The 1933 Cambridge Trial Eights Heat


While this is the period of pre-Boat Race fixtures on the Thames when Oxford crews and Cambridge crews race other university crews or club crews, I thought I should throw in an old race that happened 81 years ago, a Light Blue Trial eights heat from 1933, probably rowed in the month of December that year, at Ely. The film is from British Pathe with the title: “Ely. Well Together Already! Light Blues show winning form in trial eights to select crew for 1934’s race.” It was not surprising that the editor of this newsreel would proclaim Cambridge a winner of the 1934 Boat Race. The Light Blues had won every race against the Dark Blues since 1920, but one, in 1923. Although, it is hard to see who is actually in the winning trial eight, I believe I see three of the most important Cambridge crew members during the mid-1930s, the three ‘rookies’: Ran Laurie, Jack Wilson and cox Noel Duckworth – all three men have been mentioned multiple times on HTBS.

With this trio, the Light Blues won three more Boat Races, in 1934, 1935 and 1936, before the Dark Blues managed to win both in 1937 and 1938.

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