The Cancer Research UK Boat Race squads took to the Tideway to compete against each other for the first time this season on the famous Championship Course, albeit in four man boats and in the opposite direction to the Race in April.
The weather forecasts were slightly concerning, but the race went ahead as scheduled and provided all athletes with an excellent chance to experience the unique course conditions.
Cambridge laid down an impressive early marker, as their men and women’s squads came away with wins in elite coxed fours and women’s elite coxless fours respectively. The top men’s four, containing CUBC President Lance Tredell and steered by three-times Blue Ian Middleton, were the second fastest four on the day, finishing in 18:41:1 and only nine seconds back on Leander’s top coxless crew.
Not to be outdone, Cambridge men’s second four finished second in Elite Coxless Fours (18:45:2) but crucially ahead of two boats from Oxford. The Dark Blues managed to secure second and third in Elite Coxed Fours, with President Michael DiSanto in the latter alongside fellow Blue Jorgen Tveit. The second placed crew, containing former CUBC athlete William Warr, finished in 18:53:1, twelve seconds back on Cambridge.
Boat Race athletes dominated the Women’s Elite Coxed Fours category, with the top six crews all representing either Oxford or Cambridge. It was Oxford, with former Blue Lauren Kedar on-board, who took the victory ahead of two crews from Cambridge. However, the Light Blue women’s squad boated three crews in the equivalent coxless category, finishing first, second and fourth. The winning CUWBC crew featured a number of familiar names, including former Blues Holly Hill, Myriam Goudet and Melissa Wilson.
The 163rd Boat Race and The 72nd Women’s Boat Race will take place on Sunday 2nd April 2017. The Cancer Research UK Women’s Boat Race will start at 16:35, with The Cancer Research UK Boat Race an hour later at 17:35.