Oxford Boat Clubs announce crews for April’s race

Cherwell reviews the Oxford Boat Club crews ahead of April's boat race

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PHOTO: The Boat Race

Oxford University Boat Club (OUBC) and Women’s Boat Club (OUWBC) this morning confirmed their crews at the City Hall, London for next month’s Boat Races.

The Men’s boat is identical to the crew that was named for last weekend’s fixture against Oxford Brookes, a race that was postponed due to high winds.

The crew weighs in at 719.6kg, 19.6 kilos lighter than the 2018 crew but nonetheless a shade heavier than their Cambridge counterparts, who weighed in at 718.3kg.

In the Women’s boat Oxford will concede roughly a 10kg swing, with the boat tipping the scales at 568.8kg compared to the 578.3kg of the CUWBC.

OUWBC will head into the race with 2 returning members of last year’s defeated crew, naming both Beth Bridgman of St Hugh’s and Keble’s Renée Koolschijn, although both have shifted position in the boat, with Bridgman moving from Stroke to position 6, and Koolschijn from Bow to position 3.

The situation is mirrored in the Men’s boat as OUBC president Felix Drinkall and Christ Church student Benedict Aldous – who last year replaced Joshua Bugajski at the eleventh hour in a decision shrouded by illness – are the only survivors in a youthful-looking crew.

The average age of the Oxford Men’s boat is 21.8 years-old, a historically low figure accentuated by the presence of four undergraduate scientists in the aforementioned duo of Drinkall and Aldous, as well as Charlie Pearson and Tobias Schroder.

This is in stark contrast with the CUBC crew, who sport an average age of 26.3, after the decision to include two-time Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell in the boat. Cracknell qualifies for selection as he is studying for an MPhil in Human Evolutionary Studies at Peterhouse College, floating the idea on Twitter as early as July 2018 alongside the hashtag “#NeverTooOld”.

The OUWBC crew have an average age of 23.9 years-old, slightly younger than the 24.3 years-old of the Cambridge Women’s crew.

The Light Blues comprehensively swept all 4 races last year, including a first victory in eight years for the Cambridge reserve boat Goldie over Isis, a dominance hitherto unseen since the move to stage each race on the same tideway in 2015.

Cambridge now lead the standings in the Men’s race 83-80, whilst they boast a greater advantage in the Women’s race, notching 43 to Oxford’s 30.

This year’s Boat Races take place on Sunday 7th April, with the Women’s race commencing at 2:15pm, followed by the Men’s race an hour later at 3:15pm.

The bookmaker William Hill has priced up the Men’s Race on their website, rating it a closely-fought affair, going 8/11 about Oxford and evens for Cambridge, with the possibility of a dead heat rated a 50/1 chance.

OUBC Crew:

Bow: Achim Harzeim, Oriel, 26yo, 88kg

2: Ben Landis, Lincoln, 24yo, 82kg

3: Patrick Sullivan, Wadham, 23yo, 92kg

4: Benedict Aldous, Christ Church, 21yo, 94kg

5: Tobias Schroder, Magdalen, 19yo, 94kg

6: Felix Drinkall, LMH, 19yo, 84kg

7: Charlie Pearson, Trinity, 20yo, 82kg

Stroke: Augustin Wambersie, Catz, 23yo, 89kg

Cox: Anna Carbery, Pembroke, 21yo, 54kg

OUWBC Crew:

Bow: Issy Dodds, Hertford, 69kg

2: Anna Murgatroyd, ChCh, 68kg

3: Renée Koolschijn, Keble, 73.8kg

4: Lizzie Polgreen, Linacre, 60.7kg

5: Tina Christmann, Worcester, 72.2kg

6: Beth Bridgman, St Hugh’s, 70.4kg

7: Liv Pryer, Teddy Hall, 77.3kg

Stroke: Amelia Standing, St Anne’s, 74kg

Cox: Eleanor Shearer, Nuffield

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