On Saturday 13th April, the club enjoyed it’s annual dinner celebrating the last 12 months at Cantabs. Held at the Royal Cambridge Hotel, it was a fun evening with plenty to celebrate, and an opportunity to look back at the last 12 months.
As is tradition, awards were presented for improvement, achievement and contribution across the club.
This was awarded to Charlotte Parr, a J15 who has been performing well coxing the J18 girls’ crews this season. There were nominations for a whole host of other coxes at Cantabs, showing the appreciation that each squad has for their coxes, and their performances over the last 12 months.
This was a highly-contested category, with nominations for individuals and athletes from all across the club. Rowing Improvement was ultimately awarded to the Aquaphobes, who originally joined Cantabs as a group of former water polo players looking for a new challenge.
Over the last year, the Aquaphobes have enjoyed massive improvements in their performance as seen by results at both local and national races, and have become the self-styled masters performance squad for men at Cantabs.
Gill Cooper and Judith Weik of the Senior Women’s Squad were joint winners of this award, having dominated the Tideway head masters events over the last 12 months.
They have won W.MasC.2- at Pairs Head, W.MasC.4+ at Vet Fours Head, (their 3rd consecutive win!), and W.MasD.8+ at Vets Head, in composite with Marlow Rowing Club. There was also special commendation for Debbie Morley, who featured in the 4+ and 8+ crews this year.
The Junior Achievement award was also shared, this year between Robert Almqvist and Katie Oliver. Members of the Junior Performance Squad, both featured in the crews which competed at the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta last year, with Katie winning bronze in the J16 girls’ 8+.
Both Robert and Katie attended national trials this year, performing well, and have both raced with the Senior Squads at Tideway heads this season. Robert raced in the men’s 1st eight at HORR, and Katie was in the Women’s Challenge 4x crew which came 3rd in their event at Fours Head.
The fact that there were more than 10 different nominees for this award shows how lucky we are at Cantabs to have such a strong group of volunteers running the club and making everything possible. This year’s award went to Will Cherry.
Will joined us at the beginning of the 2018/19 season, after a brief spell at another town club having previously rowed at Leicester University, and Cantabs has been incredibly lucky to benefit from both his coaching and boatman skills.
The improvements in the performance of the Junior Squads in the last few years have been largely in part to the contributions made by one of their coaches, Oli Frazer.
Oli learned to row at Cantabs himself as a junior, and now leads a strong Junior Performance Squad which has enjoyed success as it has grown over the last few years.
This has included juniors attending national trials, as well as strong local and national performances, including attendance at Henley Royal Qualifiers, and selection of Cantabs crews for the Junior Inter-Regional Regatta. More recently, the J18 girls’ 8+ was the 2nd fastest W8+ overall at the Winter League, showing great promise for the rest of the season.
Club President Mike Hunter was also presented with a special award for his contributions and performance at Town Bumps 2018, where he and his crew (the Hunters) won blades for the first time, also bumping up a division. He was presented with his blade, along with a special award made from his crew’s fancy dress costume at Christmas Head.
Thank you to Social Secretary Eve Caroe for organising a fantastic evening!