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OUBC Past and Future go Head-to-Head at World Cup One

The first of this year’s Rowing World Cup Regattas in Varese, Italy, between 12-14 April, saw the OUBC family out in force. To mention only a few, Charlie Elwes and Roman Roösli, were racing in the eight and pair, respectively getting gold and silver, and Anna O’Hanlon made her senior international debut coxing the Australian women’s 8.

But it was the tight margin and tenacity of the men’s coxless four final between GB and Italy that caught the attention of much of the rowing world. The Olympic qualification hopefuls, Italy, were rating over 42 for much of the last 500m to clinch a narrow victory over the GB boat that are current World Champions.

Beneath this nail-biting excitement, lies another compelling OUBC human story, of a former Oxford Boat Race winner, David Ambler, and a 2025 Boat Race prospect Nick Koln, both stroking their country’s coxless fours in this epic race.

David said:

“Racing at World Cup 1 was a great first opportunity to test our speed on the international circuit. We came up against some fierce competition from the Italian four who put us firmly in our place in the heat, leading us the whole way down the course. We managed to lead the final for much of the race but an awesome sprint by the Italians took them through us in the last few moments.”

For Nick, who has come from Syracuse University and will be joining Oxford this summer:

“The First World Cup was an amazing experience, especially being close to where I am from with family and friends to support during the weekend. My international debut was a big change from what I was used in the US and u23s. All the crews are fast and there is never a moment where you can relax and control the race, all out from start to finish. Being in stroke in the final gave me an idea of where we need the most work to stay on pace with the best crews.”

Both Oxford stroke men met up after the race and shared what will likely be many a fond exchange due to their new Dark Blue connection:

“It was awesome to see incoming Oxford oarsman Nick Kohl stroking the four and leading a very talented and experienced crew so well. It was great to be able to catch up with him after the race and talk about his exciting time ahead at Oxford.”

Nick said:

“It was really great to see there were many Oxford graduates on the different podiums, which made me enthusiast for being in such a great programme next year. Despite the hard battle on the course, I was pleased that David welcomed me to the OUBC family after he found out I was going to Oxford, as well as giving me some tips for it.”

We wish all our incoming, current and past OUBC athletes the best of luck in the upcoming racing season, Olympic Qualification, and the Games. However, the early excitement of the M4- event may only be the starting point as Liam Corrigan, another OUBC alumni is racing in the US top boat, the coxless four, adding another Oxford oarsman to the fray!

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