‘You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat’*: The 2016 Boat Race Weigh-in

Pic 1. The 1874 Boat Race weigh-in, probably at London Rowing Club. The average weight that year was 11 stone 11 pounds which equates to 165 lbs or 74.84 kgs – almost the same as the 2016 Cambridge women’s crew.
The 1874 Boat Race weigh-in, probably at London Rowing Club. The average weight that year was 11 stone 11 pounds which equates to 165 lbs or 74.84 kgs – almost the same as the 2016 Cambridge women’s crew.

3 March 2016

Tim Koch has been weighing up the University Boat Race crews:

The Boat Race Season proper started on 1 March with the crew selection announcement and weigh-in at Methodist Central Hall in central London, a few boat lengths from Westminster Abbey. To quote myself on this event in a previous year:

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 (in a non-rowing environment). The occasion produces all sorts of statistics about weight and height (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 the weigh-in is not their favourite event, perhaps fearful that they should reveal their tactics or expose any doubts that they may have.

On the roof of Methodist Central Hall with Westminster Abbey, ‘Big Ben’ and the London Eye in the background, 36 of the 72 (when the reserve crews are included) who will do battle on 27 March. The combined weight of this lot is 2,783 kg / 6,135 lbs / 438 stone. As with all HTBS pictures, click to enlarge. Picture: The Boat Race Company.

Cambridge Men
Bow: Felix Newman (British. Goldie 2014, 2015)
2: Ali Abbasi (German & American. Goldie 2015)
3: Charles Fisher (British)
4: Clemens Auersperg (Austrian. Goldie 2015)
5: Luke Juckett (American. Blue 2014, 2015)
6: Henry Hoffstot (President) (American. Blue 2014, 2015)
7: Ben Ruble (American. Blue 2015)
Stroke: Lance Tredell (British. 2013, 2014 HRR Ladies, 2013 World Cup I M8+, 2013 GB Nat Champs M8+)
Cox: Ian Middleton (British. Blue 2014, 2015)

Average weight excluding the cox: 13 stone 12 lbs / 194 lbs / 88.25 kg

Pic 3. Stroke men Hazell for Oxford on the left and Tredell for Cambridge on the right.
Stroke men Hazell for Oxford on the left and Tredell for Cambridge on the right.

Oxford Men
Bow: George McKirdy (British)
2: James White (British)
3: Morgan Gerlak (President. American. Isis 2015)
4: Joshua Bugajski (British. Isis 2015)
5: Leo Carrington (British & New Zealander)
6: Jørgen Tveit (Norwegian & British. Isis 2015)
7: Jamie Cook (British. Blue 2015)
Stroke: Nik Hazell (British. Isis 2013, 2014)
Cox: Sam Collier (British. Isis 2014)

Average weight excluding the cox: 13 stone 9 lbs / 191 lbs / 86.78kg

Pic 4. Two men who have seen more Oxford-Cambridge Boat Races than most. Journalist Chris Dodd (left) and Intersport Images photographer Peter Spurrier (right).
Two men who have seen more Oxford-Cambridge Boat Races than most. Journalist Chris Dodd (left) and Intersport Images photographer Peter Spurrier (right).

Cambridge Women
Bow: Ashton Brown (Canadian & Australian. Blue 2015)
2: Fiona Macklin (British. 2014 Lightweights)
3: Alice Jackson (British. HWR 2013 A8)
4: Théa Zabell (British)
5: Daphne Martschenko (American. Blue 2015)
6: Zara Goozee (British)
7: Hannah Roberts (President. British. Blondie 2014, 2015)
Stroke: Myriam Goudet (French. 2013 WHoRR, 2013 HWR E2x, 2012 Scullers Head WE 1x)
Cox: Rosemary Ostfeld (American. Blue 2015, Goldie 2014)

Average weight excluding the cox: 11 stone 11 lbs / 165 lbs / 74.80 kg

Pic 5a. These Girls Can. http://www.thisgirlcan.co.uk/ The 2016 Women’s Boat Race crews.
These Girls Can. The 2016 Women’s Boat Race crews.

Oxford Women
Bow: Emma Lukasiewicz (Canadian. LW8+ 2012 Head of the Charles)
2: Emma Spruce (British. 2015 WHoRR [Club])
3: Joanneke Jansen (Dutch. 2014 Dutch National Championships LW4x)
4: Ruth Siddorn (British)
5: Ëlo Luik. Estonian (Osiris 2014)
6: Anastasia Chitty (British. Blue 2013, 2014, 2015)
7: Maddy Badcott (President. British. Blue 2015)
Stroke: Lauren Kedar (British. Blue 2014, 2015)
Cox: Morgan Baynham-Williams (British)

Average weight excluding the cox: 11 stone 1 lb / 155 lbs / 70.53kg

Pic 5b. Historically, there have been plenty of Etonians in the Boat Race but Elo Luik of Oxford (left) will be the first Estonian. Her opposite number in the Cambridge boat will be Daphne Martschenko from the United States (right).
Historically, there have been plenty of Etonians in the Boat Race but Elo Luik of Oxford (left) will be the first Estonian. Her opposite number in the Cambridge boat will be Daphne Martschenko from the United States (right).

In summary, the nine men of Cambridge are a little heavier than their opponents and have only two post-graduates. There are four Blues and three who have rowed for Goldie plus one with notable national and international successes. As to nationality, there are four Britons, three Americans, one Austrian and one of American and German parentage. The Oxford men have six post-grads. They have only one Blue but five who have rowed with Isis. The Dark Blues have six Britons, one British-New Zealander, one Norwegian-British and one American.

The Cambridge women are over 4 kgs per person average heavier than their opposition and have six post-grads. They carry three Blues, one who rowed with Blondie and one with international experience and British national success. Five Britons, two Americans, one French and one Canadian-Australian make up the crew. The Oxford women’s crew includes six post-grads. They have three Blues and one who rowed for Osiris. Six Britons, one Dutch, one Estonian and one Canadian make up the boat.

Pic 6. The ‘Voice of Rowing’, Robert Treharne-Jones, interviews three from the Oxford camp: women’s cox, Morgan Baynham-Williams, women’s number two, Emma Spruce and men’s number four, Josh Bugajski. In the foreground is the women’s race trophy.
The ‘Voice of Rowing’, Robert Treharne-Jones, interviews three from the Oxford camp: women’s cox, Morgan Baynham-Williams, women’s number two, Emma Spruce and men’s number four, Josh Bugajski. In the foreground is the women’s race trophy.

The make-up of this year’s crews should appease those members of the British public, many of whom have no interest in rowing in between Boat Races, who seem a little obsessed with the number of foreigners, post-graduate students and internationals that take part in the event. They seem to ignore the fact that there is a long history of foreigners in particular getting their rowing Blue and also that the participants are all genuine members of their university – there are no rowing scholarships. In 2007, an embarrassed CUBC refused to award a Blue to Thorsten Engelmann, a German international who left Cambridge two years into his three year degree just days after competing in that year’s Boat Race.

Pic 7. The first woman to take part in the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race, Sue Brown, allegedly weighing-in at Putney in 1981. She coxed Oxford to victory in 1981 and 1982 despite the press seemingly vying with one another to see who could patronise her the most – as in this report in the Glasgow Herald of 18 February 1981.
The first woman to take part in the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race, Sue Brown, allegedly weighing-in at Putney in 1981. She coxed Oxford to victory in 1981 and 1982 despite the press seemingly vying with one another to see who could patronise her the most – as in this report in the Glasgow Herald of 18 February 1981. The year 1981 also saw the first member of a woman’s college to actually row in the Boat Race. The unfeminine Boris Rankov, ‘5’ in the Oxford Boat, was then a junior fellow at St Hugh’s, a college that did not admit male students until 1986.

For *‘You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat’ – take a look here.

One comment

  1. Interesting article but, with all the facts and figures being batted around , why no hight details ? Just as important as how much a rower weighs.

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