Oliver Wynne-Griffith and Tom George, left and middle, doubled their gold-medal tally for this season after first winning at Belgrade’s World Rowing Cup I back in MayNordin Ćatić (with permission for Varsity)

On Switzerland’s aquatic gem that is the Rotsee, otherwise known as Göttersee (‘lake of the gods’), Cambridge University Boat Club (CUBC) once again bolstered its international reputation as a cornerstone of the rowing community, with current students and alumni combining to win six gold medals last weekend.

Imogen Grant ignited winning ways on Saturday (9/7), before Oliver Wynne-Griffith, Tom George, Grace Prendergast, Freddie Davidson, and Henry Fieldman all cashed in for gold on Sunday (10/7).

The races in the city of Lucerne came off the back of a winless campaign for Cambridge at the Henley Royal Regatta two weeks ago. The trio of Grant, Wynne-Griffith, and George, however, did make their respective finals, but narrowly missed out on silverware.

Grant’s supremacy in Switzerland came with a new world-best time of 7:23.36 in the Lightweight Women’s single. After breezing through the preliminary stages, Grant marked her return to international racing with an emphatic win.

“I was in the middle of my exams when the team went out to race in Belgrade [at the World Rowing Cup I in May]”, said the Trinity College medic before collecting her medal, “but it was really inspiring to see them all come away with medals.

“I came here with the intention to try and see if I could break the world-best time and I’m so happy that I managed it.”

Wynne-Griffith and George were a CUBC pairing that struck gold back in Belgrade, as the Peterhouse partnership continued to dominate on the international stage. History repeated itself on Sunday, as they turned over the Australian boat of Harley Moore and Alexander Hill to take the top spot, also leaving the Kiwi pair of Tom Mackintosh and Matt Macdonald, who beat them in the Silver Goblets final at Henley, to flounder in fourth.

Wynne-Griffith spoke after the winning result: “The races come thick and fast at this time of year, so when you get knocks like last week [at Henley] it’s important to get back up, get back on it and know that there are performances in there, so I’m really pleased how we stayed focused [...] and we’re just enjoying making the boat go fast!”


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On the subject of New Zealanders, Prendergast stormed to victory with her rowing partner Kerri Williams in the Women’s Pair. The seven-seat from April’s record-breaking Boat Race win had been training in Ely with Williams before flying out to Switzerland, where the relatively new pair showed little sign of teething problems.

Team GB’s Davidson and Fieldman rounded out the weekend’s successes for Cambridge, clinching gold in the Men’s Coxless Four and Men’s Eight respectively.

2020 CUBC President Davidson stroked in the boat that defeated reigning Olympic champions Australia by a clear margin thanks to a strong push in the final 500 metres. Meanwhile, Fieldman coxed his crew to an impressive win that saw the GB men lead from start to finish, beating Australia and Germany.

“It felt great to be back racing and it was really fun,” described the Tokyo bronze medallist and 2013 Boat Race participant, “I loved every minute of it. I enjoyed a bit of coaching and seeing the sport from that side, but to be back in the performance element is what I love [...] and I’m really proud and pleased with how the guys performed today.”

Video replays of the winning crews can be found here.