Success for Charles in boat race

The winning Cambridge boat race crew
The winning Cambridge boat race crew

A Todmorden grandmother is as proud as punch after her grandson helped Cambridge to victory in this year’s boat race.

Kathleen Fisher, 91, is “over the moon” after her grandson Charles Fisher, 21, was one if the eight rowers to cross the line first in the annual event against Oxford.

Charles’ dad John said: “He spoke to her earlier this week.

“She’s over the moon and walking on air.

“She’s watched the boat race all her life and loved it as a spectacle.

“But having her grandson winning the boat race - it’s something the family will talk about for generations.

“We’re extremely proud of him. It’s a fantastic achievement.”

Cambridge claimed their first win in the men’s race since 2012 to beat Oxford in the 162nd edition of the event.

Charles won a gold medal in rowing for Great Britain at junior level and took a year out before starting university to go to Henley, where he trained for a year at Leander Rowing Club.

John said: “He thought it would be too great a leap to go from school to possibly rowing in the boat race so he took a gap year and went to Henley, where he lived by himself.

“To get a place on the Cambridge boat, he had to take part in a test where he was timed along the route with the other seven crew members.

“The crew is usually made up of post-graduate students, so for Charles to get a place as an undergraduate, one of only two crew members who weren’t post-grads, was, in itself, a huge achievement.”

Charles is currently in his second year studying history at St John’s College, Cambridge.

John added: “I didn’t find the race stressful to watch.

“I think it will take time for it to sink in.

“I watched the start of the race at the boat house and then watched the rest on television.

“You can’t really get too excited because it takes so much training and so many years of dedication to get to this stage.

“To get the chance to row in the boat race, there’s such a huge build-up to it.

“It’s incredibly competitive to get a place.

“Charles has trained twice a day for the last six months, six days a week, getting up a 5.30am or 6am everyday.

“He has shown an astonishing amount of determination.”