AN OLYMPIC hopeful who first took to the water at Evesham Rowing Club played his part in helping Cambridge to victory against Oxford in the prestigious 162nd Boat Race.
Lance Tredell helped the Light Blues to their first victory since 2012 on Easter Sunday (March 27), despite some of the worst conditions experienced on the water in the history of the iconic event.
Coached by Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medallist Steve Trapmore, the 27-year-old saw his squad, led by cox Ian Middleton, cross the finish line by two and a half lengths – five seconds – ahead of their historic rivals.
The victory is the latest chapter in success on the water which began when he was inspired to join Evesham Rowing Club by his younger sister, GB international Yasmin Tredell.
After the family moved from the north of England to Evesham, Lance followed in her footsteps and within six months of training on the River Avon, Lance took part in his first Henley Royal Regatta.
Success soon followed as Lance won the prestigious Ladies’ Challenge Plate at Henley and helped Great Britain’s men’s eight win gold at the Samsung World Cup event in Sydney in 2013.
The respected oarsman then moved to the Leander Rowing Club in Henley-on-Thames and is in the first year of a land economy degree at Hughes Hall Cambridge.
But the 27-year-old is hoping his success will be the start of an Olympic dream as Lance hopes to be in contention for a place representing his country at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Speaking to the Observer, Lance revealed he had never rowed in the conditions which faced Cambridge and their rivals let alone raced in them.
“But we reacted and did what we needed to do. It goes to show anything is possible,” he said.
“It was so great to be part of winning team and for some of the guys in the boat, Luke, Henry and Ali, it was their last chance for success.
“We hadn’t lost on the Tideway, parts of the River Thames that are subject to tides, all year and when we won Fuller’s Head of the River Fours race on the Thames last November, I knew we were going well,” he added.
Lance’s proud parents Susan and Lloyd Tredell, from Bretforton, cheered from the sidelines as their son stroked his team to victory.
“We’re very proud of Lance’s achievement of gaining a Blue at Cambridge,” she said.
“We’ve watched the Boat Race for many years and not only has our son taken part which is a massive achievement in itself, but he has won it along with his fantastic team.”