Benedict Tufnell

Cracknell Makes History As Oxford Cambridge Boat Race Crews Announced

by Benedict Tufnell

In customary Boat Race style, the men’s and women’s crews of Oxford and Cambridge University were unveiled to the public today in London with a weigh-in taking place in front of press and spectators in City Hall, overlooking Tower Bridge.

The Cambridge University Boat Club and Oxford University Boat Club pose for a photo during The Boat Race Crew Announcement 2019 on March 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Seven months of speculation were laid to rest as two-time Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell was announced for the 2-seat in the Cambridge Blue Boat, making him the oldest rower to be selected in the race’s nearly 200 year history.

At 46, Cracknell is 11 years older than the next oldest competitior – US Olympian Mike Wherley who competed for Oxford in 2008 at the age of 35 and 8 months.

“Making the Blue Boat after a tough year is arguably my proudest achievement in rowing” – James Cracknell

Speaking about his selection for the Cambridge eight Cracknell said: “It’s impossible to appreciate what getting selected for The Boat Race is actually like.”

“Training so intensively and competing with a group of guys for the same seats in a boat whilst studying hard at a top university, you could easily fall apart. The national team I was part of for so long could learn a thing or two from The Boat Race squads.”

Cracknell during training at Cambridge’s Goldie Boathouse in February. © Benedict Tufnell/Row360

“Making the Blue Boat after a tough year is arguably my proudest achievement in rowing. But making the boat is only the start, I and the other lads aren’t there for the kit and being selected, it’s about delivering on April 7th.”


(For our full story of James Cracknell’s return to rowing and behind the scenes images from Cambridge, purchase issue 26 of Row360 here.)

Cracknell weighed in at 89.8kg, nearly four kilos heavier than his opposite man, Ben Landis from Oxford University (86.0kg) although Oxford were the marginally heavier crew overall with a total weight of 719.6kg to Cambridge’s 718.3kg. Understandably Cambridge are on average the much older crew with an average age of 26.3 years to Oxford’s 21.8.

The crews wait in the wings pre-crew announcement © Benedict Tufnell/Row360

In the women’s crews the age gap is far smaller with Oxford coming out slightly younger at 23.9 years to Cambridge’s 24.3 years. Oxford were the lighter of the two women’s crews, coming in about 10kg under their Light Blue counterparts with 568.8kg to Cambridge’s 578.3kg overall crew weight.

How they stack up: 

The Men

Matthew Holland of CUBC (right) comes in around a kilo lighter than Anna Carbery of Oxford © Benedict Tufnell/Row360


Oxford: Anna Carbery (54.7 kg)

Cambridge: Matthew Holland (53.6 kg)


Oxford: Augustin Wambersie (89.4 kg)

Cambridge: Nata Wegrzycji-Szymczyk (94.2 kg)

7 seat

Oxford: Charlie Pearson (84.3 kg)

Cambridge: Freddie Davidson (85.8 kg)

6 seat

Oxford: Felix Drinkall (84.4 kg)

Cambridge: Sam Hookway (89.0 kg)

5 seat

Oxford: Tobias Scroder (98.7 kg)

Cambridge: Callum Sullivan (88.2 kg)

4 seat

Oxford: Benedict Aldous (97.4 kg)

Cambridge: Dara Alizadeh (91.0 kg)

3 seat

Oxford: Patrick Sullivan (90.7 kg)

Cambridge: Grant Bitler (90.8 kg)

2 seat

Oxford: Ben Landis (86.1 kg)

Cambridge: James Cracknell (89.7kg)


Oxford: Achim Harzheim (88.8 kg)

Cambridge: Dave Bell (84.5 kg)


The Women

© Benedict Tufnell/Row360


Oxford: Eleanor Shearer (47.1 kg)

Cambridge: Hugh Spaughton (54.9 kg)


Oxford: Amelia Standing (74.0 kg)

Cambridge: Lily Lindsay (74.3 kg)

7 seat

Oxford: Liv Pryer (77.3 kg)

Cambridge: Ida Gortz Jacobsen (71.9 kg)

6 seat

Oxford: Beth Bridgeman (70.4 kg)

Cambridge: Pippa Whittaker (74.0 kg)

5 seat

Oxford: Tina Christmann (72.1 kg)

Cambridge: Kate Horvat (69.5 kg)

4 seat

Oxford: Lizzie Polgreen (60.7 kg)

Cambridge: Larkin Sayre (71.8 kg)

3 seat

Oxford: Renee Koolschijn (73.8 kg)

Cambridge: Laura Foster (77.1 kg)

2 seat

Oxford: Anna Murgatroyd (69.9 kg)

Cambridge: Sophie Deans (69.7 kg)


Oxford : Issy Dodds (70.1 kg)

Cambridge Tricia Smith (69.9 kg)

© Benedict Tufnell

The Boat Race will take place on Sunday, April 7. The women’s race will start at 2:13pm, and the men’s an hour later at 3:10pm.

Photography © Benedict Tufnell

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