Univ rowers, porters and alumni are getting ready to stage a 24 hour charity rowing machine relay in the college quad this weekend, as part of a fundraising campaign in memory of two prominent Boat Club alumni who died last year.

Olympic silver medal-winning cox and two-time Boat Race winner Acer Nethercott, who learnt to cox as a novice with the University College Boat Club, passed away unexpectedly from a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor earlier this year. Just a few months earlier, former Univ Men’s 1st VIII rower James Townley died while serving with the Royal Engineers in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. 

Event organiser Edward Beard said, “Both men were extremely well-liked and popular members of the Univ Boat Club – Acer often returned to encourage novices to try the sport and showed them his silver medal, which he kept in a sock. Their loss has been deeply felt throughout the Boat Club, University College and wider British rowing community.”

More than fifty rowers, porters and College staff have signed up to row in non-stop relay on two rowing machines over 24 hours in a challenge to raise £2000 for Cancer Research UK and Help for Heroes. They have already reached £1,675 from Old Members, rowers and ex-servicemen and women.

One of the event’s notable supporters, London 2012 Olympic coxless fours gold medalist Pete Reed, wrote, “I’d like to pass on my heart felt congratulations and thanks to the University College Boat Club for their enormous efforts to raise money in memory of your old friends Acer and James. I was a close friend of Acer as so many people genuinely were. He is still, and always will be, a huge source of inspiration for me.”

Boat Club President Elizabeth German said, “We’ll be rowing in Radcliffe Quad for 24 hours from 10AM on Saturday. By being visible in the college grounds, it will be really easy for people to see us in action, and show their support for the worthwhile causes we’re supporting.”

Details of the event, and how to support and donate, can be found at: www.virginmoneygiving.com%2fucbc-24hour-ergathon