The two crews that will race in the Oxford University Boat Club Trial VIIIs have been announced.
The Trial, which had to be postponed in December due to squad illness, will take place at 2pm on Sunday, and will serve as an important learning experience and selection test for the sixteen rowers and two coxes chosen. It is the only occasion during the season that the squad members race side-by-side for the entire four and a quarter miles of the Championship Course in a simulation of The BNY Mellon Boat Race.
The two crews taking to the water have been named ‘Persistent’ and ‘Stubborn’ in tribute to Harry Parker, former head coach of the Harvard Rowing programme, who passed away last year. Three of the current Oxford squad were coached by Parker at Harvard, and feature in the Trial VIII crews – President Malcolm Howard and Michael Di Santo in Persistent, and returning Blue Sam O’Connor in Stubborn.
With five different nationalities represented, the Persistent crew contains a wealth of international experience – Canadian Olympian Howard and American international Di Santo are joined by Zimbabwean Olympian James Fraser-Mackenzie and Swiss international Matthias Wyss. Their stern is comprised of three Isis winners, returning from the 2012 Race, Chris Fairweather, and Iain Mandale and cox Laurence Harvey from 2013.
The Stubborn crew is made up of several experienced Boat Race athletes as New Zealander Sam O’Connor is joined by fellow returning Blues, Olympic bronze medallist Constantine Louloudis and Karl Hudspith. Their crew also contains three Isis Goldie Race winners: Tom Watson, Joseph Dawson and Nicholas Hazell. They will be coxed by Osiris 2013 winner Sophie Shawdon.
The full crew lists are as follows:
Bow: Dominic Parr
2: Matthias Wyss
3: James Fraser-Mackenzie
4: Thomas Swartz
5: Malcolm Howard
6: Michael Di Santo
7: Iain Mandale
Stroke: Chris Fairweather
Cox: Laurence Harvey
Bow: John Redos
2: Tom Watson
3: Joseph Dawson
4: James Mountain
5: Karl Hudspith
6: Nicholas Hazell
7: Sam O’Connor
Stroke: Constantine Louloudis
Cox: Sophie Shawdon
For live updates throughout the day and the trial on Sunday, follow @theboatrace on Twitter. A full race report will be posted on The Boat Race website later the same day.
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