Media attention in the run-up to the event focused on the debate over
scholarships awarded to attract the best rowers rather than on
predicting the outcome of the race.
Cambridge received plenty of criticism for ‘buying in’ oarsmen with
‘bursaries’. Ultimately the headlines gave Oxford more prominence and
the ‘dark blues’ won the media race by a length.
The Telegraph’s piece on ‘Little and Large - the Yanks at Oxford’, was
one of several highlighting the non-British aspect of the race. The
question of degree vs sport was not entirely neglected. ‘Their priority
is to get a degree and a good one,’ reasoned the Cambridge coach. He
also defended ‘chequebook rowing’ saying: ‘I think it’s an excellent way
of meeting a financial burden.’
Meanwhile Oxford coach Dan Topolski described payment as ‘an irritant
because it’s taking the boat race perhaps in a direction it shouldn’t
go.’ Maybe the real worry is not transatlantic invasions but the state
of British undergraduate rowing.
Evaluation and analysis by Carma International. Cuttings supplied by
Standard Press Analysts, What the Papers Say’ can also be found at: