Two-time Olympic champion James Cracknell will become the oldest competitor in Boat Race history when he lines up for Cambridge next month.
The 46-year-old retired from elite rowing in 2006 after winning gold medals for Team GB at Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004.
He qualifies for the boat because he is studying a masters degree in human evolution at the university and beats the record held by 38-year-old cox Andy Probert in 1992.
“It’s been a difficult year and making the Blue Boat is probably my proudest achievement in rowing,” said Cracknell, who will race in the number two seat for the Light Blues.
"It's impossible to appreciate what getting selected for The Boat Race is actually like, to train so intensively and study so hard, it’s easy to fall apart. The national team could probably learn a thing or two from the Boat Race squad.
“This is just the start, we aren’t in it for the kit or the honour of being selected, it’s about delivering in the race.”
Cracknell was part of Sir Steve Redgrave’s fabled 'Oarsome Foursome' in Sydney, joining forces with Sir Matthew Pinsent and Tim Foster to help the legendary Olympian to his fifth consecutive gold.
Four years later he defended his coxless fours title with Pinsent, Ed Coode and Steve Williams and since retiring from rowing he has undertaken a series of sporting challenges - rowing the Atlantic, trekking the Arabian desert and racing to the South Pole. In 2012 he was the top British finisher in the fabled 156-mile Marathon des Sables.
Cambridge won all four races against Oxford last year, triumphing in the men’s, women’s and both reserve crew races.
The race, first held in 1829, will be staged on April 7th, with crews covering the famous 4.2 mile River Thames course between Putney and Mortlake.