Patrick Eble adjusts to unique challenge of Cambridge

PUBLISHED: 07:10 24 March 2017

Patrick Keble will be in the Blue boat for Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

Patrick Keble will be in the Blue boat for Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

American set for Boat Race debut

Style and substance have been a driving force in Patrick Eble’s push to secure a place in Cambridge’s Blue boat.

Having arrived after four years at Princeton, the 22-year-old American has taken a change in approach in his stride to thrive at Goldie.

Eble took up the sport at high school, and in his homeland was a regular in the IRA National Championships.

But the hop across the pond has brought different challenges.

“I’ve loved being at Cambridge,” said Eble. “I’ve loved the guys in the team. It’s a really good atmosphere and it’s a bit different to what I was used to at Princeton but it’s something that I’ve really enjoyed so far.

“It’s always good to have a fresh perspective on rowing, and on how a crew rows.

“The style is definitely different to American rowing. American rowing is very much pull really hard and very loud and bash it out. Whereas here it’s more calculated, more rhythmic and there’s more of a sense of the technical aspects of it.

“I like that perspective and having a different perspective on rowing is always good.

“I found a bit of success early on with the national team and that solidified my love for it.

“I knew I wanted to pursue it further and further, and this kind of speaks to that as well.

“This is an opportunity to do something totally different from the US system, and it’s something that’s a very unique challenge in rowing that I want to be a part of so it’s very exciting to be pursuing that further.”

Eble is studying for an MPhil in environmental policy at Hughes Hall and that has helped him structure his life around and alongside the rowing, while also providing challenges.

“I know I have deadlines on these days that I’ve got to hit,” he said. “I’ve got to make sure that I have all that in order on top of all the rowing, on top of all the nutrition, on top of sleep and everything so it’s a very calculated process.

“But it’s a process that I like, and having the daily structure of knowing these couple of hours I’m going to read this and finish this and write this.”

His first exam period required juggling, and forced him to miss the first part of the winter training camp in Lake Banyoles.

“They were going to be that first week in January and there was nothing I could do to change them,” he said. “That was a really big balancing act.

“Studying at home in the US when I was on Christmas break, coming back, taking my exams over a course of five days which is really intense and then flying to Spain on the night I finished my exams and doing training camp the next morning.

“That was a tough period for school and rowing all coming together but if you can get through that then you can get through anything.”

And Eble will be hoping that is the case on Sunday, April 2.

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