Jesse Oberst

Club: OUBC

Height: 168cm

School: Lawrenceville School/Harvard University

International rowing record: USA Collegiate National Champion, Temple Cup Henley Royal Regatta Winner

Year you first started rowing: n/a

How have you coped this year?

Drawing closer to teammates, friends and family has been helpful. I have had a great deal of privilege to be able to do this (row, study at Oxford, and be healthy) in a challenging year.

Could you build a strong team culture while training virtually?

Ensuring personal connections virtually or through socially distanced 1x1 exercise was important. I had my first child this December and it was great to get messages and share the experience.

Were the isolated ergs better or worse than expected?

The team grew as a unit through this and built a stronger base and definition of what we want our rowing to be.

What was your lockdown training set up?

I coxed over Zoom, often accompanied by my 3-month-old son, he is quite proficient at the finer technical details of ergometer rowing. I also ran on the paths along the Thames in Oxford.

Rowing is simple. Racing is simple. I keep the focus on those simple things and execute them and trust my teammates to do the same.

How do you cope with race day nerves?

Rowing is simple. Racing is simple. I keep the focus on those simple things and execute them and trust my teammates to do the same.

The best day, so far?

My first day on the water in September was an enjoyable day and it has built from there. I am grateful to be doing this and surrounded by an intelligent and hard-working group.

Only the Blue Boat races on the 4th April 2021: What’s it like splitting the squad?

We are all focused on building a strong program and winning on race day and still working together. The trade-off to cut down in person numbers to protect Covid risk makes sense but we would love to have 3 eights out on the water challenging each other.

Is it strange to train without the reserve eight?

The team is still working together, and we all stay in contact over messages and virtual meetings to keep the team growing.

How did it feel getting back on the water?

It was a beautiful thing.

Why do you want to beat Cambridge?

Our team has built a strong physical base, strong technical focus and a racing instinct. I look forward to seeing these put to the test against Cambridge.