So Joe, how did it feel to be named blues captain?
I’m really happy, and really proud. Joining this time helped me have such a great time last year, I made some really good friends and it truly is a great team to be part of. Beating Cambridge was pretty much the highlight of my career and the Varsity was such a brilliant event to be part of.
It really was a successful year wasn’t it?
Absolutely, it was definitely the most successful of recent years; the Varsity win was our first since 1999. Seriously, we annihilated Cambridge. More than that, we achieved our highest BUSA finish with a brilliant seventh in the top league in the country. Last year our pre-season camp was called ‘Camp Victory’ to motivate us; this year we went for ‘Camp Domination’.
Not only that I hear you guys beat the Tabs in the channel…
Oh God, that was something I never thought I’d do. I got lugged in as a long distance freestyle swimmer but it really was worthwhile. The training experience in the freezing Irish Sea was something else, as we walked into the water we’d pretty much just insult it to keep up the spirits. I got myself the nickname of ‘The Fire’ for the heat I managed to generate! We could tell Cambridge weren’t up for it or were at least trying to put us off, trying to cancel loads of times, but yeah, we destroyed them again. At one point they were so far behind they started swimming in circles. That actually happened.
You guys even became internet celebrities for a bit right? (Seriously, type Oxford swim into youtube. The comments are fantastic).
Well yeah we’d been talking about doing a naked calendar, but that never happened. Then one time poolside at a Gala, influenced by the dance moves from Ricky Gervais’ ‘Extras’, we started filming little clips with one common move. Clearly the sheer talent of the swimmers came out, and our sex appeal and core stability got us thousands of views in one week; we even got ‘clip of the week’ on a gay website.
Brilliant, so fun times aside are you confident of another successful year?
Yeah we really do have a very good team, unfortunately lost a couple of key swimmers, but so far the freshers seem really keen. It’s going to be hard and Cambridge are going to be out to get us, but if we train as hard as we did this year we really should win.
So what’s coming up in the near future?
We’ve got a Uni competition on 25th October up at Iffley Road – spectators definitely welcome – as well as the BUSA short course championships later in the term. Then in January we’re going on a training camp to Italy. Needs a new name that, doesn’t it?