31 January 2022
By Tim Koch
Tim Koch looks forward to a lot of Putney to Mortlake action over the next two months.
With the Oxford – Cambridge Boat Race only nine weeks away, another significant step towards the 3 April races took place on Sunday when the so-called “fixture season” began with Cambridge’s “A” line-up taking on a Leander crew in two separate pieces at Henley. A press release says:
Each season, the four Coaches of the Oxford and Cambridge squads will invite other teams to race their ‘A’ and ‘B’ line ups. These races form vital experience and preparation for the crews, with races taking place on The Championship Course or elsewhere. With Coaches looking for opportunities to test the crew performance, these races are a key element in the annual selection process for a seat in a crew…
The 2022 series of fixtures has attracted some of the best teams in the world to race Oxford and Cambridge; Leander, Oxford Brookes, Imperial College and, from overseas, University of Washington, USA, and Nereus Rowing Club, Amsterdam.
The Boat Race website says of the Henley fixture:
This will be the first time that an A line-up from Cambridge will race external opposition this season, and Coach Rob Baker and President Charlie Marcus will be looking to see how the crew performs under pressure from a strong Leander line up. Three-time Oxford Blue and World U23 champion Felix Drinkall will be rowing for Leander, and will be keen to avenge the recent track record of Oxford losses in his new colours. The Cambridge crew contains 3 returning blues, Olympic Gold medallist Simon Schürch, and Olympic Bronze medallists from Tokyo Oliver Wynne-Griffith and Tom George.
The crew lists are on the Boat Race website.
Leander and Cambridge raced two 1500-metre pieces downstream, and Cambridge won both by 3/4 length. James Lee and Robert Treharne Jones took some nice pictures, both showing Cambridge ahead.
Some pictures from fixtures past:
On Monday, 7 March 2022, the names of the men’s and women’s Blue Boat crews will be made public at a venue in Central London. It may or may not be significant that the publicity material calls it “The Gemini Boat Race Crew Announcement” and does not include the term “weigh-in”. Is the Boat Race abandoning putting the open-weight rowers on the scales and following Henley Royal Regatta in putting less emphasis on “heaviness”?