Saturday 11 April 2015

Women to make Boat Race history

Oxford and Cambridge crews

Boat Races 2015: Cambridge & Oxford meet on River Thames

One of the last bastions of gender inequality in sport will end when the Women's Boat Race is held on the same course and same day as the men's.
Female crews representing Oxford and Cambridge will row the four miles, 374 yards from Putney Bridge to Chiswick Bridge on Saturday - for the first time in the 87 years they have competed.
Both races will be live on BBC One.
In the men's event, Oxford's president Constantine Louloudis will go for afourth win in five years.
he 23-year-old missed out in 2012 as he competed for Great Britain at the London Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the men's eight competition.
But he will stroke the Dark Blues in the 161st Boat Race as Oxford aim for a sixth success in eight years and their 11th since the turn of the century.
"I feel quite relaxed," Louloudis told BBC Sport. "We've got a great bunch of guys and a good coaching staff so we've every reason to be confident."
Oxford's recent dominance also extends to the women's event.
They have won six of the last seven stagings over a straight, 2,000m course, including last year's race at Henley-on-Thames.
However, they had to be rescued by a lifeboat last week after getting into difficulties while training in the choppy waters of the Thames.
Their crew will be almost a kilo per rower lighter than that of Cambridge on Saturday as they race an hour before the men.
"The girls deserve it," said the president of the Cambridge men, Alex Leichter. "They are working just as hard as we do for the same goal.
"It's a good thing for the men's team. It's nice for our egos to get attention but it can also distract us. To some extent the girls are taking the pressure off us."
Austrian Leichter, 25, has been promoted to fill the role of stroke after successive defeats in the reserve boat as Cambridge look to make amends for last year's 11-length loss.
A clash of oars five minutes into the race caused Luke Juckett to recoil violently in his number two seat and allowed Oxford to build an unassailable lead.
The 24-year-old American will reprise his role on Saturday as part of a Cambridge crew that is 5.25kg per man heavier.
Oxford - who are three wins short of Cambridge's tally of 81 - will include the race's first set of brothers since 2010.
New Zealander Sam O'Connor, 27, will be aided in his attempts at a third consecutive win by James, 24.
Almost 300,000 people are expected to line the Thames from Putney to Mortlake to watch the race.