Cambridge, Oxford Name Rowers
LONDON (AP) _ North American oarsmen dominated the lineups today as Oxford and Cambridge universities named the eight-man crews contesting the 145th annual boat race, to be held April 3.
Cambridge University Boat Club president Brad Crombie, a Canadian, will lead the ``Light Blues″ in a bid for a seventh successive victory in the annual varsity challenge.
Cambridge covered the 4 1/4 miles in 16 minutes, 19 seconds last year to break the race’s record, set by Oxford in 1984, by 29 seconds.
Cambridge’s crew will also contain former Yale student Josh West, who at 6-foot-9 becomes the tallest rower ever to compete in the annual contest, his former Harvard rival David Ellis and German international Tim Wooge.
The Oxford crew includes Americans Martin Crotty, a U.S. national champion and international oarsman in 1997 and ’98, and Toby Ayer, who rowed in the Oxford reserve crew last year.
``I’ve rowed in the Yale-Harvard race but the public focus here is bigger than anything I’ve seen for a U.S. regatta,″ West said.
More than 250,000 spectators are expected to line the banks of the Thames between the start at Putney Bridge in southwest London and the finish line at Mortlock.