The Henley Boat Races Challenge 2016,
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Challenge Accepted.

Oxford University Lightweights, male and female, issued the traditional challenge to their counterparts from Cambridge University, today, at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley.

The crews for the 2016 Lightweight Boat Races.

©BigBlade Photography

The challenge 'to an eight-oared race over 200m on the Henley Reach', represents the latest step in a campaign that started, for many, almost a year ago, the day after the Henley Boat Races 2015 came to an end. For others, Oxford President, Alec Trigger, and Cambridge President, Charlie Cullen included, next Saturday's race will be the second time they have contested the historic waters of the Henley Reach. For them, the commitment to the forty two year rivalry that makes the 'varsity' lightweight races so compelling, extends over at least two years.

Cambridge are a predominantly British outfit this year, contrasting with the more international line-up of Oxford who include Mexican, Australian and Anglo-American athletes.

In the women's event, Cambridge Captain, Patricia Smith, accepted the challenge offered by Oxford President, Lucy Roberts, and will be hoping that her crew repeat the victory achieved by the narrowest of margins last year. As master of ceremonies, Robert Treharne-Jones, noted, the combined distance that separated the the crews in 2015 was a mere seven feet. The prospect of more close and exciting racing this year is a mouth-watering prospect for the supporters that will line the river bank and cheer on their favoured blue - light or dark. Unusually, both women's crews have non-rowing leaders this year, although Roberts will race in the reserve pairs race that is also part of the day's programme.

Racing starts at 1:00pm with the 2016 Women's Lightweight Boat Race at 3:00pm and the Lightweight Men's boat Race at 3:30pm.

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