Boat Race 2014 results: Oxford president Malcolm Howard considers Rio 2016 attempt with Canada after second straight win

Howard guided Oxford to the biggest victory since 1973 and the 31-year-old is considering adding to his Beijing gold and London silver medals

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Outgoing Oxford president Malcolm Howard has not ruled out a tilt towards Rio 2016 with the Canadian rowing team after claiming his second-straight Boat Race victory.

The 31-year-old guided the Dark Blues to their fifth Boat Race victory in seven years, the 11-length margin the biggest since 1973.

The Men's Eight gold medallist from Beijing 2008 and silver medallist from London 2012 admitted he had seriously considered retiring from the sport before taking up a Masters in Clinical Medicine at Oriel College.

Reinvigorated by his two-year stint at Oxford, the aspiring medic said he cannot yet strike out all thoughts of pushing towards a third Olympics in Brazil in two years' time.

"It's one day at a time, I've really been enjoying rowing, Oxford's given me a new lease on rowing," said Howard.

 

"I was pretty sure I was going to retire after 2012, but then coming to Oxford it's really excited me about rowing, working with (coach) Sean (Bowden) and with young guys, it's been amazing.

"I've been really proud of the things I've done, and the academic stuff I'm doing has been amazing, so we'll see."

Coach Sean Bowden steered Oxford to their 10th victory in his 15 years at the helm.

Howard said Bowden's analytical approach is the commodity that has set Oxford apart, to secure five Boat Race victories in the last seven years.

"All I can say is that I'd never want to race a Bowden crew, he's a great coach," he said.

"He's got a very analytical approach, almost a little unemotional, he's thought everything out.

"He's just demanding, we won last year and he said 'that wasn't good enough'.

"He said 'we have to do what we did last year, but do it better', and we did."

Cambridge's Luke Juckett was hoisted almost clear out of the craft from his race-defining clash with Oxford's Sam O'Connor.

Juckett's rigging was irreparably damaged, leaving clear water for Oxford to coast home.

Howard hailed cox Laurence Harvey's clear head in ensuring Oxford did not stray from their legal water space, as vindicated by umpire Richard Phelps.

"Ultimately that's the Boat Race: it's tough, it's primal, and when you sign up you know that's what you're getting yourself into," he said.

"They really threw the kitchen sink at us early, and when we got into the strait our rhythm started to pay dividends.

"It's unfortunate that it happened but I don't think it affected the outcome.

"I have 100 per cent absolute confidence in Laurie Harvey, the guy's always in the right water, he wasn't being warned, we could hear Cambridge being warned so it really wasn't on my mind.

"The most that counts is a cool head like Laurie, he first coxed me last year at one of the trial eights, and this was an 18-year-old kid that barely spoke a word to any of us.

"Sean just said to me, listen, I know Laurie doesn't say a lot, but he'll say whatever you tell him to, and he steers really well.

"He was just so rock solid, and in a pretty tough trial race when we had a clash, there was no problem.

"To use the corny line, he was as cool as a cucumber."

PA

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