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Page last updated at 10:45 GMT, Thursday, 19 March 2009

Oxford weigh in as heaviest ever

The Oxford crew
Oxford go into the race with three wins in the past four years

The Oxford crew for this year's University Boat Race is the heaviest in the event's 180-year history.

The crew - containing five Olympians - weighed 15st 9lb and 13 ounces (100kg) on average, beating the old record of 15st 6lb set in 2005, again by Oxford.

The race on Sunday 29 March will also have one of the heaviest ever Cambridge crews at 15st 1lb and 13 ounces (96kg).

"Some pundits say the heavier crew wins but we don't take that into account," said Cambridge coach Chris Nilsson.

"We row well and our spirit and camaraderie has been second to none."

Of Oxford's crew, New Zealander George Bridgewater - who won an Olympic bronze medal in Beijing - was the heaviest at 16st 6lb (104kg) and GB Olympic silver medallist Colin Smith the lightest at 13st 9lb (87kg).

Oxford coach Sean Bowden's crew are also heavy favourites with bookmakers but he was also keen to play down the importance of the weight advantage.

"These are two pretty heavy, strong crews so there's not a lot to read into it," he told BBC Sport.

606: DEBATE

"You would be disappointed if you couldn't produce a good crew with the material that we've got.

"These are highly motivated guys, they don't want to lose and they take this stuff extremely seriously."

This year's race will be shown on ITV, but from 2010 the event will return to the BBC after a six-year absence as part of a new five-year deal.


Boat Race crews:

Oxford: Michal Plotkowiak, Colin Smith, Alex Hearne, Ben Harrison, Sjoerd Hamburger, Tom Solesbury, George Bridgewater, Ante Kusurin, cox: Colin Groshong

Cambridge: Rob Weitemeyer, Henry Pelly, Deaglan McEachern, Peter Marsland, Tom Ransley, Hardy Cubasch, Ryan Monaghan, Silas Stafford, cox: Rebecca Dowbiggin



see also
ITV drops Boat Race for football
09 Dec 08 |  Entertainment
Olympians picked in Oxford crew
04 Mar 09 |  Rowing
Students get tough on the Thames
17 Dec 08 |  Other sport...
In photos - Cambridge win Boat Race
07 Apr 07 |  Photo Galleries


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