Rowing: Cambridge win the 153rd Boat Race

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Saturday, April 7, 2007

Cambridge University have defeated Oxford University by 1¼ lengths to win the 153rd Boat Race. The Light Blues won with a time of 17 minutes and 49 seconds to record their first win in three years. Oxford finished with a time of 18 minutes and 2 seconds.

Oxford won the toss and chose to row on the Surrey side of the river, with Cambridge rowing on the Middlesex side. Oxford had the stronger start and were ahead for much of the first half of the race. They had a slight advantage over Cambridge at Hammersmith Bridge, where they would be favoured by racing the inside of the upcoming bend. However Cambridge never lost touch and pulled ahead at Chiswick steps, maintaining their lead for the remainder of the race.

Before the race, Cambridge were strong favourites, being 9lb heavier per man on average. The Cambridge crew had 5 returning blues compared to Oxford's one. Furthermore the international achievement of Cambridge's rowers far exceeded that of Oxford: the World Champion stern pair of Germans Thorsten Engelmann (the heaviest ever oarsman at 110.8kg) and Sebastian Schulte, Olympic Gold medallist Kieran West MBE and GB medal winner Tom James.

The heavily fancied Cambridge crew did not win by the margin expected by many, thanks in part to a strong row from Oxford, and the sagging stern containing the heaviest Cambridge oarsmen.

Also of note, only a week before, Cambridge were victorious at the prestigious Head of the River Race (raced on the same course, but from Mortlake to Putney). However the race was abandoned due to weather conditions with only 29 out of 420 crews finishing.

The race, first held in 1829, is currently held on a 6,779 m (4 miles and 374 yards) stretch of the River Thames in London from Putney to Mortlake. Overall, Cambridge lead Oxford by 79 wins to 73 with one dead heat.

In the earlier race for reserve crews, Goldie (Cambridge) beat Isis (Oxford).

Racing for the women's and lightweight crews took place at Henley on April 1st, where Cambridge won the Women's Boat Race and Oxford won the reserve women's, lightweight women's, lightweight men's and reserve lightweight men's races.

Crews

Position Cambridge Oxford
Bow Kristopher McDaniel (St Edmund's) Robin Ejsmond-Frey (Oriel)
2 Dan O'Shaughnessy (St Edmund's) Adam Kosmicki (Oriel)
3 Peter Champion (St Edmund's) Michal Plotkowiak (Brasenose)
4 Jacob Cornelius (Emmanuel) Magnus Fleming (Worcester)
5 Tom James (Trinity Hall) Andrew Wright (St Edmund Hall)
6 Kieran West (Pembroke) William Buckland (Jesus)
7 Sebastian Schulte (Gonville and Caius) Terence Kookyer (Keble)
Stroke Thorsten Engelmann (St Edmund's) Ante Kusurin (St Catherine's)
Cox Rebecca Dowbiggin (Emmanuel) Nicholas Brodie (St Catherine's)

Sources

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