FORMER Chester King’s School pupil Dave Billings has been back on home waters to prepare for tomorrow’s University Boat Race with the Cambridge University squad.
The 21-year-old, who will compete in Cambridge’s reserve Goldie crew, returned to Chester last week for some all-important practice on the River Dee.
It is the second year in succession that Cambridge have tuned up for the race by basing themselves at The King’s School’s boathouse – and it paid dividends last year as the Light Blues defeated rivals Oxford.
Chris Ramsey, headmaster of The King’s School, said “We are absolutely delighted to welcome, for a second year, the Cambridge University Boat Race squad. It is an honour to share our first class rowing facilities with the team. We wish the crews every success in the race.”
Billings, a philosophy student, added: “It was great to be back and rowing again on the Dee. I have many good memories of the Boat House and all the staff at King’s.”
Billings has been rowing for eight years after his interest in the sport flourished while he was a pupil at The King’s School.
He represented Great Britain Under 16s in a match against France, winning the eights, and helped Goldie to a four-length victory over their Isis counterparts from Oxford last year.
Everyone connected with Cambridge is hoping their time spent on the Dee will set them up for further success – both in the main event and reserve race – on the River Thames tomorrow.
Dan O’Shaughnessy, president of the Cambridge University boat club, added: “The whole squad has enjoyed our stay. It is an ideal preparation for the Boat Race on the Tideway.
“We love the atmosphere here at Chester and the Dee is a great river on which to train.
“It has been good to have the opportunity to row alongside The King’s School crews, and we wish them well for the rest of the season.”