University of Melbourne students and crew captains Josh Booth and Alice McNamara have issued the formal challenge to their Sydney rivals for Sunday’s Australian Boat Race on the Yarra.

The annual Australian Boat Race showcases the very best of current and alumni talent from the nation’s two oldest universities.
 
Men’s and women’s eights crews, plus college teams, will take to the Yarra on Sunday, racing 4.6km from Burnley to the heart of the city, with hundreds of spectators expected to line the banks of the river.
 
The crews from both universities were at the University of Melbourne Boat Club on Friday for the traditional challenge, weigh-in and coin-toss.
 
Welcoming the Sydney crews by the “turquoise waters” of the Yarra, McNamara said they’d clearly gone to great lengths to ensure victory.
 
“We see you’ve paid (Olympic veteran) Kim Crow off with a cash bribe to go to the US this week and you’ve brought back Liz Kell – your big gun – but will it be enough to break our winning streak?” McNamara said.
 
Melbourne’s women’s eights remain unbeaten since the Australian Boat Race began.
 
University of Melbourne alumnus David Crawshay, who won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games in the double scull, will be leading the University’s men’s bid for victory in this year’s race.
 
Melbourne’s men’s eights weigh in at a total of 766kg to Sydney’s 800kg, while the women’s crews are 586kg for Melbourne and 605kg for Sydney.
 
Jennifer Cleary, who is studying a Bachelor of Science at Melbourne, stars in the Melbourne women’s crew, having recently helped qualify the women’s quad scull for the Rio Olympics.

Sydney women’s captain Holly Lawrence won the coin toss and elected her crew to row on the south side of the Yarra.
 
Booth won the coin toss for the men and also elected the south side for Sunday’s men’s race, which starts at 9.45am.
 
All the action will be live streamed at: www.australianboatrace...

Full University of Sydney crews:
Women’s Eight
Olivia Ashby
Fiona Ewing
Rebecca Humphris
Elizabeth Kell
Holly Lawrence (captain)
Claudia Lowe
Loren Parsons
Carina Simpson
Laura Triggs
Emma Fessey (reserve)
Debbie Fox (coach)
Esther Verburg (coach)

Men’s Eight
Sasha Belonogoff (captain)
Jacob Bicknell
Cameron Girdlestone
Andrew Judge
Alexander Purnell
William Raven
Angus Robinson
Campbell Watts
Tobias Wehr-Candler
Thomas Whitehead (reserve)
Mark Prater (coach)
Tom Sacre (coach)

Full University of Melbourne crews:
Women’s Eight
Alice Arch
Sarah Banting
Jennifer Cleary
Hedda Cooper
Alice McNamara (captain)
Stephanie Radford
Olivia Sibillin
Phoebe Stanley
Claudia Zucchelli
Kate Duggan (reserve)
Annabelle Eaton (coach)

Men’s Eight
Josh Booth (captain)
David Crawshay
Alistair Cunningham
Connor Grace
John Linke
Callum Mackenzie
James Marburg
Samantha Sloss
Jordan Smith
Edward Gubbins (reserve)
Isaac Smith (reserve)
Edward Gubbins (reserve)
Ed Monteith (coach)