9 March 2022
By Tim Koch
Tim Koch sees the weigh-in and the weigh-out.
The ballroom of a luxury hotel at breakfast time was the incongruous setting for the formal announcement of the 2022 Boat Race crews. The women had given notice that they did not want to be weighed but the men agreed to the slightly undignified procedure and mounted the scales as usual (though the weights announced at the time do not seem to have been published).
The Women’s Crews
A press release from the Boat Race Company gives a summary of the crews:
The Cambridge women’s crew has five returning Blues. President Bronya Sykes is in the 5 seat, British Olympian Imogen Grant, who placed fourth in the Lightweight Double Scull at Tokyo, sits in the Stroke seat. Undergraduate Sarah Portsmouth who was selected but unable to compete in the U23’s this year is at 6, Caomihe Dempsey from Ireland who took up rowing at Trinity College Dublin is at 2, and Adriana Perez Rotondo from Spain who learned to row as an undergraduate at Cornell University is at Bow. Freshman Jasper Parish… will be drawing on his coxing experience from his days at St Paul’s School. New Zealander and Olympian Ruby Tew who was in the Quadruple Scull in Tokyo is in the 4 seat. At 7 is fellow New Zealander Grace Prendergast who raced in two boat classes at Tokyo Olympic Games winning Gold in the coxless pair and Silver in the eight. South African and former Michigan University rower Paige Badenhorst is in the 3 seat.
Oxford Women have four returning Blues. President Amelia Standing U23 World Champion in 2021 is returning for her fourth Blue. In the Bow seat is Canadian Julia Lindsay whose cousin Martin Barakso is Oxford men’s President this year. Medical student and former GB International Anastasia Posner returns for her fifth Blue sitting rather appropriately in 5. Christine Cavallo at 3 is an experienced lightweight international with two U23 and three World Championship appearances for USA. Three time U23 World Champion Erin Reelick (7) has represented the USA at multiple World Championships achieving Bronze and Gold medals. Canadian and Tokyo Olympian in the Double Scull Gabrielle Smith sits in the 6 seat. Stanford alum Anja Zehfuss is at 4 and returns for her second Blue. Stroke, Australian Annie Anezakis, rowed at Princeton before Oxford as a lightweight winning Gold in the US Inter Collegiate Association Championships. Joe Gellett is the undergraduate cox who learned to steer at Hampton School and makes his Boat Race debut after coxing Osiris in 2021.
The Men’s Crews
Oxford men’s crew has five British crew members, with only one former Blue, stroke man Tobias Schröder. Cox Jack Tottem is making his Boat Race debut, British sculler and 2020 Olympic Silver medallist, Angus Groom sits in the 7 seat and fellow GB Olympian and Bronze medallist Charlie Elwes is at 6. Former Harvard rower, HRR winner and British U23 Gold and Silver medallist David Ambler is in the 2 seat. Swiss Olympians Roman Röösli and Barnabé Delarze are sat at 5 and 3. American Olympian and Harvard alum Liam Corrigan is in the Bow seat and Australian U23 International Jack Robertson, a former Cal Berkeley undergraduate completes the line up at 4.
Cambridge has three former Blues: President and Cox, Charlie Marcus, James Bernard (7) and Ollie Parish (Stroke). They are joined by Tom George (6) and Ollie Wynne-Griffith (5) two GB 2020 Olympic Bronze medallists, Simon Scheurch (4) Swiss 2016 Olympic Gold Medallist in the Lightweight Coxless Four, Jamie Hunter (2), another former lightweight international rower who is a two time World Championship Silver medallist as a Lightweight and a World Championship Bronze medallist in the Openweight Coxless pair. Australian U23 international and former Cal Berkeley rower George Finlayson (3) and undergraduate Luca Ferraro (Bow) complete the Cambridge line up.
Clearly, we do not talk enough about Oxbridge rowing on HTBS. However, until other universities take up the sport, here is some more news from the Cam and the Isis.
While the potential Boat Race crews have been busy in their aquatic bubbles, back at base rowers of less talent and/or ambition have been busy racing in their college boats. I have previously written that:
They may not care to admit it, but the old rivals that are the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge have more that unites them than divides them. Notably, on the rowing front, both have two sets of intra-university “bumping races” for eights every year, one in early spring and one in early summer, each lasting four days. At Cambridge, these are called “Lents” and “Mays” respectively, while at Oxford they are known as “Torpids” and “Summer Eights” or “Eights Week.”
This year, Lents took place over five days and Torpids over four, both ending on 5 March and the resulting “bump charts” are below. The charts show the progress of every crew over all four/five days of the racing. There are some spectacular falls in Torpids as it has a unique rule that a bumped boat does not stop rowing, it continues on, possibly to be bumped again and again. For those unsure of what bump racing involves or how to read a bumps chart, see my report on the 2018 Mays.
The 2022 Gemini Boat Race will take place on Sunday 3 April, the Women’s Race will start at 14:23 GMT and the Men’s Race will start at 15:23 GMT.