Boat Race 2022: Brothers Ollie and Jasper Parish seeking to guide Cambridge University to double victory
A double dose of Parish power will be aiming to guide Cambridge University Boat Club to victory in the Gemini Boat Races on Sunday, April 3.
At the crew announcement in London on Monday, Ollie and Jasper Parish were named to represent the Light Blues – although they will be in different crews.
Ollie, a 20-year-old engineering student at Peterhouse, will be setting the tempo for Cambridge in the 167th men’s race, while 18-year-old Jasper, who is studying computer science at Clare College, will be steering the women’s boat from the cox’s seat.
“I initially went into the men’s squad because that was a natural choice – my brother was there and we knew the coaches quite well,” said Jasper, who is a fresher and will be earning a first Blue, while Ollie was in last year’s victorious Blue boat for Cambridge.
“Eventually, it seemed like a better choice to switch to the women’s squad – a better opportunity and a good chance of a race.”
It was an easy transition to make, one that was certainly smoother than had been anticipated for the former St Paul’s School student.
“Switching over was a much more natural change than I thought it would be,” said Jasper.
“I was expecting it to be quite different from coxing men just because what I heard is a cliche that it’s very different coxing women from men, but in reality it’s very similar – it’s almost exactly the same.
“I think my style of coxing being quite relaxed, quite focused on the feel of the boat was quite helpful.
“It’s a big mix of experience and ages. I’m the youngest in the crew, but there are people in their late 20s also in the crew who have done the Olympics and all these international events that I’ve never done
– it’s great experience, mindset, and we’ve still got the youth
of the undergrads so it’s cool.”
While Ollie is a world junior champion with Great Britain, Jasper went straight into coxing, although he has never steered his brother.
And they are both continuing a Parish legacy – their father Matt rowed for Cambridge in 1994 and 1995 and went on to represent Great Britain at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
“It’s a family business these days,” joked Jasper.
“I think it will be fun for him, I think he’s pretty excited. I’m looking forward to putting down a good race and seeing what he says about it.
“He’s always great for giving some video analysis and just talking through things about racing. He’s president at Crabtree, which is the veterans’ Cambridge boat club, so I’ve done quite a lot of subbing in there in the mornings, especially last year and the year before – just sub into the crew for a morning outing, having a go with the old Blues.
“It’s a different kind of experience, that one.”
Jasper added: “I’m getting really excited now, it’s going to be a good month now.”