Rebecca Dell

Club CUBC Women

Year of Birth 1995

Hometown Stone

Nationality British

College Christ’s

Undergrad/Graduate PhD

What are you studying? Glaciology

What is the most interesting part of your course? Do you have any professional or academic plans for after? I get to work with satellite data to measure melt across Antarctica, which is great. My course also often means I get to spend time working in fairly remote environments, such as Svalbard. I have just secured a fellowship with the European Space Agency, which begins as soon as I have finished my PhD.

Future ambitions? I would like to work in Antarctica and eventually to be a university lecturer.

How do you balance rowing and academic life? I think it comes fairly naturally to me. I have rowed since I was 12 and I like my days to be well structured.

When did you start rowing, and why? I started rowing when I was 12. I wasn’t at all sporty, but my maths teacher asked the maths team to take part in a dragon boat race, so I did. At this race there was a mini indoor rowing competition. I had a go and quite liked it. When my dad came to collect me I told him I wanted to row, so he spoke to the coach. The coach says I then turned up every day and he couldn’t get rid of me.

What was your first club? Trentham Boat Club.

What is your favourite part of rowing for Cambridge? My teammates and coaches are genuinely my best friends, and I love to spend every day doing something I love with a group of like-minded people.

What’s your rowing history, and what has been your biggest achievement so far? I have rowed since I was 12. My best achievements have probably been winning U19 2x at Brit Champs (2013), winning U23 4- at Brit Champs (2014), bronze in the 4x at EUSA (2018), and obviously rowing for Blondie and winning in 2019.

Have you raced in the Boat Race before? If yes, when? 2019 for Blondie (win).

Your favourite race so far? EUSA in the 4x in 2018. It was a super tight field for the whole race and we came home with a bronze medal.

Do you have any race day habits or superstitions? Coffee and my headphones with some pre-race music. I also like a very long land-based warm-up.

Your sporting idol? Serena Williams.

If you could have any sportsperson in your crew, who would it be? Any one of my teammates - I’d like to think we don’t need anyone else.

What gets you through a tough session? Do you have a mantra, rituals? Someone recently taught me to make the pain I feel when I am rowing ‘my home’. So now I just think about finding my home.

Any hobbies, other interests outside rowing? I am a glaciologist, so I like hiking in cold and icy places. Otherwise, I would say I am very much an endurance athlete and I have been known to enjoy the occasional triathlon.

How do you motivate yourself and your teammates, especially with Covid restrictions? This year I am just being as open and honest with my teammates about my feelings and emotions as possible. I think during Covid the emotional connection between us all is more important than ever. The motivation will come naturally if the wellbeing of the squad is maintained.