Oxford-Cambridge boat race to go on after WWII bomb removed

Carla Harmon
April 3, 2017

The Men's and Women's Boat Races between Oxford and Cambridge are due to take place later in the afternoon.

Victory, which follows last year's defeat, was also Oxford's seventh from 10, and reduces their overall deficit to 82-80.

Oxford were favourites going into the 163rd men's boat race but were pushed all the way by Cambridge, winning by just around a length in the end.

Hamilton's Alice White and Christchurch's Anna Dawson were part of the Cambridge crew to win the race for the first time since 2012 after Oxford, which included Whanganui's Harriet Austin had a horror start.

The Light Blues of Cambridge, who nearly sank a year ago, went on to secure their first victory since 2012 by some distance, and in a record time of 18 minutes 34 seconds.

Cambridge club president Ashton Brown suffered pneumonia past year when the boat was swamped and she was overjoyed at the 2017 victory.

And the final word went to Steve Trapmore, head coach of CUBC, after his tenth Boat Race on the Tideway: "We knew Oxford were fast", he told the press at Mortlake, "and we knew that we had to take the race to Oxford and that's what we tried to do".

"I'm just so proud of my squad, so proud of the team this year", Brown, who was in the bow seat, said.

There was nearly a clash of oars as the two boats fought for the more favourable water channels on the river, before Oxford surged ahead coming to the Hammersmith Bridge section. The light blues failed to make use of it, allowing their rivals to open a lead they would never relinquish.

There had been fears that the race could be called off because of the discovery of a World War II bomb in the river near the start at Putney Bridge on Saturday.

After crossing the finish line, Jamie Cook clambered over his exhausted team mates to stagger down the boat and embrace his older brother and fellow crew member, Ollie.

"It was hard work for a long time", Bowden said.

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