WINNER OF THE FIRST WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK AWARD Strikingly reminiscent of Chariots of Fire, this classic bestseller tells the story of the sporting event which shook both Oxford University and its Boat Club to the very foundations during the harsh winter of 1986/7.
A group of American students arrives at Oxford, hoping to put some steel into a Boat Race crew still reeling from their recent humiliating defeat at the hands of Cambridge. But disagreements over training methods soon bring to a head a bitter clash between the elected President of the Dark Blues and a fiery-tempered rower from California.
Much more than the race is at stake in this clash between the amateur sporting tradition of the Boat Race and New World big-star sportsmanship. In the resulting battle, which made headline news worldwide, the rebels, having failed to remove the Boat Club President, pull out six weeks before the race.
Can Oxford Coach Topolski, against all odds, mould an inexperienced and demoralized reserve crew of no-hopers into a winning team?