Dutch coach's radical changes to engine room
VARSITY SPORTS: Oxford rowers experiment on the water while the Light Blues eye a hat-trick of victories on the rugby pitch
Tuesday 10 December 1996
The two crews, "Y-fronts" and "Boxer Shorts", started after the University Stone yesterday, and each quickly settled into a rhythm of about 34 strokes per minute. Nick Robinson, from Hampton School and stroking Boxer, was generally a pip lower than Tim Foster stroking Y, and he fell behind by about a quarter-length after a minute.
Foster, an experienced British international, had a reshuffled crew behind him after Charlie Humphries had withdrawn with flu. The Oxford president, Ed Bellamy, moved from the four to the six seat and Dan Law was promoted from a junior trial eight.
Foster's crew, on the Surrey station, held its narrow lead around the Fulham flats. This was in part because James Micklethwait, his cox, was able to crowd Robinson's boat out of the stream. Robinson's cox Alex Greaney was on a yellow card for past steering clashes and was under orders not to push back.
After the Mile post, timed at 3min 37sec, when the bend began to turn against him, Robinson appeared to raise the game and was able to draw level as they approached Hammersmith. Behind him, the pair of Etonian junior internationals, Andrew Lindsay and James Roycroft, were sending down a lovely easy rhythm and Luka Grubor, the Croatian international who won the Henley Grand Challenge Cup with Imperial College last summer, was beginning to show the full effect of his 15st 10lb strength.
But Foster, at 27, was canny enough to use the bend and Micklethwait's aggression to pull back in front, and were a canvas ahead when they shot Hammersmith Bridge.
Bellamy, who may well find himself in contention with Humphries for the final seat in the blue boat, looked small between Damian West in the No 5 seat and Roberto Blanda at No 7, both of whom claim 6ft 6in measurements, but he was holding the rhythm well and kept the crew in good heart. Where the Hammersmith bend dies out after St Pauls, Micklethwait had his final attempt to push Greaney wide.
This time he would not go and the crews clashed blades. Foster, as expected from one who stroked London University, emerged with an extra two-seats advantage. But Robinson responded, and along Chiswick Eyot they drew level then took a canvas lead.
Neither crew looked strained at the finish, and the quality of the rowing and quantity of work never wavered. There was another small clash as the river turned, once again, in Foster's favour after Chiswick Steps, but he was unable to regain the lead. Although the stern four of Robinson's crew was giving away 18 years in experience to the stern four of Y-Fronts,they prevailed by what coach Mijnders called "a long half-length" in 17min 10 sec.
Latest in Sport
West Ham vs Arsenal match report: Sam Allardyce fumes at referee as Arsenal push on towards top four
Tottenham vs Manchester United match report: Hugo Lloris blocks Manchester United from putting pressure on Premier League title rivals
Liverpool vs Swansea preview: 'Jonjo Shelvey is lazy, he needs to wise up,' says Garry Monk
Arsenal transfer news: William Carvalho to be subject of £20m bid
West Ham 1 Arsenal 2 player ratings: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? Andy Carroll? Alexis Sanchez? Who was the star man?
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Doctors remove 80 teeth from boy's jaw
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Maintenance Assistant is requ...
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...