Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rivalry on the Water's a Family Affair; the Boat Race

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rivalry on the Water's a Family Affair; the Boat Race

Article excerpt


EVERY Christmas it gets a bit serious. Rick Dunn will stroppily defend the legitimacy of some obscure word that the rest of the family swear he must have made up, while across the board, Andrew Dunn will lead the vehement protests. Vicious game, Scrabble, they nod sagely.

So if they're that competitive in the world of triple word scores, imagine what these two cousins are going to be like when they brandish oars and adopt different shades of blue to row in Saturday's Boat Race.

"It's going to be an an interesting first because we've never actually raced before, eyeball to eyeball," pondered Oxford oarsman Andrew, glancing across for confirmation.

"Not eyeball to eyeball. Don't you mean my eyeballs watching the back of your head?" responded Cambridge's Rick.

"Is that what you think? Well, I reckon I'll be seeing a lot more of you than you see of me," came the indignant riposte. By now, you'll get the picture. It's all good-natured stuff, but you can't conceal the feisty family affair which will make for the most intriguing subplot of the 148th edition of the race.

Race statisticians reckon two members of the same family rowing against each other is a rare occurrence. Family loyalty to one of the rival universities means that brothers or cousins are more likely to compete on the same crew. In the Dunns' case, it was young Andrew who broke the Cambridge tradition by going off to Lincoln College, Oxford, to study history. "I felt a bit of a traitor at first," he smiles.

The lads' fathers were brothers who both attended the same college at Cambridge a couple of years apart. Rick's father, David, became a rowing legend there when, after winning a half-blue, he coached Light Blues crews for two decades.

Andrew's dad, Richard, was a boxing blue. …

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