The squads for The 2017 Cancer Research UK Boat Races have been announced, with old faces returning and some exciting new names entering the fold.
Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club will be looking to try and overturn a patch of Dark Blue dominance and started the 2017 season with a great start at the British Senior Championships with a number of impressive performances. Six athletes have previous Boat Race experience, including British U23 international Holly Hill and 2016/17 President Ashton Brown. Canadian Brown will be looking for her first win in Light Blues colours, but will be strengthened by a handful of athletes who were victorious with reserve crew Blondie last year. Several lightweight athletes are also making the weight transition, including former Harvard University co-captain Kirsten Von Fossen and whilst Irish Olympian Claire Lambe who made the final of the lightweight women’s double in Rio this summer.
Oxford, under new head coach Ali Williams, will be looking to extend their winning run to five races, having last suffered defeat in 2012. The Dark Blues don’t have any returners but boast a lot of promising young talent as well as a number of former Osiris athletes. President Dr Isabell Von Loga raced for the reserve crew last year along with Italian Elettra Ardissino. OUWBC are the only squad to boast an athlete who won gold in Rio; Grace Clough was a member of the winning British LTAMix4+ at the 2016 Paralympic Games. Canadian Emily Cameron competed at the world rowing championships in 2014, finishing 6th in the women’s quad.
The Men’s Race promises to be another enthralling affair, with each Club boasting an array of international talent and incumbent Blues. After breaking Oxford’s winning luck last year, Cambridge have five returning Blues from that crew including 2016/17 President Lance Tredell. Three-times Blue Ian Middleton will also by vying for the driving seat in this year’s top crew, but will face stiff competition from former Goldie cox and Westminster schoolboy Hugo Ramambason. CUBC also have nine American athletes in their fold, including IRA Bronze Medallist and Princeton University alumni Patrick Eble. C.R.A.S.H B indoor rowing world champion James Letten provides additional firepower to a squad with plenty of talent.
Meanwhile Oxford University Boat Club also have five former Blues. President Micheal DiSanto competed for Oxford in the 2014 & 2015 Races, winning both before going on to race for the USA at the Rio Olympic Games. DiSanto is not the only former Olympian on Oxford’s roster this year, with two-times Dutch Olympian Olivier Siegelaar bolstering the Dark Blues. The former Cal, Berkeley graduate has a wealth of international experience, including a bronze medal in the men’s eight from Rio. William Warr, who competed for Cambridge in The 2015 Boat Race, switches allegiances for this campaign, whilst Sam Collier returns to try and reclaim the coxswains seat for this year’s Race. Former American lightweight Matthew O’Leary also joins a squad brimming with international pedigree.
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.