West London rowers eye Boat Race glory

Two Boat Race veterans from west London will return to action as part of an impressive Oxford line-up as they aim to repeat last year’s success on the River Thames in this year’s event on 6 April.

Constantine ‘Stan’ Louloudis, from Maida Vale, is aiming for a hat-trick of wins – to add to his Olympic bronze medal from London 2012 – after winning with Oxford in 2011 and ’13.

Twickenham’s Karl Hudspith [pictured above] suffered defeat in controversial circumstances in 2012, when a swimmer stopped the race, but is bidding for his third victory in dark blue.

They are joined by Canadian double Olympic medallist Malcolm Howard, who has moved out of the key stroke seat this year to make way for Louloudis.

Kiwi Olympic bronze medallist Storm Uru was also named in the Oxford line-up on Monday but coach Sean Bowden has refused to rule out tinkering with his personnel, with four weeks still to go before the race.

“There’s a big difference having Stan stroke the boat as opposed to me,” said Howard. “I enjoyed it last year but with Stan at stroke I think we can achieve even more.

“Karl is an old hand at this game. Even though he’s been doing this for so long, he’s always making improvements.”

Oxford’s experience will make up for their weight disadvantage, as they weighed in on average 2.55kg per man lighter than Cambridge.

The light blues feature two oarsmen, Briton Mike Thorp and American Steve Dudek, who won the Boat Race in 2012.

Oxford will also be favoured to defend their title in the Newton Women’s Boat Race, after naming a crew filled with former junior internationals, although they also weighed in lighter, by average of 4kg per woman.

Dark blue president Maxie Scheske, who comes from Richmond, said: “We’ve got a really strong crew dynamic. Everyone is really linked in together and we’re really ready to put everything on the line. It should be an exciting race.”

Cambridge boast an all-British line-up, including five rowers who featured in last year’s defeat.

The women’s race has traditionally been held at Henley-on-Thames but was moved to the Olympic venue, Dorney Lake, last year and the same could happen on 30 March if the recent flooding continues.

The women’s crews will join the men’s race on the Thames in London next year, racing over the same course on the same day for the first time.

Full crew line-ups and weights on the Boat Race website.

Follow live text commentary on the Newton Women’s Boat Race on 30 March, and the BNY Mellon Boat Race on 6 April at theboatrace.org

Click here to follow Martin Gough on Twitter.

Follow West London Sport on Twitter
Find us on Facebook