Oxford-Cambridge boat race to go on after WWII bomb removed
Apr 04 2017
Cambridge ladies powered to victory over Oxford after their rivals got off to a disastrous start in the 72nd women's Boat Race on the River Thames.
Kiwis Anna Dawson (fourth from left) and Alice White (fourth from right) rowed Cambridge to victory over Oxford, their first in the famous London race since 2012.
In the women's race, Cambridge posted a record time in destroying Oxford by 11 lengths.
It allowed the Light Blues, featuring four members of last year's crew who nearly sank on the river, to quickly get into their rhythm and they were never headed.
It was perhaps sweetest for president Ashton Brown, who caught pneumonia during the 2016 race.
Oxford took a solid lead early on leading by a length after two minutes as the crews approached the first bend in the river, before Cambridge clawed back a few metres.
A major rowing race in London was closed to being called off, after an unexploded World War II bomb was found in the River Thames.
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 was just really exhausted", he said, having avoided the embarrassment of finishing a loser with both teams.
Oxford had won the past four but made an unconvincing, stuttering start to allow Cambridge to build a significant early advantage which they did not relinquish.
Cambridge were the favourites going into the race and their chances of emerging victorious over their old foes were enhanced substantially due to Oxford's woeful start to the race on the Thames. Although they went ahead they were unable to really pull clear and, as they as they hung on to their lead, umpire Matthew Pinsent warning Oxford to stay out of Cambridge water. They saw their team justify their favouritism in a race they led from start to finish, albeit without their lead ever seeming insurmountable.
"Hats off to Cambridge - it was a good boat, we were just better on the day, that's what it's about". "The harder it is, the more you can savour it".
Ollie Cook said they had been forced to "put everything out there" to win, while his brother Jamie added "it was extremely special" to have won with his brother. "We did the job, we were clinical".
Coach Rob Baker said Cambridge had "done some incredible things in training and produced some phenomenal times, so I knew how fast the crew was". We stuck together, but it wasn't enough today.