Thursday, March 7, 2013

Oxford and Cambridge Crews Announced, CUBC Rowers Discuss Boat Race

Photo: Cambridge launches for the 2008 Boat Race (© B. Kitch)
The crews for both the men's and women's Oxford and Cambridge Boat Races have been announced, and there is a ton(ne) of international talent on display. The men's boat race will feature two double Olympians in the form of Oxford stroke Malcolm Howard and Cambridge two seat Milan Bruncvik—a first for the Boat Race. Howard won gold with the Canadian men's eight in Beijing, and took silver at Eton Dorney. Sitting right behind him? Constantine ('Stan') Louloudis, British stroke from the Olympic bronze medal-winning crew in 2012. Nothing against Niles Garratt (UW alum) and Alexander Scharp of Cambridge, but that is one hell of a stern pair for Oxford.

The Cambridge crew (follow the link for a Bloomberg video interview with Steve Dudek, Alex Fleming and Ty Otto), which bounced back from its fixture against Washington with a solid performance against Leander, also features a 2012 GB Olympic bronze medalist in the form of George Nash, who earned a trip to the podium in the men's pair event last summer. Former Washington Husky and 2011 U23 world champion Ty Otto is also in the Light Blue engine room, sitting opposite Harvard grad Sam O'Connor of New Zealand in the Oxford four seat. We'll hold off for now on making predictions, but suffice it to say that it looks to be a very tough battle on paper—even the crew averages are similar in the extreme:

Oxford:
Age: 25 years Weight: 92.9 kg (14 st 9 lbs) Height: 194 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Cambridge:
Age: 25 years Weight: 92.6 kg (14 st 8 lbs) Height: 195 cm (6 ft 5 in)

The women's Boat Race may not have the Olympic lustre of the men's event (yet), but Oxford's crew certainly doesn't lack for international experience. Bow seat Mariann Novak was a U23 bronze medalist for Hungary in 2009, and seven seat Anastasia Chitty is a British phenom in the making, having recently returned from the Australian Youth Olympic Festival with a medal for each of the three boat classes she raced, with a silver from the World Rowing Junior Championships in 2011 already to her name. Oxford's coxswain (and Trinity College, Hartford alum), Katie Apfelbaum, was a member of the victorious Isis crew last year. Cambridge, led by two-time Boat Race veteran Fay Sandford, will counter with youth and athleticism, with a significant height & weight advantage on their Dark Blue rivals:

Oxford:
Age: 23 years Weight: 67.8 kg (10 st 9 lbs) Height: 176 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Cambridge:
Age: 22 years Weight: 69.8 kg (11 st) Height: 178 cm (5 ft 10 in)

For a complete, side-by-side comparison of the men's and women's crews, please visit the official website of the Boat Race. For a full write-up of the weigh-in and announcement on Tuesday from London, see our friend Tim Koch's report on Hear The Boat Sing. (Note: some serious quad flexing going on in the men's individual photos.) And for more on the Oxford and Cambridge Goat Race (not a typo), click here.

-RR

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