The Umpires for the 2017 Cancer Research UK Boat Races have been selected.
The 72nd Women’s Boat Race will be umpired by Sarah Winckless. Winckless will become the first female to umpire a Boat Race on the Tideway, nine months after she became the first female to umpire a race at Henley Royal Regatta. She successfully took charge of the Isis-Goldie race last year, twelve months after umpiring the first ever Women’s Reserve Race on the Tideway, and raced for Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club in 1995, 1996 and 1997.
Winckless won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in the women’s double sculls and was also a double world champion in the women’s quadruple sculls.
Winckless was the first woman to ever be appointed as a Boat Race umpire, served as the inaugural Chairman of the BOA’s Athletes Commission and is Chef de Mission for Team England for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The 163rd Boat Race will be umpired by Sir Matthew Pinsent, a year after a successful stint as reserve umpire for The Women’s Boat Race. Pinsent raced for Oxford University Boat Club in 1990, 1991 and 1993, winning the first two Races before losing as President in 93. He has umpired The Boat Race on one occasion before, overseeing an Oxford victory in 2013. Pinsent also raced in and won the 2011 Veterans Boat Race.
Pinsent commented: “It’s a great honour to umpire The Boat Race and I’m looking forward to doing so for the second time. I know first-hand just how much it means to be an oarsman in the Race so I hope that we will have a competitive and compelling battle between the crews once again. I wish all of the athletes the best of luck with training and selection.”
Pinsent won four consecutive Olympic gold medals for Great Britain, in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004. He was also crowned world champion ten times in varying boat classes from 1991 until 2002. Pinsent was assistant umpire during The 2012 Boat Race when a protestor stopped racing.
The 2017 Cancer Research UK Boat Races will take place on Sunday 2nd April 2017. The Women’s Race and Men’s Race will take place at 4:35pm and 5:35pm respectively.