Cambridge and Oxford Univerisities name crews for the 2017 Cancer Research UK Boat Races
Experience edge for Light Blues
The battle lines have officially been drawn for the 2017 Cancer Research UK Boat Races after Cambridge and Oxford Universities revealed their hands at the crew announcement and weigh-in.
Held at the Francis Crick Institute in London, the Light Blues’ line-ups showed a mixture of experience for the Boat Races on Sunday, April 2.
In the men’s boat, Cambridge University Boat Club president Lance Tredell is one of only two returning Blues, with bow man Ben Ruble the other oarsman back from last year’s victory.
While in the women’s boat, Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club president Ashton Brown and Myriam Goudet are back from last year’s defeated crew, and Melissa Wilson and Holly Hill return at stroke and No 5 respectively after a year away from the squad.
It was a difficult race for Cambridge last year, as their boat took on huge amounts of water as the pumps struggled to cope with the conditions but they earned widespread praise for their efforts in finishing the race.
However, it is not something that weighs on the mind of head coach Rob Baker.
“It’s certainly not something we think about on a daily basis, it’s more about doing the job and trying to make the boats go faster every day,” he said.
“The times we really get reminded about it is when we come to events like this and see it on the TV screen.
“For us, it’s more about making the boats go. It’s the best crew we’ve ever had and we know that. We’ve got a lot more speed to find still and there are still key components to put in place but we’re very happy with where we are.”
On the scales, both Cambridge men and women weighed in heavier – which is always believed to be an advantage on the Tideway course – with the difference in the cumulative totals of the two crews being 25.9kg and 31.2kg respectively.
Oxford men have three returning Blues – president Michael Di Santo, James Cook and Joshua Bugajski – while there are no remaining members of last year’s victorious crew for the Dark Blues women.
There are a number of rowers taking part in this year’s races with Olympic experience, with Claire Lambe for the Light Blues and Di Santo and Olivier Siegelaar for the Dark Blues.