UCL student presents racing eight boat to University of London Boat Club

27 March 2014

A top-of-the-range racing eight was presented to University of London Boat Club (ULBC) last week as part of the Parmigiani Spirit Award won by UCL student and captain of the ULBC James Cook.

Prize Presentation

The club dedicated the eight to the women’s team which has grown from eight rowers to twenty two in the past two years. The decision was made as "it is about making the entire squad better, men and women, and hopefully inspiring a new generation of rowers”, according to James.

During the ceremony, the custom built boat was christened with champagne and tested out during a short training session."This boat is a new legacy. It will impact the team for years to come," said Freya Hoyle, ULBC women's captain.

James, a final year mechanical engineering student at UCL, was presented with a hand-crafted Parmigiani Tonda 1950 watch last October as part of the award.

His involvement in organising a number of charity rowing events raising $40,000 for the organisation Village Water, coupled with his success on the water as part of the Great Britain eight that won silver in the 2012 World University Rowing Championships, meant that he beat 25 other nominated students worldwide to win the prize for his club.

womens boat club

FISA President Denis Oswald said: “James Cook is an outstanding role model to all university students and for our sport. He is a successful rower, a leader and a magnificent team-player who has given so much to charity and to others. He is an inspiration to all and a worthy winner of the first Parmigiani Spirit Award.”

This year, as well as completing his degree, James hopes to raise more money for Village Water which works to bring clean and accessible water to villages in Zambia. He said: “What I am most looking forward to is the opportunity to raise more money to provide fresh water for Zambian villages, by helping to organise and take part in the Lake Kariba Moon row in August 2014. This is the first ever attempt to row continuously through the day and night, for 250km along the length of Lake Kariba. Money raised will go straight to support Village Water projects in Zambia, and I hope to coach some emerging Zambian rowers whilst I am there.”



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  • James presenting the award to Freya and the ULBC Women's team in the boat. (Courtesy of Hamish Roots)