Varsity Dinner merged with the annual Taddies Dinner (usually held in Easter Term) this year, and was held on the 7th March. This change enabled alumni of all ages to come back and celebrate a wonderful season with the current cohort, and what a stroke of luck that move was! The dinner was held in the beautiful dining hall of Hughes Hall College, after a drinks reception where our talented aquatic athletes had the chance to mingle and sample much more pleasant fluids than the usual pool-water (a bit of bubbly), wearing significant finer (and more) apparel than we were used to seeing each other in. Members of all sections of the club, from Marlins, water polo and Blues swimming, were all treated to a delicious three-course dinner, including guinea fowl and a mouth-watering chocolate terrine, punctuated by (potentially a tad lengthy) speeches and topped off with a coffee-reception. The evening was an uproarious success, with the vino flowing, Tadpoles past and present celebrating the successes (and losses), but mainly the journeys undergone together and the friendships and experiences made over the years, and an unforgettable (or forgotten, depending on inebriation levels) trip to DangerSpoons afterwards. Fines were aplenty, each and every person present looked stunning, and we were lucky to have a photographer present to record the fun, beauty and shenanigans of the night. Taddies Dinner is one of the highlights of the year, and it was truly an honour to be able to bring everyone together especially given how quickly things went downhill only a week later. It was the perfect end to the year, and as a finalist the perfect goodbye to four years of CUSWPC, so a tear or two may have been shed. I have every confidence that this great tradition will find a way continue, and cannot wait to come back next year to see what new tales have arisen in the Club in my absence.
At a glitzy dinner at the end of the season CUSWPC managed to celebrate all the achievements of the club over the past year. With several alumni announcing themselves as undefeated Varsity champions for their whole CUSWPC career it really was a night to remember.
The day started strong, with a convincing 9-2 win from Cambridge’s Seconds team, in what was only the second ever Women’s Water Polo Second’s Varsity match. Goals from Ellie O’Keefe, the team’s top goal-scorer, gave Cambridge an early lead. Impressive defensive work from Amy Purohit, Bethan McGinley and a few later goals from Jessica Derrick gave Oxford no chance of catching up.
Then was time for the Women’s Blues match. This year’s Blue’s match was one of the most competitive and close-fought Varsity’s in recent years. Both teams played at the highest level and it ended with an utterly nail-biting finish. Great goals from Lara Tritton, Jessica Waters and a rapid counterattack from Iris Hall saw Cambridge edge a small lead over Oxford coming into the second half. Goalkeeper and incoming captain, Rebecca Howitt, who has only this year picked up water polo, made some spectacular saves and kept Oxford from catching up throughout the third quarter, but the score line remained uncomfortably close. The final quarter saw Oxford inch one goal ahead. Refusing to give up, Seren Jones Reddy made an incredible shot and equalised the score yet again, but it was just not meant to be. A last-minute counterattack put Oxford one goal ahead in the final ten seconds, giving them the final 12-11 win.
Although we were all heartbroken to lose such a hard-fought match, the dedication and improvement displayed by this year’s squad gives me every hope, that as new players continue to develop and the club hopefully sees improvement in training facilities, next year’s team will bring it home for Cambridge. Best of luck to the incoming Captains, Rebecca Howitt and Jessica Waters, and the rest of my teammates who I have had the pleasure of playing alongside throughout the last few seasons.
In only the 2nd Women’s 2nds Water Polo Varsity Cambridge made it 2 wins in 2 with a resounding 9-2 victory. In a thrilling 1sts match the score changed 3 times in the final minute. With a heart-breaking finale O*ford scored the winning goal with just 5 seconds remaining.
As is usually the case, this year’s varsity Men’s Varsity match was both fiercely competitive and high in quality from both sides with only a slender 3 goals margin giving premier south champions Oxford a 15-12 win over a Cambridge side, sitting comfortably at second place in the league below.
In-keeping with recent years’ Varsity performances, the Cambridge team punched well above their weight to put on a show, despite the high-calibre of the opposition and the relative lack of a home pool that the team has struggled with over the years. It was a rapid start from the light blues with new blood, Joe Gebers, Noah Cooper and Tobias Bader all on target in the first quarter. However, a lethal combination of both an international-standard centre-forward and outside shooter for Oxford put them in the driving seat at half-time.
With the game looking like slipping away completely, Cambridge fought back spiritedly in the with great combination play on the right side from Alex Norcliffe and Isaac Hinchliffe and some tenacious outside shooting from the top of the arc from Ben-Tinkler Davies and Gellért Peresztegi-Nagy. Despite a monumental effort in attack and defence- notably from incoming Captain Thomas Adams at centre-back and Henry-Stuart Turner with a fantastic late penalty save, Oxford’s star players clichéd them a hard-fought victory.
Notwithstanding the heart-breaking result this year, the young Cambridge team showed huge promise and a well-defined identity that has made them national cup finalists this year as well bringing an incredibly solid league campaign. With the right management, support and continued investment in facilities going forward, this magnificent club can only improve.
As ever with the Men’s 1st Varsity Match the game was tight but cheered on by a winning Men’s 2nds Team everyone gave it their all. Although O*ford managed a narrow 15-12 victory the Light Blue underdogs pushed the team right to the wire and nearly toppled the BUCS Premier Champions from their perch.
The Marlins have continued to grow and improve throughout the 2019/2020 season. Under the able captaincy of Nat Amos and Iris Hall, the Marlins have increased their training – both in and out of the pool – and continued to have more socials over the course of the year. This marks a continuation of the long-term plan to increase the competitiveness of the Marlins while not compromising on the fun! Despite a strong performance at Varsity, with improvements in speed in almost every event, the Marlins were narrowly pipped to the finish by a very strong Oxford team who are much larger in number due to their enviable training facilities. Special mentions must go to Nick Maini who smashed the 50 Fly and the members of the women’s team that stepped up to fill the gaps caused by a very last-minute absence! Despite this difficult loss, the Marlins went on to compete hard on the dancefloor in the night out following. The team continues to improve year on year, bring on Varsity 2021!
Iris Hall & Nat Amos
With continuing competitiveness of the Marlins, the team went from strength to strength throughout the year. Although this did not end in success in the pool the team continues to grow, even with the limited pooltime available to the team.
Blues Swimming Varsity 2020 was a closely fought contest, with Oxford winning by 97-83. The men’s teams tied 45-45, despite last minute injury to the Cambridge captain and breaststroke star, Lewis Waters. The men showed excellent team spirit in stepping up to race in last minute changes, with particular credit to Alfie Collins for rising to the challenge and achieving an excellent PB in the 100m breaststroke. There were outstanding swims by both the men’s and women’s Cambridge teams throughout the match, with our strength in depth highlighted by the fact that the swimmers achieved blues times for 22/28 individual swims. Club records were broken by Anna Kirk, Claire Collins, Alex Lezard, Theo Cannon, the women’s 4x50m medley relay team and the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team. Carmen Lim raced in the Match’s first ever multi-classification events, winning both by a clear margin and breaking her own South East Asian records. Theo Cannon was the very deserving winner of ‘Swimmer of the Match’ for his record breaking 100m free, 200m IM and anchor leg of the 4x100m freestyle relay.
Lewis Waters & Juliet Merelie
In a closely fought Blues Swimming Varsity O*ford prevailed with a narrow win. Although Cambridge suffered late injuries, many club records were broken with several stand out performances. This included the Match’s first ever multi-classification events.
In early November close to 30 former CUSWPC athletes returned to Cambridge to get back in the pool and compete again. Senior President, Jean Khalfa, started the day with an enlightening tour of the Wren Library before many alumni donned their bathing suits to outdo each other in the pool. Having dried off and changed into more appropriate attire we were welcomed by Andy Rubin and Trinity College in the Old Kitchens for a more relaxed evening. Over a candlelight dinner many alumni caught up with old friends or made new ones reminiscing of the days spent swimming in the cam and enjoying the Newnham Riverbank Club at the annual Taddies Garden Party. CUSWPC were delighted to welcome Jazz Carlin, a Great Britain medallist at Rio 2016 and double European Champion, for a question and answer session with questions flowing more than the wine.
Through speaking with many of you who were there I was delighted at how keen everyone was to come back to Cambridge and reconnect with the club. This led to several alumni making the journey to Oxford to support the Light Blues on a tough Varsity day. Although this is just the start, by reaching out and bringing many alumni back we are hoping to increase the awareness of the high subscription cost faced by students. Already we have had many generous donations and, with the help of the University, have set up a direct debit payment enabling annual donations to be set up. With your help we can ensure rising costs are no longer a barrier to access for students and can continue to push Cambridge to put a spade in the ground for a new pool.
Over Christmas, the Cambridge University Blues Swimming Team went on their annual training camp, returning this year to Costa Teguise, Lanzarote. Our squad of five women and six men completed fourteen 2-hour pool sessions in the hotels outdoor 50m pool, clocking up around 75km. This was as well as pre pool work prior to each session, and two sessions in the gym.
Our aim of the camp is to get a solid aerobic block of work done to have a high fitness level going into Lent term training, allowing us to get race fit for Varsity at the end of February. We had some really impressive sessions from all our team, and everyone pulled together to get through a tough week of training. Captains Lewis, Juliet and Anna were thrilled to see everyone giving their all throughout the week and maintaining high team spirit.
We’re now back in Parkside training harder than ever with our new-found fitness as the Varsity Match gets closer and closer!
Following our creation of the ‘Virtual Clubhouse’ last December, we have received a new team photo to add to the wall. Thanks to alumnus Adam Baumgarten for this photo of the Men’s Water Polo Team taken in 1998. Adam was a member of the team for two years in 1997 and 1998 and was also a medical student at Fitzwilliam College.
Please continue to send in photos such as this one to email@example.com to add to our collection!
With no Biannual Channel Swim in 2019, the Cambridge open water season was geared towards our annual varsity race at Henley.
The swim was 2.1km upstream along the Henley regatta rowing course with the race start at 5:40am. This year the varsity swimmers were combined into the “performance wave” of the Henley Classic Swim to add to the competitive feel. All the Cambridge team put in strong swims to be proud of, especially considering how new to open water swimming some of them were. Special mentions go to Naoki Toyomura and Evie Anema as the fastest Cambridge man and woman respectively.
Sadly, our efforts were in vain and Oxford won both Men’s and Women’s Varsity. However, the Women’s Varsity was closely contested with Oxford only narrowly coming out on top. There were no alumni races this year, but Cambridge did win the mob match for the 5th consecutive year. The Cambridge team reflected the strong diversity in open water swimming with pentathletes, triathletes, swimmers and water polo players all involved.
Cambridge results: Naoki Toyomura (32:15), Matthew Chadwick (35:27), Evie Anema (35:30), Eve Hull (35:42), Meghan Mulhern (35:43), Kit Gallagher (36:22) and Abbie Currington (45:24)
WATER POLO VARSITY – 16 February 2019, Parkside Pools:
13:15 – 14:15 Alumni Match
14:15 – 15:30 Women’s Seconds Match
15:30 – 16:45 Men’s Seconds Match
16:45 – 18:00 Women’s Firsts Match
18:00 – 19:15 Men’s Firsts Match
SWIMMING VARSITY – 3 March 2019, Parkside Pools:
12:00 – 13:45 Seconds Swimming Varsity
14:00 – 14:15 Alumni Warm Up
14:15 – 14:45 Alumni Swimming Relays
14:45 – 15:05 Blues Swimming Warm Up
15:15 – 15:40 Blues Swimming Parade
15:40 – 18:00 Blues Swimming Varsity