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Oxford, Cal Crews Meet Bruins Today on Ballona Creek

By day, James C. Sims is a Santa Monica trial lawyer arguing million-dollar personal injury cases in West Coast courthouses.

Mornings and evenings, Sims coaches crew racing at UCLA, whose varsity rowers will meet Oxford and Cal in the third annual UCLA crew race at noon today at Marina del Rey.

Oxford’s oarsmen are on their first American tour since they and Cambridge made this an intercollegiate sport 157 years ago on the Thames River.

“Cal should be favored, with Oxford next,” said Sims, sounding like a football coach. “We’re still the gutty little Bruins.

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“The losers will give their shirts to the winners,” Sims said. “We can’t afford it, but tradition will have to be served.”

Welcoming the Oxford eight, race chairman Michael Bennett said: “This is the most memorable and significant crew race ever held in Los Angeles.”

They will row a 2,000-meter course on Ballona Creek near Fisherman’s Village. There will be no admission charge, and a crowd of about 30,000 is expected.

Several women’s races are on the preliminary program, beginning at 8:40 a.m.

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