CUBC also requires a considerable amount of individual motivation, especially when you have to do a session by yourself in the evening if you didn’t have time during the day.”

Reef says despite the long hours and hard work he’s inspired to keep rowing because it’s fun! 

He concludes:
“The feeling of racing a well-trained boat is unique and incredibly fun. Also, for someone like me who enjoys pushing and testing themselves it’s a great sport for that.”

Read the 2023 Gemini Boat Race report here.