Challenges issued and accepted,
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Oxford University Lightweight Rowing Club and Cambridge University Women's Boat Club Lightweights, issue their challenges for the 2107 Henley Boat Races.

The River and Rowing Museum, in Henley on Thames, was the venue, today, for the annual 'Challenge', issued by representatives of the losing 2016 Lightweight men's and women's crews from Oxford and Cambridge universities.

Tradition required Oxford men's President, Rowan Arthur, and Cambridge women's Captain, Ellie Hopgood, to challenge their opposite numbers to 'an eight oared race over 2000m on Henley Reach'. The challenges were accepted with hand-shakes in front of the assembled gathering which included the Mayor of Henley, Julian Brookes, friends, relations, club and event officials.

The crews, introduced by Robert Treharne-Jones of Leander Club, will race each other on Sunday 26th March. The race programme starts at 12:45.

Amongst the athletes competing on Sunday are twelve returning 'Blues', seven in the combined Cambridge camp and five for Oxford. Cambridge men's stroke, Gio Bergamo-Andries, will be looking for a hat-trick of wins. Swiss rower, Fanny Belais, who represented Cambridge in the 2015 Women's Boat Race, returns this year as a 'lightweight'. All four crews include overseas talent, with Oxford University women presenting the most international line-up, including their French stroke and returning 'Blue', Laure Bonfils.

Lightweight competition frequently produces close and exciting racing and there is every prospect of the same in 2017 as Oxford's women seek to level the overall tally of victories at 17 each, and the Oxford men seek to reduce Cambridge's lead, which currently stands at 26 to 16.

Official photographs can be viewed on the BigBlade web-site. See the link on our Partners Page.

Oxford and Cambridge Lightweights 2017

The 2017 Cambridge Lightweight Crews

Photograph courtesy of Peter Knowles.

The 2017 Oxford Lightweight crews.

Photograph courtesy of Peter Knowles.

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