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Our four Boat Race 2019 crew members: left to right Kate Horvat, Hugh Spaughton, Tim Nugent and Charlotte Jackson.

Good luck to our 2019 Boat Race quartet

Good luck today to Kate Horvat (2018), Charlotte Jackson (2012), Tim Nugent (2015) and Hugh Spaughton (2017) as they take part in this year’s Boat Race along the Thames.

Both Kate and Hugh will take their seats in the Women’s Boat Race Blue Boat – with Kate in the number five seat and cox Hugh steering and coordinating from the stern. Charlotte and Tim have both been selected for the reserve boats – Charlotte in the bow position for Blondie and Tim taking the number three seat for Goldie.

Kate arrived at Jesus last year from the United States to study for an MPhil in Planning, Growth and Regeneration. “I started rowing when I was 14 in my first year of high school and was recruited to Yale to row when it really took off there. I had never trained at that intensity before. The combination of academia and rowing were both a draw to Cambridge when I was considering a graduate degree, I wasn’t quite ready to give rowing up.”

Rowing runs in the family, as Kate explains: “My Mum and Dad and Grandad all rowed – Mum to College level and Dad to Junior International status and both still row now, while Grandad rowed for the Yugoslavian national team at the 1952 Olympic Games. My sister also rows, but there’s no pressure on either of us, it’s the family sport and something that we all love.

Hugh’s rowing career started at school in London: “I started rowing when I was 14 and studying at Westminster School. I first tried sculling but was nudged into trying coxing instead. We rowed at Putney, so taking part in the Boat Race is like going home to the Tideway.”

Since arriving as an undergraduate at Jesus in 2017 to study Natural Sciences, Hugh has rowed with the College Boat Club. Last year he rowed with Cambridge University Boat Club, just missing out on selection for the Goldie reserve crew: “It really hit me after the race, but it has ultimately stood me in good stead. Moving to Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club this year, I’ve worked hard to improve and it’s a great honour to have been selected to race in the Blue Boat.”

Charlotte began rowing in 2013 during the second year of her undergraduate degree. Now studying for a PhD in Earth Sciences, she explains how her career started: “My friend was Captain of Jesus College Boat Club for 2014/15 and invited me down to the boathouse and before I knew it, I was part of the community and rowed for four years - becoming Women’s Captain myself. My highlight was clinching the Headship of the River during the intercollegiate Bumps races on the Cam, going on to retain the title.”

“I joined the Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club development squad last year, taking part in the four-week summer programme and gaining insight into the trialling process. When my PhD offer arrived, I spoke to College coach Jonathan Conder who offered great support and pushed me to a higher standard."
Charlotte Jackson, Blondie crew member

“I joined the Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club development squad last year, taking part in the four-week summer programme and gaining insight into the trialling process. When my PhD offer arrived, I spoke to College coach Jonathan Conder who offered great support and pushed me to a higher standard. Since joining the CUWBC squad I’ve stepped up another gear. The training is mentally challenging but has prepared me well for the race ahead. We’ve been racing on the Thames most weekends since January so it’s a familiar course for us all now.

Tim was an experienced rower on his arrival at Jesus to study engineering. A competitor in the GB coxless fours at the 2014 Coupe de la Jeunesse international rowing regatta, Tim rowed at school in London - often watching the Boat Race from the banks of the Thames - but laid down his oars to go travelling: “Joining the College Boat Club helped to ease me back into rowing, and it was great to compete in the Men’s First Crew for Lent and May Bumps.

“I became Jesus Boat Club President for 2016/17 and by my third year had learned a lot, as well as being fitter and stronger, so decided to try out for the University squad.  I made the spare pair for Goldie - it was a blow not to make the final line-up, but still great to be involved helping everyone get on and off the water. I came back hungry this year, slightly tweaked what I was doing and worked as hard as I could and am incredibly excited to be part of this year’s crew.”

All four rowers left Cambridge for London last week, with crews living together as they work through final preparations for the big day. Although rowers leave their College at the door when racing for the Cambridge teams, Hugh says: “It’s great to have such a good Jesuan representation this year. I’m so proud to be part of the College tradition of rowing and it’s fitting that four minutes or so into the race we’ll pass the memorial to fellow Jesuan Steve Fairbairn.”

 “We’re all very proud to be part of the College and grateful for the Alan Burrough Fund, very generously donated with the intention of helping Jesuans to row for the University.” adds Kate: “It’s incredibly helpful when covering trialists club and camp fees and very much appreciated.”

Charlotte says: “The College Boat Club has made my time at Jesus, and the support of our coach and everyone who is part of the community has been amazing – thank you to all of the old members of the club who have been in contact since the selection announcement.”

“The big strength of the College rowing system is that anyone can pick up an oar and give rowing a go. The camaraderie is fantastic, and I know that the whole Club is behind us all for this Sunday. Thanks to them for all their support.”
Tim Nugent, Goldie crew member

“The big strength of the College rowing system is that anyone can pick up an oar and give rowing a go.” states Tim: “The camaraderie is fantastic, and I know that the whole Club is behind us all for this Sunday. Thanks to them for all their support.”

All four rowers will have family and friends cheering along from the banks of the Thames on the day. Like Kate, rowing is something of a family sport for Charlotte, with her cousin Patrick Sullivan selected for the Oxford men’s Blue Boat: “It’s a big day for the family, and my Grandparents in particular are very excited!”

Good luck to each of our rowers, their fellow crew members and the support staff working so hard behind the scenes. We’ll be cheering you all on from Cambridge.

BBC One will live broadcast the Boat Race today, with coverage from 1.20pm BST onwards. The full race day timetable is available on the official Boat Race website.

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