1. What inspired you to go to your first rowing practice; was there anything memorable about it?
During the last days of my middle school, Cothill House, a teacher brought a few ergometers to the school and organised a small competition for the seniors. A first for everyone, I set the two-minute record which stood for a few years. That inspired me to sign up for a week's rowing course at Eton College with my sister and a couple of friends later that summer, which was a lovely introduction to the sport. I spent most of my time swimming to the bank with my capsized single scull but it was fun.
2. Was there a practice, race or other event when you fell in love with the sport, or when you knew you might not be too bad at rowing? When you thought you could make the national team?
My first season at school saw me in the U16 2nd 8+, in which we beat a lot of other schools' U16 1st eights and won our category at the national champs by some 20 seconds. That semester's racing was thrilling and got me hooked. In the Fall, I moved up to the senior squad and was put in the 6-seat of the school's 1st 8+ (with the likes of future Olympic champion Constantine Louloudis) as a 16 year old and we won the Youth Eights at the Head of the Charles by 43s, after which I thought I must be ok. Lots of the members of that boat had had success on the junior national team and were getting accepted to top US universities so that's when I set my sights on trying to do the same.
3. Best race/practice, worst race/practice?
Best race has to be the recent race at the FOQR in Lucerne where Joachim Sutton (Cal '19) and I qualified the pair for the Olympics, on the back of a semi-final 2 ½ hours prior. We played our cards perfectly that morning and had a surreal race in the final, sitting up on the field by a length until the closing stages. We had managed to turn around a disappointing performance at the European Champs five weeks before and that felt pretty satisfying (plus, well...Tokyo).
Close 2nd and 3rd have to be clinching silver at the junior world champs for GB in the eight after only 3 weeks together; and my first IRA silver with Princeton's JV8+, as that was a pure 'hype' moment for the team.
Best/worst practice: 20x500m against other crews on the Danish team. Starting margins: even. Rest: the amount of time it takes to turn the boats around and line up. Rate: enough to get you ahead. It's the kind of workout in which you learn a lot about yourself, especially when sparring with the likes of Emil and Oscar in the LM2x.
4. Best/Anything you've done in the sport no one knows about?
I have always been a part of big programmes so I haven't done much that 'no one' knows about, I don't think. I did once catch a boat-ejecting crab during an inter-house competition at school that was witnessed by a privileged few.
5. Any/Most important advice for young rowers?
Be patient, enjoy the process, and keep your mind open. Rowing is a sport where the more you put into it, the more you get out, and there's very rarely a 'right way' to do it. Frustration with slow-to-improve erg scores or difficulty with making changes to the rowing stroke is natural and can take time, and that's ok; just keep chipping away at it. You're bound to disagree with different styles of coaching, approaches to training, and other teammates along the way but it's important to experience it all and figure out what works best for you.
And log some cardio. It may be boring at times but it will help you get fast in the long run.
Hometown: Godalming, UK (for the most part).
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium.
Current Residence: Copenhagen, Denmark.
Club Affiliation: Københavns Roklub.
Began Rowing: Jan 2009.
Date of Birth: 29/08/1993.
High School: Eton College, UK.
Undergraduate Education: Princeton University, USA: BA in Anthropology.
Graduate Education: Copenhagen Business School, Denmark: MA in Int. Business Communication.
Training Location: Danmarks Rocenter, Bagsværd, Denmark.
Current Coach: Jens Vilhelmsen.
Number of Years on National Team: October 2018 - present (ca. 3 years).
GBR: Silver medal at the 2011 World Rowing Junior Championships, JM8+.
DEN: 4th place at the 2019 World Cup III M4-; 6th place at the 2020 European Championships, M2-; 2nd place at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta, 2021, M2-.
Participated in one world championship (16th), two European championships (6th, 8th), and two world cups (13th, 4th).
Eton: Multiple National Schools Regatta championships; HoCR Gold, Silver, and Bronze in Youth Eights.
Princeton: 3x IRA Silver medallist in JV8+; 3x Eastern Sprints Silver medallist in the JV8+ and Bronze medallist V8+.
Denmark: Wins at Odense Langdistance, Copenhagen Regatta, and Copenhagen Harbour Race.
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