Oxford’s Karl Hudspith is unworried by the large weight advantage Cambridge will have over his crew at the Boat Race on 7 April.
The crews were unveiled on Monday at the traditional weigh-in, held at a venue overlooking the Olympic Park in Stratford – well away from the 4.25-mile course between Putney and Mortlake.
Hudspith, who was born in Hammersmith and grew up in Twickenham, won last year in a crew who were lighter than their rivals. This year he is the Oxford president, or captain.
He is the only returning member of that 2011 line-up, though, and Oxford’s average weight this year of 88.45kg per man is 7.85kg (1st 3lb) lighter than Cambridge – a big advantage if the crews are equally talented.
“It’s a big difference but it’s a very long race and you have to have power to carry that weight down the course,” said Hudspith, 23. “Last year we were lighter and won.”
Cambridge president, Australian David Nelson is one of two survivors of last year’s fourth-length defeat, alongside Mike Thorp, who is the only British rower in the light-blue line-up.
He said of the weight difference: “It’s a factor but a lot of things go into making a good crew.
“Last year’s defeat was pretty gutting but that’s given us additional motivation to come back strong.”
The Oxford crew (pictured above) have looked stronger in training so far, and beat Germany’s Under-23 in two matches over the course recently.
Their line-up also includes former internationals Hano Wienhausen from Germany and Dutch stroke man Roel Haen.
Cambridge boast the heaviest oarsman in either crew, American Steve Dudek, who at 109.6kg missed out by 1.2kg on matching the record for the heaviest ever in the event.
Oxford cox Zoe de Toledo, who learned to row while at school in Hammersmith, weighed in at 49.6kg and will have to carry additional weight to reach the minimum requirement of 55kg.