Dylan Whitaker

Club CUBC Women

Year of Birth 1997

Hometown Little Chalfont

Nationality British

College King’s

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year 5th

What are you studying? Medicine

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? The biomedical aspect is interesting, but it’s the patients who really make medicine rewarding.

Future ambitions? Learn how to row. I’ve done a bit here and there, but it would be really great to have a go at a whole term with a crew. The bumps with the college crew is the short-term goal but who knows, in a year or two, Rob Baker might be calling me up.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? Get enough sleep or else everything else starts to fall apart. It can get tricky having to get from morning training in Ely to ward rounds on placement but the other medics on the team are always around.

When did you start rowing, and why? I started coxing in 1st year with the majority of the freshers but novicing at KCBC was so much fun and the seniors were always so enthusiatic that I was keen to stay involved and even help train the next set of novices.

What was your first club? King’s College Boat Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Cambridge? The high performance and pushing myself was the reason I first trialled for the university team. But the squad are the reason I stayed and came back. It’s an honour to be around a group of amazing women and I feel lucky I get to train with them every day.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I learnt to cox with the novice women at KCBC before coxing the men’s senior side. I trialled with the lightweight men and won the development coxed four at Fours Head in 2018. I was the cox of the 2019 Lightweight Women’s Blue Boat and we won silver at BUCS in the lightweight eight. I was selected for the openweight Blue boat for the 2020 races.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? Raced the 2019 Lightweight Women’s Boat Race. Selected for 2020 Blue boat.

Your favourite race so far? The 2019 Lightweight Women’s Boat Race. At the time I was gutted that we had worked for so long to then get beaten by Oxford on the day. However it only took a few hours before I realised that win or lose nothing could take away from the time we had.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? Double checking everything and then a teacake! Can’t race without having one.

Your sporting idol? Lachlan Morton. He really combines the high-performance aspect underpinned by a real love and enjoyment of the sport.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Hugh Laurie, tall lad who knows how to row. Taylor Phinney, wacky dude to bring the chat. Filled out with crew from Adden-brookes M1, quickest boat on the Cam.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? That no matter how cold or wet the session is, being on the water is always going to be more productive than skipping those grim sessions, even if it feels like the only thing you are learning is resilience.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? Cycling and running.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? That this time is an opportunity to try and do new things rather than a threat to how we used to do things.