2007 University Boat Race rowing row

Got my Oxford Today alumni magazine today (okay, I only spent one
Michaelmus term at St Catz), and it contained an article on OUBC asking
Cambridge Boat Club to concede the 2007 University Boat Race, because
of their rowers, from the Germany national squad, quit his degree
course shortly after the race.

Soon after the race, Light Blue stroke Thorsten
Engelmann, a 2006 world champion oarsman from the German national VIII,
gave up his BA Economics course to rejoin the German national squad. He
had been in Cambridge for just two terms. Athletes from the two clubs
sign an undertaking that they intend to complete their course of study
— a minimum of three terms for a Master’s and more for other degrees.
CUBC informed Oxford that one of their oarsmen had, in effect, been
ineligible to race. For Steve Royle, Oxford’s Director of Rowing, ‘my
first reaction was that the race should be declared null and void. Then
our committee pointed out that such an outcome would penalise our
athletes equally, so we asked for Cambridge to concede the race.’

One consequence of the affair is that Engelmann has been denied his
Blue. Another may be that ‘we’re going to have to draw up clear-cut
rules; no more gentlemen’s agreements’, Royle said.

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