Hal Frigaard


Year of Birth 1999

Hometown Adelaide/Oxford

Nationality British Australian

College Oriel

Undergrad/Graduate Undergrad

Year 4th year

What are you studying? Maths and Computer Science

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans after? I enjoy the more numerical methods based courses, especially the overlap of both subjects. I’m doing mainly Maths this year as ComSci gets very theoretical later in the course. I’m also joining Jump Trading where I hope I can keep applying M+CS.

Future ambitions? Not sure yet.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? It can be quite hard. I think of it as two eight week sprints with the holidays to catch up. I normally have at least a couple of months after the BR that I use to go over all my subjects before exams. I’m very grateful lectures are online this year, it means I don’t have to miss any for training.

When did you start rowing, and why? I started in 2014 with the South Australian Sports Institute. They were running a dev squad and it sounded quite fun. I played a few sports - basketball, athletics, soccer - but I wanted to pick just one and really work at it. SASI wanted to push me and see what I could do which I really enjoyed.

What was your first club? South Australian Sports Institute.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Oxford? I enjoy the people mainly. It’s just a lot of fun going to Wallingford and rowing. Half the time is spent rigging, de-rigging, warming up where we just hang around talking.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I started in 2014 mainly in a single. I rowed for Oriel in 2017-18, and bumped to Headship in torpids and eights (in 2019). I started OUBC in my second year and rowed for Isis. I was in the Blue boat in my third year.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? No, only Isis 2019. I was going to race in 2020 but it got cancelled.

Your favourite race so far? Brookes vs Blue boat 2020. The conditions were described as biblical and it certainly was the worst I’ve ever rowed in. But we managed to pull away at the end of the first piece. I think pulling away from someone in a race is the best feeling you can get.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? I eat a lot of rum and raisin ice cream the night before. I think ice cream has a lot of good calories for race day.

Your sporting idol? Lebron James.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Drew Ginn. I think he had a great attitude and was such a technical rower.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? The thought of inching away from Cambridge. Knowing that everyone else is doing it as well helps.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? I’m quite into embedded electronics. It’s quite fun scouring dodgy sites looking for the latest technological innovations.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? By knowing that we are all doing it together and want to beat everyone else. Looking at things in the correct way helps. Being forced into lockdown means we can get on with developing fitness on the rowing machine. We’ve been doing some livestream erg tests which are always fun to watch. It definitely hypes you up when you’re about to do a test in your bedroom.