King’s rowers make Boat Race history

Janeska de Jonge

Two King’s rowers were in the crews that made Boat Race history last week, helping Cambridge complete a clean sweep over Oxford in all thirteen races. Final-year undergraduate Luca Ferraro was selected for the second consecutive year to row in the Men’s Blue Boat, while PhD candidate Janeska de Jonge rowed Cambridge to victory with the Blondie (Women’s Reserve) crew.

Remarkably, Janeska was new to rowing when she arrived in Cambridge in 2017 and decided to join the KCBC inductions in Freshers’ Week. After novicing with the Boat Club, she switched her attention to triathlons but returned to rowing in 2020 and took part in the online workouts and fundraising challenges organised by KCBC during the coronavirus lockdowns. Trialling with CUBC has been intense and rewarding in equal measure, according to Janeska:

We train around twelve times a week, rowing five days a week on the water in Ely and doing ergo and weights sessions in the boathouse. We also regularly go to London during the weekend to row on the Thames where the Boat Race is held. Combining this schedule with a fully lab-based PhD I have to be switched-on when I arrive in the lab, be efficient with my time and plan my experiments well ahead.

Sitting on the start line with Blondie on Boat Race Day was very special: you completely trust everyone in the boat and you are as ready as you can be for the race. The results of a clean sweep of Cambridge, with winning all the men’s and women’s open weight, lightweight and spares races was just incredible.

 Now in his final year at Cambridge, Classics student Luca Ferraro also looks back on his time rowing with CUBC:

It is such a great community - I can't imagine a better place to pursue high level rowing, combining top standards for training and all the support necessary to achieve athletic goals. I may not continue rowing after university but I'm sure that my time at Cambridge will be the highlight of my rowing career; ultimately that's down to all the other fantastic athletes I've had the privilege of training with over the last few years, and indeed the great team of coaches, especially Rob Baker.

 Both Janeska and Luca will be rowing with KCBC crews at May Bumps this year.

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