ROWING Oxford University Boat Club began preparation for the Boat Race by holding the traditional ‘Trial Eight’ Race on the 13th of December. Named ‘shirts’ and ‘skins’ so as to remind spectators of the amateur nature of the event, both Eights were blighted by illness leading up to the race. After winning the toss the ‘skins’ took an early lead that that lasted until the Milepost straight. From here onwards, the race belonged to the ‘shirts’. By St. Pauls, they had stripped their opponents of the lead and eventually won by three lengths. The squad is currently training in Spain before they return on the 12th January to enter the final stage of their rigorous preparation. FOOTBALLOriel have been eliminated from the Cuppers competition for fielding an ineligible player in their 2nd round victory over Corpus/ Linacre. Goalkeeper Simon Noall, a student of Regents Park who was fielded by Oriel in the game, had already featured for New in the first round and was therefore judged ineligible. Despite lodging an appeal against the ruling, the decision was maintained by the committee who deemed it ‘a simple case of an ineligible player.’ Corpus/Linacre will continue to the next round.