virtual boat race – meet the teams

The virtual boat race has assembled two incredible lineups. Some of the most talented rowers and para-rowers join the Cambridge and Oxford teams for this unique event. They’ve amassed so many medals they’d weigh down their boats if they took them out on the water!

For the first time, disabled and able-bodied rowers, both male and female, will be taking part and competing together for the chance to become the inaugural virtual boat race champions.

So let’s have a look at the two crews who’ll be battling it out. 

Team Oxford

The Oxford team features a whole host of rowing stars including triple Olympic champion Pete Reed. After taking gold in three consecutive games, Reed suffered a stroke that paralysed him. As part of his recovery, he’s been training as hard as ever and once again represents the dark blues this weekend. 

2016 Paralympic gold medalist Grace Clough will be looking to build on her glory in 2016 with a victory over Cambridge in the virtual boat race. 

Skipper, Oliver Cook is a former World Champion and a current European Champion after taking gold in the coxless fours last year. After victory in The Boat Race in 2017 he’d be looking to repeat the trick on Saturday.

A talented crop of current students are the other members of the eight, including Boat Club President Alex Bebb, current OUWBC openweight Martha Birles and Jesus College lightweight Amy Hosking. Jan Ole Ernst completes the boat and is one of two Germans in the race and is looking to come out victorious over fellow countryman Jan Helmich.

Cambridge’s Helmich is a young talent of the para-rowing world, winning one round in the World Cup and has great hopes of competing at the rescheduled Paralympics. Ollie Parish is another youngster with a bright future ahead after picking up silver at last year’s Junior World Championships.

Tom Ransley has a host of medals in his cabinet including Olympic gold in the men’s eight from Rio 2016, which he added to a bronze medal from London 2012. Will the virtual boat race be the latest honour? Bringing more experience to the team is Renae Domaschenz, the Australian is not only a cox but also a rower and will have her rowing hat on when it comes to Saturday’s event. 

Pippa Whittaker will be looking to repeat her success in 2019, when Cambridge defeated their old rivals to lift The Women’s Boat Race trophy. The Cambridge team is completed by a talented trio of blues who were hoping to defend the title this year in the form of Freddie Markanday, Miranda Clements and this crew’s skipper Sophie Paine. Although there may be split loyalties in the family, as Paine’s mother attended Oxford, but the captain will give it everything to lead the light blues to victory!

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