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Image of The Boat Race 2018 crews with Tower Bridge London in the background

Good luck to 2018 Boat Race crews

Good luck today to Paula Wesselmann (2017) and Spencer Furey (2017) - rowing in the number three and five seats respectively at today’s Cancer Research UK Boat Race - and to their crewmates and coaching teams.

Both Paula and Spencer arrived at Jesus last year with impressive rowing CVs, including College rowing experience from their time studying in the United States.

As a junior rower, Paula won a silver and two bronze medals at the German Championships between 2009 and 2011. She went on to race in the Varsity 8 crew throughout her studies at Clemson University, before arriving at Jesus College to study for an MPhil in Machine Learning, Speech and Language Technology.

Spencer Furey took up rowing in his first year at Dartmouth College after no spots were left for his first sport of tennis. Watching the Boat Race for the first time in 2014, he made it a goal to take part in the race: “I have an obsessive personality, and when I watched the race and saw how much tradition and work goes into it, I made it a goal. It’s the pinnacle of amateur scholar athletics.” His skills were honed under the coaching of his rowing hero, Olympic gold medallist Wyatt Allen, who arrived during Spencer’s sophomore year.

Now studying for an MPhil in American History, Spencer arrived at Jesus a month early for pre-season training – finding a welcoming rowing community and the bonus of being able to train on open water year-round, boosting his rowing mileage.

Talking in the final days of race preparation, Spencer said: “I’ve been rowing with the crew since December/January time and feel honoured to be part of this elite unit and a great tradition. I was thrilled to be selected, and my first reaction was to text my parents – both of whom will be watching from the bank of the Thames, along with two friends from the States and my Jesus College housemates.”

“Preparation has been going well and we’re going in hungry but humble. We always maintain a healthy respect between us and Oxford – they have a great crew – but winning matters, and we want to win.

BBC One will be broadcasting live at The Cancer Research UK Boat Race between 3.50pm - 6.15pm today.

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