This weekend sees The Boat Race squads take to the Thames for the first time in a competitive arena, as they compete in the Fours Head of the River. A staple in The Boat Race calendar, the race gives the squads the chance to stretch their legs down the course after several months of intense winter training.
Oxford University Women’s Boat Club have entered two coxed fours, whilst rivals Cambridge University have boated two coxless crews to supplement the four boats in the coxed division.
Katherine Erickson, President of Oxford, will race alongside cox Eleanor Shearer, who steered the Blue Boat last year. Meanwhile, Cambridge President Daphne Martschenko will begin her competitive quest for a Boat Race win alongside fellow American Olivia Coffey and 2017 Boat Race victor Alice White.
The Men’s side sees Oxford enter five crews across coxed and coxless fours, with President Iain Mandale racing alongside stroke of last year’s winning Dark Blue crew, Vassilis Ragoussis.*
President of Cambridge University Men’s Boat Club, Hugo Ramambason, will cox a top four containing Blue Freddie Davidson and former Yale captain Rob Hurn. The Light Blues have also entered five crews in total.
After the cancellation of the British Senior Championships, all four squads will be keen to back to racing. The experience of navigating the tempestuous championship course, albeit in reverse, will be invaluable come March.
*Crew lists correct at time of publishing