This Sunday, the Oxford and Cambridge crew teams will meet in the annual Boat Race, with this year’s being the 162nd. For those of you who have the tendency to tune out every time rowers like to talk about rowing, which we’ve all admittedly done at some point, here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about the Boat Race.
Both the men’s and women’s Blues, as well as the reserve crews, will be rowing on the traditional Thames course. Reserve and Varsity crews of both genders have a significant reputation to uphold, with all four teams attempting to maintain their recent consecutive victories. The reserve crews have the largest margins of victory, coming off of four and five respective wins (this may have something to do with being named after majestic Egyptian gods rather than confectionary from a bake sale), while the Blues are held at three each. Unfortunately, Cambridge hold the record of total Boat Races won, 81 to 79 (the controversial “Dead Heat” race of 1877 has not been counted in these tallies).
The women’s Blues begin the day’s races at 3:25 PM, before moving on to Osiris and Isis, the men’s and women’s reserves, and concluding with the men’s Blues race. The teams decide which side of the river they will row on via a ceremonial coin toss, which uses an 1829 gold sovereign to symbolise the year the Boat Race first took place, although it did not become an annual event until 1856 and was actually held twice in 1849. For any spectators watching the race in person, the churches on either side of Putney Bridge will display colour coded flags to indicate which teams are present on what side. For those unable to attend in person, the crew placements will be available on both live streaming and broadcasting via the BBC before the start of the race.
The Oxford Crews
Men’s Blue boat:
- Bow: George McKirdy (27yrs / 190cm / 76.8kg / Teddy Hall)
- 2: James White (19yrs / 187cm / 87.0kg / Christ Church)
- 3: Morgan Gerlak (23yrs / 185cm / 85.8kg / Keble)
- 4: Joshua Bugajski (25yrs / 194cm / 96.4kg / Keble)
- 5: Leo Carrington (25yrs / 189cm / 87.0kg / Kellogg)
- 6: Jørgen Tveit (20yrs /194cm / 82.4kg / St John’s)
- 7: Jamie Cook (23yrs / 188cm / 84.0kg / St Cross)
- Stroke: Nik Hazell (23yrs / 199cm /94.8kg / Christ Church)
- Cox: Sam Collier (20yrs / 170cm / 56.2kg / New)
Women’s Blue boat:
- Bow: Emma Lukasiewicz (24yrs / 174cm / 60.4kg / Hertford)
- 2: Emma Spruce (23yrs / 178cm / 72.0kg / Wolfson)
- 3: Joanne Jansen (23yrs / 180cm / 67.0kg / New)
- 4: Ruth Siddorn (20yrs / 181cm /75.2kg / Keble)
- 5: Ëlo Luik (27yrs / 186cm / 78.2kg / Wolfson)
- 6: Anastasia Chitty (22yrs / 175cm / 71.0kg / Pembroke)
- 7: Maddy Badcott (20 yrs / 178cm / 74.8kg / Wadham)
- Stroke: Lauren Kedar (20yrs / 178cm / 65.6kg / Exeter)
- Cox : Maddy Baynham-Williams (21yrs / 167 cm / 60.0kg / Oriel)
Both boats weighed-in lighter than their Cambridge counterparts. The dark blue men’s boat weighed-in at 86.8kg excluding the cox, with the light blues weighing-in at 88.3kg. The Oxford women’s Blue boat weighed-in at 70.5kg, whilst Cambridge weighed-in at 74.8kg.
Who’s going to win?
Despite having lost the last three boat races, Cambridge are the favourites to win the men’s race. With four returning Blues compared to Oxford’s one, Cambridge have the upper hand on experience as well as weight. On the women’s side, Cambridge’s heavier crew is likely to give them a significant advantage on the Tideway.
Oxford do, however, know how to win, and coach Sean Bowdler will have prepped the crews well for this 162nd Boat Race. Cambridge have won all of their pre-race fixtures, whilst Oxford have lost to Oxford Brookes, but Oxford’s winning mentality could help them to be the first to cross the line.
Want to keep up to date with The Boat Races? Check out Cherwell’s live blog from noon Sunday. Tweet us and follow @cherwellsport on snapchat for all the latest news and features from The Boat Races.