Reef Boericke

Club CUBC Men

Year of Birth 2000

Hometown Philadelphia, PA, USA

Nationality American/British

College Gonville & Caius

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year 3rd

What are you studying? Engineering

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? The most interesting module I’ve taken so far was about the fundamentals of computer vision and image recognition. I would like to specialise in something similar next year, and after that would like to work in a startup company in that area.

Future ambitions? I would like to do an Ironman once I leave Cambridge.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? For me, rowing actually helps me stay focused on my academics and gives me time where I’m forced to forget about it. Throughout my academic career I’ve done a lot of sport (triathlon at school before I came to Cambridge) and I’ve always thought it helped me rather than hurting.

When did you start rowing, and why? My dad rows and encouraged me to try it. Rowing is very popular at Caius, so my novice term was very fun, and after headship in bumps I was keen to go further.

What was your first club? Caius Boat Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Cambridge? I really enjoy the close friendships and team environment created by the intense process of training for the Boat Race. Having quite a small squad means everyone is very close and works for each other in the boat.

What is your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I rowed one year with Caius, during which we achieved headship in Lent and May bumps, and prequalification for Henley (we lost on Wednesday). Last year, I rowed with the CUBC and was in the 3V (but didn’t get to race). My biggest achievement is probably rowing in the CUBC second coxed four and beating the Oxford second coxed four at Four’s Head 2019.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? No.

Your favourite race so far? Trial VIIIs 2019/20 - It was a close race in which we nearly came back in the last couple kms. It was a very exciting race for my first one on the Championship Course.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? I always eat spaghetti carbonara the night before a race.

Your sporting idol? Jan Frodeno. He was Olympic triathlon champion in 2008, as well as 2x world champion, and world Ironman champion. On top of this he is about as tall as me, which makes him even more impressive to me.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Peter Sagan - he is an incredibly strong athlete, but also seems to be a very fun person.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? ‘Count to 10 strokes, and if you’re too tired, count to eight.’

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? I love hiking, unfortunately there are not many opportunities for it in Cambridgeshire.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? I think the most important thing is taking advantage of the sessions we have together to build a good motivational atmosphere and carry that momentum through tougher times like lockdowns and quarantines.