Homerton College Boat Club has celebrated the launch of the first new boat for three years with a ceremony by the Cam, during the May Bumps.
Petaluma’s maiden voyage was rowed by the Men’s First Eight who successfully ‘bumped’ on the final day, having held off a chasing crew laden with University-level rowers the previous day.
The College and the Homerton Union of Students contributed to the cost, and HCBC raised funds from donors through a 24-hour sponsored row on indoor rowing machines, live-streamed on the web. It was hoped to raise enough to purchase a second-hand boat to replace the aging Lady Hilary, but in the end, thanks to a tremendous donation from David and Lyan Huntley, it was possible to purchase a brand new Janousek boat.
David Huntley said, “I’m a rower myself, and I was moved by the students’ efforts to raise funds – all-night sponsored ergs included. But I thought: they shouldn’t be doing all this for a second-hand boat. Homerton deserves a new boat”.
David and Lyan are parents of Alice, a current Homertonian rower in the Women’s First Eight. Petaluma is named after the Huntleys’ home town in California.
Philip Stephenson, Fellow of the College and Senior Treasurer of HCBC, said “the Club is hugely grateful to David and Lyan for this brilliant gift. Petaluma is a superb boat and a worthy replacement for Lady Hilary - we look forward to many victories in her!”