With The Boat Race 2024 just weeks away, the Vice-Chancellor has been to meet Cambridge University Boat Club students and staff at their Ely training centre.

It might have been a chilly and dark 6am start, but a warm welcome awaited Professor Deborah Prentice, who joined Chief Women’s Coach Paddy Ryan on a launch following the crews out on the River Great Ouse.

Professor Prentice said it was an opportunity to witness the dedication of the students, who routinely set off from Cambridge at five in the morning, arrive at Ely Boathouse just after six, then complete around an hour’s training before needing to get back to Cambridge in time for morning lectures.

“These students and their coaches are doing unbelievable work, they’re out here every day at six in the morning,” said Professor Prentice.

“The fact that they are combining this training with study is a reminder of how disciplined and committed our students are. Rowing is a team sport and they are a fantastic team for sure.”

Annamarie Phelps, CUBC Club Chair, said she was delighted the Vice-Chancellor was able to visit and meet the students, coaches and staff.

“It was fantastic to welcome the Vice-Chancellor to our Ely Boathouse, where she was able to see first-hand the dedication of these student athletes and their coaches.

“We were also able to show Professor Prentice the amazing facilities we have here – something made possible only with the generous support of the University and alumni.

“We’re now looking forward to welcoming Professor Prentice to the Boat Race itself next month, when she will be presenting the Boat Race Trophies - hopefully to Cambridge!”

This year’s race, on 30th March, will mark the 78th Women’s race and the 169th Men’s race, with Cambridge leading across all categories in historic results.

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