The four Boat Clubs that will contest The 2016 BNY Mellon Boat Races have announced the squads from which their crews will be selected.
In this the 162nd running of The Boat Race, it is the first year in the Race’s history that both Presidents have been American. This has not stopped the two squads comprising largely of British students with 60% of athletes across the two clubs coming from the UK. OUBC and CUBC have 4 and 5 Americans respectively, but from there the similarities end. OUBC take individuals from Belgium, Iran, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Slovakia whilst CUBC comprises of athletes from Australia, Austria, Canada, France and Germany.
CUBC at an average height of 193cm (6 ft 3) have advantage of nearly 4cm per man over their OUBC rivals. Both clubs have average ages of 23 years old but Cambridge have both the oldest and the youngest athletes trialling in Australian Alister Taylor (aged 38) and returning Goldie rower Piers Kasas (19). Kasas is amongst 5 Goldie athletes from the 2015 crew that return to trial along with 3 from last year’s Blue Boat. Only 2 athletes return from the 2015 winning OUBC Blue Boat, however a further 7 have experience from race day in recent Isis crews.
The Newton Women’s Boat Race, taking place for the 72nd occasion and the second held in conjunction with The BNY Mellon Boat Race, sees eight Blues return from 2015, 4 in each club. OUWBC also have 4 Osiris rowers in the squad, whilst CUWBC have two athletes from the Lightweight Women’s Boat Race.
OUWBC and CUWBC have 14 and 13 British athletes respectively, again making up over half of the athletes trialling. There are 5 Americans at CUWBC in contrast to 3 at OUWBC, with Canadians (1 and 2 athletes respectively) and a Swiss athlete at both Clubs. Other nations represented include Bermuda, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and South Africa. The Clubs’ average height is effectively equal at 178cm (5 ft 10), but OUWBC are older: an average of 23 years compared to 21.5 years. They are equally made up of graduates and undergraduates with Isobel Dodds (OUWBC) the youngest overall aged 19.
It is just over 5 months until The BNY Mellon Boat Races on 27th March 2016 and the Clubs will be working hard to achieve the highest standard possible on Race day. Although the official start to the season was last night, training has already been underway for two months.