Boat Race History
- 2023 – Oxford Women’s Blue Boat
Why did you choose MPhil History of Science, Medicine and Technology?
My research explores the introduction of ‘femininity control’ and ‘sex tests’ at the Olympic Games during mandatory testing from 1968-1998. The MPhil structure allows a lot of flexibility, and we can conduct our own research in the summer. I went to Lausanne and worked in the International Olympic Committee Archives. This term I am conducting oral history interviews of female athletes from 1960 to 2000 who were required to present ‘femininity certificates’ to compete at the Olympics. Sport and the Olympics have always crept into my studies, but the breadth of this course enables research on almost any topic related to studies of the body, and I’ve really enjoyed it.
Why did you first try rowing?
When I was a teenager, my dad kept telling me I’d be good at rowing; naturally, I didn’t take it up, not wanting to prove him right. In 2019, I watched the Boat Race with him, having just received my Oxford undergrad offer, and it was the first rowing I’d ever seen. On that day, I reluctantly agreed that when I moved up to Exeter College in October, I’d attend my college boat club’s taster session, but insisted I wouldn’t be any good and probably wouldn’t like it. I got a bit hooked…
Who introduced you to the sport of rowing?
Bee Dutton at Exeter College Boat Club
Where else have you rowed?
In the summers I’ve been lucky to row in a few locations abroad: RV-Albatros in Klagenfurt am W’rthersee in Austria, Societ’ Canottieri in Florence, and Rowing Club Lausanne this summer.
What are your proudest rowing achievements?
Winning Sveti Duje Regatta 2023.
Do you have a favourite Boat Race? Which one and why?
2015 – the first women’s race on the Tideway and the most recent Oxford clean sweep
What would winning The Boat Race mean to you?
The culmination of my time at Oxford. The best way to end my five years here.