Hugo Durward

Club CUBC Men

Year of Birth 1999

Hometown London, UK

Nationality British

College Sidney Sussex

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year 3rd

What are you studying? Economics

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? Econometrics. I’m hoping to do an MPhil next year.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? They balance each other. Work helps take your mind off selection pressure when you get home from training. Regular outdoor exercise and an emotional investment in something outside of academic work helps put work in perspective and makes you more efficient.

When did you start rowing, and why? I learned to row at school when I was 13 because I wanted to get a Blue like my brother and was too small to play rugby.

What was your first club? Winchester College BC.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Cambridge? Saturday matched eights racing through the winter. It doesn’t matter whether you are a fresher at the bottom end of the squad or one of the top guys, you can make the difference in your seat. The coach has put out two crews he thinks are even, so it’s your opportunity to show him he’s underestimated you.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I learned to row at Winchester College on a 1km river. I came to Cambridge in 2018 and have rowed in the squad since, racing Goldie 2019. My biggest achievement is winning the Goldie race or being selected to stroke a trial eight as a 2nd year.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? Goldie 2019.

Your favourite race so far? Got to be Goldie!

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? A cup of coffee.

Your sporting idol? William Legge, an Australian lightweight rower. He’s the best technical rower out there, so good he was able to compensate for one of the worst physiologies known to sport.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? William Legge.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? Set small goals and enjoy the session. The really hard sessions are also the sessions where you get to find something out about yourself. Once you’ve put in the work with the miles and your recovery you want the hard sessions to come around so you can quantify your improvements and prove to yourself the training is working. The hard stuff is just the icing on top.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? I like cooking and sitting down with a good coffee.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? The Covid restrictions have certainly posed a challenge, but in some ways it has made the season a bit easier. Often in a normal season you can feel like you’re left out of a lot of the stuff your college friends get up to. Frequently you don’t get to go on nights out to make sure you’re fully recovered for the next session. That can be a bit painful. But these days nobody is getting to do those more sociable activities. With the Covid restrictions you’re also facing a harder season than a lot of the previous Boat Race crews, which is a very satisfying challenge. When it comes to crew mates, you’ve just got to make sure you stay in contact with as many of them as you can to make sure everyone is keyed into the final goal.