Reflecting the pioneering spirit of the collection, Hunter Field is proud to provide boots for the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge crews that not only see them though the gruelling winter training regimes but also serve to protect them from the Tideway, the section of the River Thames in London on which the races take place.
Renowned for their unfaltering dedication to the sport, and remarkable academic prowess, this year’s campaign honours Vassilis Ragoussis, of Oxford University Boat Club, and Claire Lambe, of Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club.
Having competed in several prestigious races, including a spell representing Boston University as part of the Men’s Varsity Crew, 2017 marks Vassilis’ first year with the Oxford University Boat Club and, to him, the team is everything. “It is the team that pushes the standard to above what you thought was possible,” he explains. “When you wake up at 5.40am, you are tired and your body aches, having those bonds and friendships makes it a lot easier to train during the dark winter months.”
When it comes to training, Vassilis emphasises the important of mental strength. “Spending hours and hours a day on the ergo or water is very monotonous, having that ability to keep pushing yourself when you’re tired is absolutely key,” he says. “The physical aspect of training is obviously very tiring and has a huge effect on your body, but the mental aspect to keep composed and keep ‘on it’ every day is even more important. Every day involves the constant search for the perfect stroke, and this requires a lot of motivation.”
2017 also marks Claire Lambe’s first year with the Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club. A seasoned rower, Claire has been competing internationally since 2012, most recently rowing for Ireland in the Lightweight Woman’s Double Sculls during the 2016 Olympic Games. “Rowing is about being greater than the sum of your parts,” she explains, “Each individual brings their own attributes to the team and together you all work towards making the boat go faster than you ever thought it could.”
The unpredictability of the river, is a hugely influential factor on the day. “For that reason we train in every condition,” Claire explains, “There’s never a day too windy, too cold or too wet to be out on the water. “The unpredictability adds an element of excitement and another way for us to better our opposition.”