Former Oxford Blue and rowing coach, author and BBC Sport rowing commentator Daniel Topolski has died aged 69.
Topolski, the coach who led Oxford University to 10 straight wins in The Boat Race between 1976 and 1985, died on Saturday 21st February following a lengthy period of ill health.
David Searle, Director at BRCL commented, “Dan has been an ever-present part of The Boat Race since he rowed in the 1967 Race. As a winning coach, his record from 1973 – 1987 was phenomenal and included a run of ten victories in a row from 1976 to 1985. Latterly, he was Oxford’s coxing advisor. He was an active member of the press corps following the Race since he stood down as coach and an astute and knowledgeable commentator for the BBC TV Boat Race programmes. Of course, he had many friends within the Oxford camp given his long connection with The Boat Race but he also counted many from Cambridge as friends, too. The Boat Race has lost a real character.”
The Oxford University Boat Club said in a statement: “His legacy is woven into the OUBC today from those victories and his continuing deep involvement with the club and the many athletes who have had the privilege of knowing him. Everyone at the OUBC has Daniel and his wife, Suzy, his children, Emma, Tamsin and Luke, and his sister, Teresa, in their thoughts and prayers.”
The Cambridge University Boat Club added: “In a 200 year old event where just to win a seat is a major sporting achievement, Dan is one of a very, very special few who have stamped their personality on the Race for a whole generation. By his achievements he has enriched our sport, our history and our contest. CUBC salutes the passing of a most talented and respected adversary.”