Club CUBC Men
Year of Birth 1998
What are you studying? Anglo-Saxon, Norse, Celtic and Management
What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? My third term is an internship at a proper company. I’m excited to get out of Cambridge and start working.
Future ambitions? I think what I really want to do is pull into a remote American town, somewhere on the highway between New York and LA. I’m driving a red convertible, wearing aviators and nursing a thirst that could dry the ocean. I ride into a gas station and ask what the eating is like. I take two lefts and a right to the ‘best burger in the state’ and park in the shade next to cornfield. I kick the door open with my boot and stare the red-faced Irishman straight in the eyes. I point and shout, the spit flies from my tongue. ‘Richard Chambers.’ The blood rises to my face. ‘You still owe me a fry up from 2018.’ (Brilliant. Ed.)
How do you balance rowing and academic life? Google calendar.
When did you start rowing, and why? I started rowing in 2010 because I was always really competitive with my brother and he had just started. My family was excited because it didn’t involve contact, and the only other thing I could do was tackle people. When my brother reached the final of Henley I knew I was hooked - it was the first time I’d been really emotionally invested in someone else’s game.
What was your first club? Barn Elms Boat Club. My first coach was Steve O’Connor who later became pivotal for the Future Blues program. I love the Tideway and I rowed on it from Westminster school afterwards. It will be fascinating to do an Ely race, but you can’t beat the historic Championship Course.
What is your favourite part of rowing for Cambridge? The history of the race is fascinating. It first struck me when Oxford kindly named one of their trial eights after me at the end of 2018. I really appreciate all the people who raced before me. And when I think about how much I care about the people in the boats I raced with it makes me excited for all the races to come!
What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I won National Schools Regatta 2016. Then I won for Goldie in 2018 and 2019. Also PA Henley final 2018.
Have you raced in the Boat Race before? Goldie 2018, 2019.
Your favourite race so far? Goldie 2018 was very sweet. We broke the losing streak and capped off a double win for the team.
Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? I like to relax by sitting back and listening to Dave Brubeck. If you need to do something on the race day that makes all the difference, it’s already too late.
Your sporting idol? My brother Albert Mitchell who recently had a heart attack on the erg and was saved by his quick-thinking coaches at Reading University and the Royal Berkshire Hospital. Not many rowers can say they’ve died on the erg and come back.
If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Denis Rodman. He’s a basketball player who gets it.
What gets you through a tough session?
Do you have a mantra, rituals? I like rowing, so it’s not really an issue. However to hype myself up I sometimes chant my own name.
Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? I like to read about medieval history. It’s very useful for understanding people to think that back then they had such different priorities and ideologies. I also love reading fiction. I think that each novel represents behaviour that the authors themselves consider ‘normal’. The differences between such characters are fascinating.
How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? Last year I had to quit CUBC due to an injury and I really missed the sense of purpose it gives you. So while the early mornings might be a bit annoying, it’s actually much worse staying in bed all day.