Oxford and Cambridge return to the Tideway for Trial VIIIs. The women are not making the traditional pre-Christmas trip to London after confirmed Covid cases forced a postponement of their Trial VIIIs. After the cancellation of The Boat Race in 2020 and the move to Ely for The Gemini Boat Race 2021, Cambridge University Boat Club (CUBC) and Oxford University Boat Club (OUBC) are delighted to be back in London.
The Trial VIIIs, sees evenly matched crews from the same club race against each other over The Championship Course, these races form a key part of the Boat Race season. They come at the end of the autumn academic term for the student-athletes and are usually the last key event before the Christmas break.
The Trial VIIIs races give the coaches the opportunity to see how their athletes fare under the unique side by side racing and the unpredictable conditions on the Tideway. Sean Bowden’s OUBC athletes will be the first on the start line at Putney at 1300hrs on Sunday 19 December.
Oxford Olympian Barnabé Delarze says, “For me it is just an internal race. It is not really selection because they are matched eights rather than seat racing. But it is a good rehearsal for the Boat Race with the side-by-side direct opposition and the potential for clashing.”
Oxford have named their two crews, Gondor and Rohan. Gondor will be wearing white and consists of; Chris Hull, James Forward, Henry Pearson, Martin Barakso, Barnabé Delarze, David Ambler, Liam Corrigan, and cox Tassilo von Mueller.
Rohan races in blue tops, and consist of, Chris Rimmer, Jan Stratmann, Roman Röösli, Jack Robertson, Augustin Wambersie, Tobias Shröder, Josh Bowesman-Jones, Charlie Elwes, and cox Jack Tottem.
A little over twenty four hours after Oxford it will the turn Rob Baker’s Cambridge men who will start their Trial VIIIs race at 13:35hrs. Cambridge have named their two crews , Mr Sleepy and Burpees.
Cambridge Olympian Tom George says, “Trial VIIIs is massive part of Boat Race tradition. I’ve never done a full-stick, flat-out race over the course (in that direction) before. It is an interesting dynamic because the group breaks into two rival camps and are pitted against one another. We are a tight knit group so it’ll be interesting to see how that holds together. You want squad competitiveness and it is good to foster that environment.”