Lent Term has been an exciting, busy and successful time for Hughes Hall rowers; Anie Vasileva reports.
An inspiring visit from Husein Alireza
Hughes Hall Boat Club (HHBC) kicked off the term with a visit from Olympic rower and Hughes Hall alumnus, Husein Alireza, who gave an inspirational talk about his rowing journey. Husein learnt to row during his one year Master’s at Hughes, and made it to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in just four years, where he became a quarterfinalist, representing Saudi Arabia. We were honoured to welcome Husein back and delighted he gifted his Olympic race kit to the Boat Club!
The Boat Club hosted a 24-hour ‘Ergathon’ in February to raise money towards a new boat for the women’s side. With only two boats available for the Hughes Hall women, this will be a vital investment to help expand the club and support women’s sport.
Our rowers were joined by current students, Senior Members, and staff as they kept the rowing machines going around the clock, from 6pm to 6pm. Alumni joined virtually from Italy, America, Australia, and New Zealand. Olympian and alumnus Dara Alizadeh joined for the opening, and GB Coach and Fellow, Steve Trapmore, came down in person to jump on the erg. MCR President Kudzai Chivenga took part as well as a number of former Boat Club members and coaches.
The amount raised was above and beyond initial targets, helped by a generous and unexpected donation from Husein in the middle of the night. By the end of the 24 hours, a total of 10,300 was raised!
The Boat Club were very grateful to everyone who donated, who gave their time, and to everyone who came along at different points over the 24 hours to lend support. The fundraiser even made it into the Cambridge Independent!
It was a tough Lent Bumps this year for all as bad weather saw Day three cancelled, and only the top two Divisions racing on Saturday. Nonetheless, there were some fantastic results for HHBC.
The women’s second boat (W2) gained three places and bumped at every available opportunity which meant that they qualified for blades! A rare and prestigious achievement amongst Cambridge rowers.
The men’s first boat (M1) got an impressive overbump on day one and gained three places. They were bumped on day two, and rowed over on day three, meaning they were +2 overall – a great result.
The women’s first boat (W1) got bumped on day one, but came back strongly with the revenge bump on day two. Bumping again on day three resulted in another good result of +1.
W3 and M2 did not make it to bumps this year but participated in the Talbott Cup the following week.
Huge congratulations to all our boats, and we’re looking forward to some more great results in May!
Over the term, HHBC competed in numerous races including some here on the Cam such as Newnham Head and Pembroke Regatta, with all crews bringing strong performances. W1 and M1 also participated in Bedford regatta in February; a great experience and a chance to race off-Cam, and in a different environment.
W1 also raced in the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race (WEHoRR) and M1 raced in the Head of the River Race (HoRR) on the Tideway in London, against some of the top boats in the UK including Team GB. It was a great day out and an excellent opportunity for team bonding.
The Boat Race
Congratulations to our three Hughes Hall students, Thomas Lynch, Noam Mouelle, and Sam Clark who competed in the Boat Race and Lightweights Boat Race this year, with Cambridge University Boat Club winning all races across the board.
It is fantastic to see our College represented so well amongst the top rowers at Cambridge University, and we look forward to many more years of success!
Alumni Rowing Day and Dinner
If you rowed at Hughes and are feeling nostalgic about the early mornings, HHBC friendships and your time on the Cam, the Boat Club would love to welcome you back for the annual HHBC Alumni Rowing Day on Saturday 27 May 2023.
Regardless of your levels of rowing over the past few years, all rowing alumni are invited to take part. Non-rowers and guests are welcome to join spectators on Ditton Meadows, where refreshments will be provided.
The new Women’s VIII will be christened after the outing.
Dinner and drinks reception to follow the day in Hughes Hall dining room. Get your tickets here.
The Boat Club looks forward to welcoming you back.