April 2, 2009

Two Former Bears Compete at Prestigious Boat Race

April 2, 2009

London, UK - Brown had a pair of alums successfully compete in the Boat Race over the weekend, one of the most prestigious crew events of the year. Ben Harrison '07 raced in the top Oxford boat, which won the competition, while Colin Keogh '08 raced for the Isis boat, Oxford's second varsity, which also won.

The "Boat Race" is an annual competition between Oxford and Cambridge University, held on the Thames River in London. The event is somewhat unique due to its length, as the race is an unorthodox 4 ½ miles, an intensely grueling competition. With both crews traditionally among the finest in the country, the racing is generally very competitive, and the event is one of the most significant dates on the rowing calendar. Each school draws heavily on elite international athletes, making it extremely impressive for two Bears to be among the top sixteen at Oxford.

Keogh, sitting seven-seat, and Isis led off the day's racing, as they squared off against the heavily favored Goldie (Cambridge) squad. Isis took a small lead off the start, and quickly settled into a good rhythm, moving away from Goldie despite rowing at a lower rating. By the second landmark Isis had moved out to an eight second lead, and the crew continued to row away, eventually winning by an impressive four lengths.

In the main event of the day, the varsity boats matched up against one another, with Harrison sitting in four seat for the dark blue. Cambridge took the early lead, at one point pulling ahead by nearly a full length, but the race turned on a brief clash between the boats, as Oxford was able to recover and find their rhythm faster than Cambridge. Though the race remained extremely close through the first three landmarks, the dark blue was able to row away in the latter portions of the race, and took a comfortable win by 3 ½ lengths.