Cameron Spiers

Club CUBC Men

Year of Birth 2001

Hometown Richmond

Nationality British

College Downing

Undergrad/Graduate Undergraduate

Year 2nd

What are you studying? Engineering

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? Learning about sustainable engineering and the important role of engineers in a sustainable future.

Future ambitions? I’ve got another two years at Cambridge after this year so I’ll be pushing to get as high up in the squad as I can. Once I’ve left Cambridge I think I’ll give track cycling a go as it’s great fun.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? Time management and lots of it. The main thing is getting stuff done before deadlines so if I have a rough day and don’t want to work I have some leeway.

When did you start rowing, and why? First year of secondary school, J14. My dad rowed when he was at school and encouraged me to do the same. I went to one of the school taster sessions and really enjoyed it. Since then I’ve been hooked.

What was your first club? St Paul’s School Boat Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Cambridge? Being able to train day in day out with such a driven and incredibly fun group of guys. It’s a very different experience to rowing at school. There’s such a wide range of people, different ages and rowing backgrounds. Everyone brings something unique to the squad.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I slowly climbed the ranks at my school boat club, from J14 C octo to first eight in my last year. My biggest achievement was winning champ eights at Nat Schools in a record time.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? Sadly no. I was in last year’s third eight, but sadly our fixture against Oxford was cancelled like the Boat Race due to coronavirus.

Your favourite race so far? Even though we lost, the Saturday of Henley against Scotch College in the St Paul’s first eight was an incredible race. The noise from the crowds was unreal, I couldn’t hear our cox for the last 500m. It was such a close race and we fought incredibly hard, just wish we had managed to win.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? No superstitions but music is an important tool in my preparation. I use it as an escape from the nerves and distractions early on in the day, then as a way to really focus myself and get in the zone for what’s about to happen.

Your sporting idol? Freddie Davidson went to the same school as me and was always someone to look up to for most of us Paul’s boys. He was not the biggest guy in last year’s squad but he was insanely fit and rowed very well, always setting the example for the rest of us.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? The famous William Legge of 2020 3V glory. Certainly not the biggest or fittest of guys, but his chat alone was enough to make any boat fly.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? Music is a really important motivator for me. Especially during the long boring lockdown UT2s, a banging playlist is essential to get you through. On the water you draw motivation from the guys around you. You know every one of them is putting 100% in to go as quick as they can, so you’ve just got to do the same for them.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? Over the first lockdown I really got into road cycling. It’s a great form of cross training and an excellent excuse to meet up with mates and go exploring. I found it really helpful during lockdown to get out and about and explore new places.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? For me it’s always about taking each day as it comes and doing what you can in the moment to improve yourself and get faster. Long UT2s on your own are hard, especially when you’re having a rough day, but remembering why you’re doing them and what it’s all for keeps you going.