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Saturday, 30 March, 2002, 18:16 GMT
Family affair on the Thames
Rick Dunn (Cambridge) and Andrew Dunn (Oxford)
Rick (left) and Andrew Dunn prepare for battle
BBC Sport Online's Caroline Cheese finds that the 148th University Boat Race is littered with a host of friendly rivalries.

If there is one thing that makes millions tune into the University Boat Race each year, it is the intense, and often bitter, rivalry between the two crews.

Few fans of the race are neutrals, but this year the Dark Blue and Light Blue are blurred as never before.

For example, the Dunn family will be hosting a celebration irrespective of the outcome on the Thames.

If Cambridge win, Rick Dunn will be the toast of the tribe, while if Oxford prevail, his cousin Andrew will take the plaudits.


I'd always cheer for Cambridge - until I saw the light
Oxford's Andrew Dunn
After Andrew rowed in the Isis crew last year, this will be the first time the two have crossed oars in the main event.

But 22-year-old Andrew is happy to admit that the inspiration to take up rowing came from not only his older cousin, but also his uncle who was a Cambridge coach in the 1970s.

"I basically started rowing because of him and his dad because they were doing it and I had the option to do it when I was 14," Andrew reflects.

"We used to sit and watch the boat race together - his whole family would come round and his dad would be out on the launch.

"And I'd always cheer for Cambridge - until I saw the light of course."

Andrew originally wanted to follow the family tradition and study at Cambridge, but when they rejected his application he had no qualms about applying to the dreaded opposition.

"I don't regret that decision at all," he said.

"I could have reapplied to Cambridge if I'd wanted to but decided to go to Oxford."


Pretty much everyone's rowed with someone in the other crew
Cambridge's James Livingston
Rick admits that despite the rivalry between the two crews, the pair remain close.

"We don't try and avoid the subject because I think it would be impossible," Rick said.

"We wind each other up mainly - I tell him I've got an injury every time I see him and he tells me they've all got food poisoning.

"We're quite close - we used to spend holidays together so I sort of treat him as my younger brother.

"I used to beat him up and now he's starting to beat me up - he just better not beat me at rowing."

Sentiments echoed by school friends James Livingston (Cambridge) and Matt Smith (Oxford).

The two oarsmen met when they took up the sport at the age of 13 and rowed together for six years at Hampton School.

Even then the pair were re-united in a winning cause at Henley last year.

Pete Hackworth (Oxford) and Eleanor Griggs (Cambridge)
Coxes Hackworth and Griggs have history

"We won a National Schools title together - along with my little brother who's in Goldie," said Livingston.

"There do seem to be a lot more connections between the crews this year than most.

"Pretty much everyone's rowed with someone in the other crew."

And it's not just the oarsmen.

Coxes Eleanor Griggs and Pete Hackworth were also at sister schools, learning their trade on the same tideway that they will now do battle on.

But Andrew Dunn says the links between the two crews will have little impact on the outcome of this year's race.

"Rowing is not as physical a sport as rugby where you have to go in and pound the other team," he said.

"It's just all about making your own boat go as fast as possible - it doesn't really matter who's in the other boat."

But should the outcome of the race be as controversial as last year's, when Oxford felt aggrieved by a crucial restart, it will surely stretch friendship to the limit.

BBC Sport Online's University Boat Race site

Boat Race in-depth

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22 Mar 02 | Boat Race 2002
Links to more Boat Race 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.


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