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A quartet of presidents to lead Cambridge University Boat Club in new era

All four squads have come under one banner at Cambridge University Boat Club. Picture: Keith Heppell
All four squads have come under one banner at Cambridge University Boat Club. Picture: Keith Heppell

Four presidents will lead the way in the new world at Cambridge University Boat Club.

The men’s, women’s and lightweights have all come under the same umbrella for the future, and it means that four students have been elected to run their respective squads.

Callum Sullivan will be the men’s president, Sophie Paine has become the women’s president, Eytan Cortissos has been chosen as the lightweight men’s president and Olivia Alliott will lead the lightweight women.

Sullivan is a two-time Boat Race winner with Cambridge, and also a gold medallist at the World Under-23 Rowing Championships.

“I’m honoured to have been chosen as CUBC’s men’s president for the 2021 campaign,” said Sullivan.

“This will be my fourth campaign with CUBC. I’ve developed in the programme through Goldie into the Blue Boat, and along the way have represented GB at the under-23 World Championships.

“This year’s squad looks to be very strong, and with our excellent team of coaches and support staff we are looking forward to the club’s future successes.”

Paine is from the Bahamas, and attended Brown University from 2015 to 2019, representing them in multiple national championships in eights and fours, and four Ivy League Championships. Her mother is an Oxford alumna, and so Paine represented Great Britain at the World Under-23 Championships, winning a silver medal.

“I am delighted to have been appointed president of CUBC openweight women for the 2020/21 campaign,” said Paine, who will be studying for an MPhil in the sociology of media and culture.

“This will be a particularly important year as the men’s and women’s teams amalgamate under a newly-formed structure.

“I am keen to develop a culture of strong communication and team values, building on the success and legacy of past presidents to deliver exceptional performances both on and off the water.”

Alliott is a second year PhD student in the MRC epidemiology unit, and learned to row at the University of Edinburgh during her undergraduate degree.

“This year’s campaign will be different to any other,” she said.

“With the One Club merger and the challenge of Covid-19 I can’t think of a more unique time to be president and I am delighted to be taking on this role.

“Last year’s squad set the bar high, winning our first ever Boat Race on the Tideway and I am looking forward to working with the club towards the goal of defending this victory.”

Cortissos is going into his fourth year studying manufacturing engineering.

He was born and raised in the Netherlands, and took up rowing at Peterhouse Boat Club when he came to Cambridge for his studies, earning a seat at No 4 in last year’s lightweight Blue boat.

“Having lost our race and a summer of rowing, I’m incredibly eager to get started on a new campaign,” said Cortissos.

“Things will be different, whether it be the exciting opportunities of our transition into one club or any adaptations Covid throws at us in the season ahead.

“The latter is prompting us to find creative ways to stay fit over the summer, with the squad already putting in promising work.

“I can’t wait to build on this to create a strong and resilient crew, and hopefully lead the Cambridge lightweight men to our first ever Boat Race victory on the Tideway.”

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