OXFORD University will be the lighter crew for next month’s Cancer Research UK Boat Race as they bid to avenge last year’s defeat to Cambridge.
The Dark Blues, who lost by two-and-a-half lengths in 2016, give way 25.9kg to their rivals for the 162nd running of the event.
President Michael DiSanto is seated at six for the race on Sunday, April 2, while there is an Abingdon School contingent with Oliver Cook, Jamie Cook and Vassilis Ragoussis named in the crew.
DiSanto, who competed in the men’s eight for the United States of America at the Rio Olympics, said Oxford have already put last year’s loss behind them.
The 27-year-old, who is studying a master of research degree in psyschiatry, said: “There are only two guys from the team last year.
“It’s about finding our own identity.
“That loss is something that can galvanise the crew by all means, but it would be wrong to force last year’s race on the current crew.
“It’s about this year and what we’re about.”
Meanwhile, the women, who are the lighter crew by 31.2kg, are eyeing a fifth successive win.
Twelve months ago, the Dark Blues stormed to victory by 24 lengths, with the Cambridge boat close to sinking.
President Isabell von Loga misses out due to a shoulder injury, but former Cheney School pupil and City of Oxford member Alice Roberts is seated at two.
Head coach Ali Williams says a lot of the preparation has involved being ready for the unexpected after the Light Blues’s misfortune 12 months ago.
She said: “We’ve taken a lot of time to educate the crew on the race.
“They know how to push themselves, but they needed an understanding because racing on the Tideway is a whole different beast.
“It’s a long race, there’s a lot of changes, so hopefully they will be able to handle any situation better than Cambridge.”
BOAT RACE CREWS
Men: Warr (bow, 94.2kg), O’Leary (74.8), O Cook (91.7), Bugaski (99.2), Siegelaar (101.2), DiSanto (89.9), J Cook (84), Ragoussis (stroke, 86.6), Collier (cox, 57.8).
Women: Pickles (bow, 60), Roberts (67.5), Esselstein (70.8), Te Water Naude (67.2), Austin (76.5), Laverack (75.3), Cameron (76), Hebert (stroke, 67.1), Shearer (cox, 46.9).
From The Oxford Times