The official crews for The 2013 BNY Mellon Boat Race and Newton Women’s Boat Race were announced today. A momentous day in this event’s long history saw the Men’s and Women’s Announcement and Weigh-In take place together for the first time ever.
The 159th Boat Race on 31st March will see a slightly heavier Oxford take on a lighter Cambridge crew, with seven different nationalities represented. This is the first time since 2009 that Oxford has the heavier crew, weighing in today at an average of 2.6kg per man more than their Light Blue rivals.
In the Newton Women’s Race a heavier, entirely British Cambridge crew will take on a lighter, more international Oxford Boat. Weighing in on the same day for the first time, the Cambridge women are an average of 3.6kg per woman heavier than the Dark Blue counterparts.
Following London 2012, this year’s BNY Mellon Boat Race has an Olympic flavour, with two athletes in each crew having competed in the London Games. Canadian Malcolm Howard for Oxford and Czech Milan Bruncvik for Cambridge will become the first two oarsmen ever to compete in The Boat Race having already raced in two Olympic Games. Bruncvik, having competed in the Beijing and London Games, will also be the first Czech oarsman ever to race in The Boat Race. Howard, who won Gold in Beijing and Silver in London, will become the third Canadian ever to stroke a Boat Race crew, following in the footsteps of Kip McDaniel for Cambridge (2006) and Mike Evans for Oxford (1984). Incidentally, in the Cambridge crew, American Niles Garratt will stroke consecutive Boat Races – the last oarsman to do this was Matt Smith for Oxford in 2001/02/03.
Both crews also feature a British Olympic Bronze medallist each in their line-ups – Constantine Louloudis for Oxford and George Nash for Cambridge. The pair who raced against each other in The 2011 Boat Race, and then became Under 23 World Champions together in the pair later that year, are both back at University this year. They took a year out in 2011/12 in order to train full-time and compete for selection to race for Team GB – Constantine was selected to stroke the Men’s Eight, and George was picked for the Pair; and both won Bronze medals.
Both Oxford crews feature competitors from several different nationalities – with seven nations in total represented between the two crews. In the Men’s Blue Boat, Sam O’Connor becomes the tenth New Zealander to race, and Oskar Zorrilla is the first competitor of Colombian descent to feature in The Boat Race. In the Oxford Women’s Boat, Alice Carrington-Windo and Maxie Scheske both have dual British and German nationality, and are joined by Hungarian international, Marianne Novak.
The Cambridge crews are in stark contrast to each other, as for the second year running, the Men’s crew only features one British oarsman (George Nash), whereas the Women’s crew is an entirely British line-up. This is first time ever that the Men’s Blue Boat has had as many as four Americans in it, and only the fourth time in the history of the Race that there has been as many as four Americans in one crew. The coxing seat remains firmly in British hands though, as the selection of Henry Fieldman makes it a decade of British coxes for Cambridge – the last international to occupy the seat was James Omartian in 2003.
There are several returning Blues across both sets of Blue Boats that will be looking to continue either their winning ways or rectify previous disappointment. For OUWBC, two time Boat Race and one time Reserve Race winner, Harriet Keane, is joined by 2012 Isis Goldie Race record-holder Katie Apfelbaum, 2012 Osiris winner Amy Varney, and returning 2012 Blue Mary Foord-Weston. Returning to the CUWBC Blue Boat will be 2012 winners Caroline Reid, Fay Sandford, and Holly Game, and they will be coxed by winning Lightweight Women’s Boat Race cox from 2011, Esther Momcilovic. There are seven returning Blues in the Men’s Boat Race this year – George Nash, Niles Garratt, Steve Dudek and Alexander Scharp for Cambridge; Alex Davidson, Karl Hudspith and Constantine Louloudis for Oxford – six of whom know what winning this Race feels like. Here we have an interesting head-to-head between two Brits – George Nash and Karl Hudspith, who are both competing in their third Boat Race, and who both have one win, and one loss apiece. There is only 1 other time in the last 50 years that this has happened, when Henry Clay of Cambridge and Graham Innes of Oxford faced off in the 1976 Race. On that occasion, it was Graham Innes and Oxford who were victorious. Geordie Macleod is the only rower who has made the step up from the Isis Goldie Race to the Blue Boat this year.
The 2013 BNY Mellon Boat Race will take place on 31st March 2013. The Newton Women’s Boat Race will be raced at Henley a week earlier, on 24th March.