About The Cambridge Crews

Cambridge Crew Bios

Listed alphabetically by last name

Filip Blazheski, Selwyn

Current occupation: Management and International Development Consultant

College rowed for: Cantab DC Alumni Boat Club

First time rowed: 2014

Highest rowing achievement: Not sinking

What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: Great company, beautiful scenery, workout, and learning new things

Which river, Cam or Potomac: Has to be the Potomac - I never rowed on the Cam

Laura Blecha, St. Edmund's

 Current occupation: Postdoctoral fellow in Astronomy at Univ. of Maryland

 College rowed for: St Edmund's Women's Boat Club

 First time rowed: 2005

 Highest rowing achievement: Rowed the Head of the Charles in the Women's 1st boat for my club team (CRI) in Boston, finished in the top half.

 Best Cambridge rowing memory: Our novice crew finally bumping on the last day of the May Bumps, and in only 40-something strokes. We celebrated like we'd just won the river.

 What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: The fact that I absolutely love being out on the water with a crew. Also, an alarm clock. Still not a morning person.

Which river, Cam or Potomac: Potomac -- nostalgia aside, I like my rivers a bit roomier than the Cam.

Michael Doyle, Jesus 

 Current occupation: Project Management Consultant

 College rowed for: Jesus College Boat Club

 First time rowed: 2010

 Highest rowing achievement: 2nd in the Queen's Ergs

 Best Cambridge rowing memory: Narrowly escaping a swan attack

 What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: Promises of Brunch

 Which river, Cam or Potomac: Cam 

Michael Freidberg, Pembroke

 Current occupation: Consultant

 College rowed for: Pembroke Boat Club, 1st Men's VIII

 First time rowed: 1984, freshman crew at Dartmouth College

 Highest rowing achievement: Head of the Lents, 1989. Pembroke bumped Downing on the first day, and then rowed over for the next three.

 Best Cambridge rowing memory: As a graduate student, my colleagues were truly international, from all over the world. The way I made British friends was by rowing with the undergraduates - truly good friendships that have endured.

 What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: "To enjoy peaceful waters in the early light, and the to once again feel the thrill of the race."

Which river, Cam or Potomac: Potomac. The Cam is just too small and crowded.

Chris Greenroyd (captain), St. John's

 Current occupation: Arranging Cantab Boat Club crews (and occasionally working at the British Embassy)

 College rowed for: Lady Margaret Boat Club (St. John's) 1st Men's VIII

 First time rowed: 1998

 Highest rowing achievement: Meeting my future wife whilst coaching (no, I didn’t win much)

 Best Cambridge rowing memory: Winning a race at Henley (before being knocked out by an outrageously good American crew)

 What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: The skyline of Washington monuments as seen from the Potomac.

Which river, Cam or Potomac: Potomac (far fewer crews have crashed into me on the Potomac)

Bill Kynes, St. John's

 Current occupation: Pastor of Cornerstone Church in Annandale, VA.

 College rowed for: Lady Margaret Boat Club (St. John's) and Christ Church (Oxford) First Men's VIII

 First time rowed: 1977 in Oxford

 Highest rowing achievement: I was on a crew that won the Christ Church Regatta (1977); also I've been on the winning side of the Oxford-Cambridge Alumni Race a number of times

 Best Cambridge rowing memory: I won an oar (four bumps) in the May Boats in 1983

 What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: The Potomac River is a great place to row

 Which river, Cam or Potomac:  The Potomac--no contest!

Blair Lapres, Darwin

 Current occupation: Private Sector Development Analyst at the World Bank

 First time rowed: I only started rowing in 2012 when he was shanghaied into serving as the Boat Club Captain despite being a complete novice!

College rowed for: I played for the University Lacrosse team and was awarded a Half-Blue after the team's upset of the scum from the other place in the 2010 varsity match. In college I frequented Darwin College Bar where I partook in "boat races" of another kind.

 Highest rowing achievement: I once had an entire practice where I didn't catch a crab

 Best Cambridge rowing memory: Running on the dock to get the oars, slipped and made a disastrously close slide towards the water right in front of a gaggle of high school girls. Confidence has since plummeted, but memorable nonetheless.

 What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: The threat of Kedar make some snarky comment about me in my absence

Which river, Cam or Potomac:  As an American, I'm quite used to supersized cars, burgers, and rivers. I'll have to go with the Potomac.

Simone Maini (cox), St. John's

 Current occupation: Strategy and Product Development.

 College rowed for: Cox for Lady Margaret Boat Club (St. John's) 1st Men's VIII

 First time rowed: 2001

 Highest rowing achievement: Winning every Men's Novice race during Michaelmas Term 2001

 Best Cambridge rowing memory: Hearing the cannon sound to start the Bumps.

 What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: Our club captain, also my husband, doesn't exactly give me much choice

 Which river, Cam or Potomac: There's nothing like the thrill of racing on the Cam!

Nicole Miller, Girton

 Current occupation: Creative Writer and Editor

 College rowed for: Girton Boat Club, Ladies Third VIII

First time rowed: 1995

 Highest rowing achievement: Narrowly avoiding spoons during Torpids in 1997 in the midst of wintry squalls

 What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: Meeting a diverse group of graduates on the water, men and women, of all ages, from all over the world

 Which river, Cam or Potomac: Both have their merits


Kedar Narayan, Christ's

 Current occupation: Scientist and overall nerd, with poor to moderate skills at most activities.

 College rowed for: Christ's Boat Club, Men's Lightweights

 First time rowed: 2000

 Highest rowing achievement: Back to back overbumps resulting in Christ's 3rd being promoted to the 3rd division in the Lent Bumps for the first time since 1964. But then got bumped four days straight in the following May bumps (and yes, we were awarded spoons at formal hall)

 Best Cambridge rowing memory: The gentle splash... splash... splash... of eight blades in unison in the silence of chilly mornings on the Cam - that still gives me goosebumps.

What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: A vague feeling of loathing toward those other guys (GDBO) that doesn't seem to diminish over the years...

Which river, Cam or Potomac: Cam. Always the Cam :)

Jeffrey Pryce, Peterhouse

 Current occupation: Attorney at law, and teacher at Johns Hopkins SAIS

 College rowed for: Peterhouse Boat Club

 First time rowed: 1979, freshman crew at Wesleyan

 Highest rowing achievement: Winning Oxford-Cambridge Potomac Boat Race

 Best Cambridge rowing memory: Hmmm. If I admit to hitting a swan, will that get me executed?

 What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: My kids.

 Which river, Cam or Potomac: Tough call.  Potomac is more convenient. Cam has swans.

Asha Puttaiah (cox), Trinity Hall

 Current occupation: Patent Examiner

 College rowed for: Trinity Hall Boat Club, Women's 3rd VIII

 First time rowed: A long long time ago on a river far away

 Highest rowing achievement: You have to buy a girl a drink or two before she tells you that one :)

 Best Cambridge rowing memory: Lots of hot chocolate and toasties with friends at Clowns after practice

 What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: The smiling faces and the view. It's really great sightseeing from the river.

Which river, Cam or Potomac: Cam - if I have to choose -- but really the Allegheny... :)

Ariane Rosen, Clare Hall

 College rowed for: Clare Hall Women's Boat Club

 First time rowed: 2011

 Highest rowing achievement: Not getting spoons

 Best Cambridge rowing memory: The whole team rowing in tiger onesies for Emma Sprints (oops! Now everyone knows I own tiger footy pajamas)

 What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: The thought of all the angry faces if I missed practice -- just kidding. I absolutely love rowing.

 Which river, Cam or Potomac: Definitely the Cam. Nothing can compare to rowing on the crowded narrow river fighting for space with novice crews, houseboats, and crazy swans. 

Richard Rutherford, Corpus Christi

 Current occupation: Retired (ex-IFC/World Bank)

 College rowed for: Corpus Christi, Captain of Boats 1967

 First time rowed: 1959 (at the tender age of 13 at a rowing school, Shrewsbury)

 Highest rowing achievement: Canadian National Masters Champion coxed 4 in, er....., 1981. 

 Best Cambridge rowing memory: Bumping Magdalen (then our arch-rival) in the Mays

 What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: Still trying to figure this out.....! But always glad afterwards that I did.

 Which river, Cam or Potomac: Potomac has everything (including a few obstacles)

Dominic White, Magdalene

 Current occupation: Dinosaur palaeontology PhD student at the George Washington University

 College rowed for: Magdalene Boat Club, 1st Men's VII

 First time rowed: 2008

 Highest rowing achievement: Bumping up in May Bumps

 Best Cambridge rowing memory: Rowing over in Lent bumps with a significantly faster Peterhouse 6 inches behind us all the way from Grassy to the finish.

 What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: A painfully loud alarm

 Which river, Cam or Potomac: No swans have attacked us on the Potomac (yet), but D.C. post-outing brunches just cannot compare in bacon quality or muffin succulence to those in Cambridge.

David Wilson, Gonville & Caius

 Current occupation: Retired

 College rowed for: Caius Boat Club, 1st Men's VIII

 First time rowed: 1966

 Highest rowing achievement: Coach of blade-winning Caius 1st

 Best Cambridge rowing memory: The one-week preparation period for Henley 1972

 What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: Sheer stupidity – age degrades judgment.

 Which river, Cam or Potomac: Below 50̊ or above 80̊ – Cam. Between 50̊ and 80̊ – Potomac

TengTeng Xu, St. John's

 Current occupation: Economist

 College rowed for: Lady Margaret Boat Club (St. John's)

 First time rowed: 2003

 Highest rowing achievement: Dodging the swans on the Cam!

 Best Cambridge rowing memory: Again...Dodging the swans on the Cam!

 What gets you out of bed Saturday morning?: I enjoyed the summer breeze and the view of the Kennedy center in early hours of Saturday morning

 Which river, Cam or Potomac: Potomac


Cambridge Coaches Bios

Duwayne Turner

Current occupation: Varsity Rowing Coach, Bishop O'Connell HS and Program Instructor Thompsons Boat Club

First time rowed: 10th Grade...so like 4 years ago

Highest rowing achievement: Receiving a recognition award from the governor of Virginia for an outstanding year while coaching for Garfield HS

Best rowing memory: Working with the new Zealand Olympic team coach and receiving an invite to coach with him

What do you love about being a coach?: Seeing the rowers develop a love for the sport

What's impressed you most about the Cambridge crew?: Their love of the sport

What's frustrated you most?: Their racing start (said with a chuckle-it's too complicated)

What have you learned from coaching these crews?: Rowing is rowing no matter where you learn it.

Any last advice for Cambridge?: Power comes through relaxation!

Christina Basset

Current occupation:  Head Crew Coach, Bishop O'Connell High School, Arlington, VA and Program Instructor, Thompson Boat Center, Washington, DC

First time rowed: Walked on to the crew team ( it was late September-we were outside at 2am because of a fire alarm, some big, tall, scary girls cornered me and badgered me until I agreed to come to a practice... THEN told me it was at 5am!). That was in 1988!! Yes, this the start of my 27th year!!

Highest rowing achievement: As a coxswain, the only thing I have ever hit is a submerged rock (knock on wood)

Best rowing memory: I started volunteer coaching my junior year of college which helped me land my first official coaching job after I graduated. At 23 I had a crew that was undefeated for a year-when we won a gold medal at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta (largest high school regatta in the US) the coach for the second place finishing crew came to congratulate us. He found me rigging our boat and asked me to pass on his congratulations to our coach on a job well done...my reply "thanks, but you just told her". The look on his face was priceless!

What do you love about being a coach?: I coach because I like helping people and it is rewarding to help people do things they don't necessarily believe they can do - to watch them grow and see the change when they realize they can do more than they thought. I coach rowing because I love rowing and being on the water-sharing that and helping others fall in love with it as well is magical.

What's impressed you most about the Cambridge crew?: I have been most impressed with the diversity among the team (age/sex) and with the crews positive attitudes. We have a humble and respectful group. There are some rowing rock stars in our midst but you would never know it...you'd have to poke around to learn about their accomplishments. They have worked well with their less experienced teammates.

What's frustrated you most?: Working with Cambridge has been a pleasure-more practices and consistent line ups would be beneficial.

What have you learned from coaching these crews?:  I've learned a new way of coxing!! I love some of the English (or is it British?) way of making commands...as always they seem so much more refined than the Americans!

Any last advice for Cambridge?: Stick with it!! Begin the "season" earlier to allow more time to mesh as a crew! With us as your coaches, of course!!!


 More information can be found at the 2014 Cambridge-Oxford Boat Race webpage or the Cantab DC Boat Club site.