Victoria’s Howard looks to stroke Oxford to victory in Boat Race

The former Harvard rower from Victoria will stroke Oxford in the storied Boat Race against Cambridge on the Thames. The stroke seat is considered the most crucial in an eights crew.

“The Boat Race has always been a goal of mine,” Howard said in a statement.

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“It is one of the greatest collegiate competitions in the world. I am honoured to have the chance to take part in a race with such tradition.”

The Brentwood College grad — who won gold with the Elk Lake-based Canadian eight at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver at the 2012 London Olympics — is planning on a career in medicine.

Howard earned headlines off the water at the London Games last summer by being the athlete-host who accompanied Prince Harry when he paid a visit to Canada House.

Howard also has a connection to The Social Network, having won two NCAA championships in the Harvard eight with crew-mates Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twin brothers who are portrayed in the movie as suing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Howard becomes only the third Canadian to stroke a crew in the Boat Race. He joins fellow-Islander Kip McDaniel of Cobble Hill, from Cambridge in 2006 and L.A. Olympics gold-medallist Mike Evans from Oxford in 1984.

Olympic silver-medallist Barney Williams of Victoria won two Boat Race titles as an Oxford business student in 2005 and 2006, the latter as president and captain of the Oxford crew.

The 159th Boat Race is March 31.

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