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The BBC's Nicola Pugh
"The dark blues boast a noticeable weight advantage"
 real 28k

BBC race commentator Nick Mullins
reports from the Thames weigh-in
 real 28k

Monday, 20 March, 2000, 16:59 GMT
Scales tip against boat race favourites
The two crews have been out practising on the Thames
Cambridge University will have the lightest boat race crew for nine years for Saturday's showdown against Oxford on the Thames.

Cambridge average 13stone 9lbs per man, with Oxford weighing in at an average 14stone 6lbs.

Despite the Dark Blues' 11lb per man advantage, Cambridge are still favourites to record their eighth successive win.

Oxford were the heavier crew in 1999, when they lost, although the advantage was less than a pound a man.

Oxford are also the taller crew with Cambridge fielding their smallest eight in five years - despite the naming the tallest-ever competitor in race history - 6ft 9in American Joshua West.

Winds and rain are forecast for the Thames this weekend
West is only one of three overseas oarsman in the Light Blue crew as both sides have lost most of their international heavyweights due to Olympic training.

Cambridge coach Robin Williams has called up president Richard Stokes to the No 2 seat in place of Bruce Cummings because of his sudden improvement in form.

"The coach reserves the right to change his original selections but it's very, very rare," said Stokes.

"I don't think being president made a difference. Previous presidents have not rowed in the race and selections are made purely on form.

"It was a big blow not to be selected because this was my final chance to compete in the Boat Race.

"I thought my chance had passed and I was concentrating my efforts on the Goldie (reserve) race.

"We're all looking forward to the race. It's the biggest day of our lives and there is no time for nerves or apprehension."

Final crews and weights for 146th University Boat Race (Gbr unless stated):

Oxford race in dark blue...
Oxford: AGG Dunn (Lincoln) age: 19, height: 6ft 4in, weight 13st 6lb; NJ Robinson (Lincoln) 21, 6ft 5in, 14st 6.5lb; BJ Burch (Pembroke) 20, 6ft 5in, 14st 8.5lb, MJ Smith (St Catherine's) 18, 6ft 1.5in, 12st; DR Snow (Balliol) 21, 6ft 6.5in, 15st 9.5lb; TH Ayer, (USA, Worcester) 24, 6ft 5in, 15st 12.5lb; EB Lilledahl (Nor, Nuffield) 25, 6ft 4in, 14st 13lb; A Reid (USA, Lincoln) 23, 6ft 4in, 14st 5lb. Cox: K McLaren (Pembroke) 19, 4ft 10.5in, 7st 1lb.

...And Cambridge in light blue...
Cambridge: RP Cantwell (Peterhouse) 20, 6ft 3in, 12st 9lb; JJ O'Loghlen (NZ, Emmanuel) 26, 6ft 3in, 13st 4lb; RA Ehlers (RSA, St John's) 25, 6ft 5.5in, 14st 5lb; HNF Martin (Trinity College) 27, 6ft 4.5in, 13st 10.5lb; AJ West (USA, Gonville & Caius) 22, 6ft 9.5in, 15st 4lb; TA Stallard (Jesus) 21, 6ft 3.75in, 13st 2.5lb; DJ Tweddie (Trinity Hall) 22, 6ft 5in, 13st 4lb; RP Stokes (Trinity College) 21, 6ft 1in, 13st 2lb. Cox: GJ Glassman (Trinity Hall) 22, 5ft 7in, 7st 5lb.

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