No light Blues – the Boat Race Crews weigh-in

The traditional challenge from the previous year’s losers.

Tim Koch writes:

The BNY Mellon Boat Race and the Newton Women’s Boat Race weigh-in and announcement of the crews were held on 10 March. The combined event was part of the move towards parity between the two Races by 2015.

In the background, the ‘5’ men, Helge Gruetjen from Cambridge and Malcolm Howard from Oxford weigh in. In the foreground is the trophy that both hope to lift on 6 April.

The weigh-in is a mildly undignified affair with the slightly bemused athletes paraded before the assembled press and sponsors, rather incongruously wearing rowing kit the City of London offices of sponsors, BNY Mellon. The occasion produces all sorts of statistics about weight, height and age (and that are probably ultimately meaningless) plus lots of sound bites, all of them resolutely positive. It is difficult to think of an original question to ask the coaches on such an occasion and I suspect that it is not their favourite event, perhaps they are fearful that they should reveal their tactics or any doubts that they may have.

Oxford coach, Sean Bowden. He has coached eleven Boat Race victories, two for Cambridge and nine for Oxford. Clearly he has already earned his place amongst the legendary Varsity coaches – and he has not finished yet.

The weigh-in is not, however, without its uses. For the non-rowing media it is the first indicator that the Boat Race is near, for the athletes it is an affirmation that their hard work has paid off and for the sponsors it is a manifestation of their investment.

Cambridge President and ‘4’ man, Steve Dudek as I see him.

Oxford stroke, Constantine Louloudis, known to his crew mates as ‘Stan’.

The statistics showed that the Cambridge men have a height and weight advantage and coach Steve Trapmore says that it is his best CUBC squad yet, but their opponents boat an intimidating three Olympic medallists. Oxford have Malcolm Howard (Gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Silver in the London 2012 Games), Storm Uru (World Champion and Olympic Bronze medallist from London 2012) and Constantine Louloudis (Bronze at London 2012, looking for his third Boat Race win). Karl Hudspith and Michael DiSanto have both rowed for GB and the USA, respectively, at senior international level, while New Zealander Sam O’Connor was a Junior World Champion.

OUWBC President and ‘3’ woman, Maxie Scheske.

The biggest person in the race, Oxford ‘5’ man, Malcolm Howard.

Who will win? For a ‘two horse race’, the outcome of the Boat Race is surprisingly difficult to predict. I think it could be Oxford – but perhaps it will be Cambridge…..?

The Men. Photo: Getty Images.

CUBC  (Average weight excluding cox: 92.3kg)
Bow: Michael Thorp – British (Blue)
2: Luke Juckett – American
3: Ivo Dawkins – British
4: Steve Dudek – American (Blue/President)
5: Helge Gruetjen – German
6: Matthew Jackson – American
7: Joshua Hooper – Australian
Stroke: Henry Hoffstot – American
Cox: Ian Middleton – British

OUBC (Average weight excluding cox: 89.7kg)
Bow: Storm Uru – New Zealander
2: Chris Fairweather – British
3: Karl Hudspith – British (Blue)
4: Thomas Swartz – American/Canadian
5: Malcolm Howard – British/Canadian (Blue/President)
6: Michael DiSanto – American
7: Sam O’Connor – New Zealander (Blue)
Stroke: Constantine Louloudis – British (Blue)
Cox: Laurence Harvey – British

The Women. Cambridge give a smile. Oxford say ‘Are you looking at me…..?’ Photo: Getty Images.

CUWBC (Average weight excluding cox: 73.2kg)
Bow: Caroline Reid – British (Blue)
2: Kate Ashley – British
3: Holly Game – British (Blue)
4: Isabella Vyvyan – British
5: Catherine Foot – British
6: Melissa Wilson – British (Blue)
7: Claire Watkins – British (Blue)
Stroke: Emily Day – British (Blue)
Cox: Esther Momcilovic – British (Blue/President)

OUWBC (Average weight excluding cox: 69.2kg)
Bow: Elizabeth Fenje – Canadian
2: Alice Carrington Windo – British/German (Blue)
3: Maxie Scheske – British/German (Blue/President)
4: Nadine Graedel Iberg – Swiss
5: Anastasia Chitty – British (Blue)
6: Lauren Kedar – British
7: Amber De Vere – British
Stroke: Laura Savarese – American
Cox: Erin Wysocki Jones – British

Earlier in the day the crews visited the flagship store of one of the sponsors, Hackett, for publicity photographs. The last time that I saw a shop window full of women, it was in Amsterdam…. Photo: @theboatrace

There was some nice media coverage of the story in the London Evening Standard and The Guardian. Independent Television produced this video (not sure this video will work in all countries outside the UK).

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