THE CAMBRIDGE MEN'S TRIAL EIGHTS CREWS
Cambridge University Boat Club’s final race of the autumn Gemini Boat Race calendar will take place on Monday 20th December with Trial Eights Races. The men’s teams first staged the races in 1859, and the annual intra-team event has become a tradition for Oxford and Cambridge in the preparations for the Boat Race.
Trial VIIIs is an important race in the Boat Race Season for a number of reasons; testing the performances of athletes and coxes and introduces the teams to the official Boat Race Umpires.
The races will take places over The Championship Course starting in Putney and finishing in Chiswick and will be held on the same Tide as The Boat Race in April. These squad races are the only opportunity Cambridge has to race the full course under the gaze of their official race umpires before the big day in April: The Cambridge Men’s Trial Races will be Umpired by Matt Smith.
In the weeks leading up to the race the coaches will have split the squads in two, as the coaches try to build evenly ‘matched ‘crews. This race gives the Coaches another opportunity to see how athletes perform under intense side by side pressure, if the crews are ‘matched’ they should be moving at similar speeds, creating tight and often exciting races. Coxes will be under pressure to give their crew the edge, to ensure steering is as good as possible, to test the individual rowers on their ability to perform under pressure. The result here will go a long way to deciding the crews that will represent Cambridge in the Blue Boat and Reserve Crew.
Special Names for racing crews?
Another feature of the Trial Eights is the names given to the crews. The student athletes will select names for the crews, often drawing on key moments in history or deeply personal connections to drive intra-team competition and inspire a purposeful winning mind-set for the teams. This year the Cambridge Men’s crews are named "Mr Sleepy" and "Burpees". A reference to some internal team rules where any man being late means burpees for everyone. Therefore if anyone channels their favourite Mr. Men character, there are consequences for everyone. With Trial 8s being about internal squad competition it seemed fitting.
Cambridge Men's Chief Coach Rob Baker said,
Every year it's challenging to select the right crews for Trial Eights.
We have a strong group of triallists, and I'm confident that they will have a tight race the whole way down the course. Trial Eights provide us with a great opportunity to test each individual as well as crew units; we aren’t just looking for a winning combination, we’re looking to identify depth in the performance of each rower and crucially the coxes.
This year is again tough to manage with Covid being a problem, we are trying our best to give the athletes a safe environment to train and prepare in."
CUBC Men's President Charlie Marcus will cox Mr Sleepy says,
"Trial Eights is a great opportunity for intense internal squad competition as we look to develop two high quality eights to do battle over the Championship Course. Last year we had a very close race and we are hoping for the same as we return to the Tideway. This year's Trial 8s will give many squad members their first taste of side by side match racing from Putney to Mortlake and everyone will be looking to make a good impression on the water where it counts the most. The course can be challenging and deserves respect but we are excited to be returning to the home of The Boat Race."
Racing in Blue Tops
Racing in White Tops
Seb Benzecry Mr Sleepy
George Hawkswell Burpees
Gonville & Caius
Peter Stevens Mr Sleepy
Henry Evans Burpees
Tom Marsh Mr Sleepy
Reef Boericke Burpees
Gonville & Caius
Tom Lynch Mr Sleepy
Hugo Durward Burpees
George Finlayson Mr Sleepy
Ollie Wynne-Griffith Burpees
Cameron Spiers Mr Sleepy
Simon Schürch Burpees
Luca Ferraro Mr Sleepy
James Bernard Burpees
Tom George Mr Sleepy
Ollie Parish Burpees
Charlie MarcusMr Sleepy