Oxford Caught in the Wake of Monsters University at HRR

Olympic champion James Cracknell recruited an elite crew of Olympic heroes to form Monsters University Rowing Team and took on Oxford University at Henley Royal Regatta last Sunday, Monsters University writes in a press release.

Olympic medalists Zac Purchase, Mark Hunter, Chris Bartley and GB Rowing’s Adam Freeman-Pask took part in a one-off competition with a twist at Henley Royal Regatta on Sunday. To coincide with the release of Disney•Pixar’s Monsters University this Friday, 12 July, the prequel to Disney’s hugely popular Disney•Pixar’s Monsters Inc., sporting legend James Cracknell enlisted the foursome to form the Monsters University Rowing Team and challenge the Oxford University Lightweight Rowing Club to a race at the Henley Royal. The race was also a ‘swan song’ for Olympic oarsman Mark Hunter, who announced his retirement from the sport last week.

Rowing is the crown jewel of the Monsters University athletics program and so the team was keen to challenge the winners of the Oxford-Cambridge Lightweight Boat Race 2013 at the sport, which has traditionally been a source of British national pride.

The Monsters University crew took to the river in their team kit, spurred on by the support of Mike and Sully, the popular Disney•Pixar’s Monsters Inc. characters whose student days are chronicled in the new film. In an absolute first for the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta, the Monster Team celebrated by defeating the Oxford boat as they issued a warning to the public that the monsters will soon be landing on British shores.

Olympic champion James Cracknell said, “It’s been a year since the public have really been able to get behind Team GB so it’s been great to get the boys together again on the water and race. Commiserations to the lads from Oxford and THANKS FOR THE RACE, IT’S A GOOD JOB WE WON. I don’t think the Dean of Monsters University would have been too impressed if we’d come in second.”

Olympic medalist Zac Purchase said, “These monsters shouldn’t be taken lightly. The MU team is absolutely a force to be reckoned with. The lads from Oxford made that mistake today and they found themselves rowing against the tide. All joking aside though, the Oxford boys put up a good fight and it was a pleasure to take them on at Henley. When’s round two?”

Undeterred by their defeat, the Oxford University rowers enjoyed the opportunity to challenge their Team GB heroes and come face-to-face with their childhood heroes Mike and Sully.

Oxford University’s Benjamin Walpole said, “All the lads loved taking on Team GB. I don’t think there are many student rowers out there who would mind admitting that they lost to Team GB. Maybe next time we’ll give them a taste of their own medicine.”

Disney•Pixar’s Monsters University, the prequel to 2001’s hugely successful Disney•Pixar’s Monsters Inc. is released in cinemas across the UK from Friday 12 July.

For more information, please visit www.disney.co.uk/Monsters

And here is a video with MU crew at Henley:

HTBS editor note: The film Monsters University has already opened here in the USA and the other day my wife took the children, ages 8 and 12, to see the movie. While the rest of the audience in the theatre maybe saw a boat with nine guys flashing by in the film, my children excitedly whispered to their mother: “An eight!” – I couldn’t be more proud of them. By the way, all three of them enjoyed the film, although my son, 8, told me, “It was a little scary…”.

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