The two Oxford and two Cambridge squads that will trial for places in The 2014 BNY Mellon Boat Race and Newton Women’s Boat Race have been announced today.
The official challenges will be issued this evening by last year’s losing Presidents from Cambridge at the Autumn Reception, which marks the official start of The Boat Race season.
With all of the clubs back in training for over a month and half, potential triallists have already had to get through rigorous testing to make it to this official squad announcement. 143 rowers and coxes have done enough to secure a place in the squads this season, but over the coming months they will face further tough testing and intense competition as they are whittled down to secure one of the few coveted places in the boats that will race on 30th March and 6th April 2014.
The make-up of the squads pays testament to the event’s ever-increasing international appeal with 20 different nationalities represented across the four squads. The Men’s squads who are seeking a place to race in The 160th Boat Race feature five Olympians who rowed in the London 2012 Olympic Games – 4 at Oxford and 1 at Cambridge. Olympic Gold and Silver medallist Malcolm Howard has been joined at Oxford by fellow double Olympian and Bronze medallist, New Zealander Storm Uru. Another London 2012 Bronze medallist, Constantine Louloudis, also returns for Oxford to try as he looks for the opportunity to make it three Boat Race victories in as many Races. Zimbabwe’s James Fraser-Mackenzie who rowed the single scull at London 2012 has also joined the Dark Blue squad this year. For Cambridge, Canadian Anthony Jacob brings valuable London 2012 Olympic experience where he raced in the coxless four.
The split between those studying post-graduate and undergraduate courses is roughly 50:50 across all four squads, with the student athletes reading a wide variety of subjects from veterinary medicine, to engineering, to literae humaniores. The oldest triallist this year is Stella Isaac in the Cambridge Women’s squad, who is 34, and the youngest triallist belongs to the same squad – Rose Maxwell is just 18 years 2 months. The oldest triallist for The BNY Mellon Boat Race is Cambridge’s Mathieu Poitrat at 31, and again the youngest is also a Light Blue – Ian Middleton is 18 years 4 months.
The OUBC squad features many returners from their successful 2013 campaign. President Malcolm Howard is joined by fellow Blues Karl Hudspith, Constantine Louloudis and Sam O’Connor. From the victorious Isis crew, Joe Dawson, Nicholas Hazell, Iain Mandale, Tom Watson and cox Laurence Harvey return. Their Light Blue counterparts feature fewer returners, with President Steve Dudek the only remaining member of the 2013 Cambridge Blue Boat. Mike Thorp who rowed in The 2011 and 2012 Boat Races, and 2010 and 2013 Isis Goldie Races returns with several of his fellow 2013 Goldie crew members – Alexander Leichter, Joshua Hooper and Helge Gruetjen.
Seven of the 2013 Cambridge Women’s Blue Boat have returned this year – led by President and cox Esther Momcilovic, Emily Day, Holly Game, Caroline Reid, Vicky Shaw, Claire Watkins, and Melissa Wilson will all be competing to regain their Blue Boat seats and avenge last year’s loss. Clare Hall and Sara Lackner have also returned from the 2013 Blondie crew. Returning from the victorious 2013 Oxford Blue Boat are Alice Carrington-Windo, Anastasia Chitty, Harriet Keane and OUWBC President, Maxie Scheske. From Osiris, Maria Mazza and Hannah Ledbury return.
All four squads will race on the Tideway for the first time this season at the end of November in the Fuller’s Head of the River Fours.
The 2014 BNY Mellon Boat Race will take place on 6th April 2014 at 6pm. The Newton Women’s Boat Race will take place a week earlier, in Henley for the last time, on 30th March.