This weekend saw the light blue of Cambridge and the dark blue of Oxford clash on the waters of the river Thames. But this was not 'The' Boat Race, which will take place on 7 April, but the 'Henley Boat Races' where the women's openweight, women's reserve, and men's and women's lightweight crews compete against each other. At the end of the day's racing, honours were evenly shared between the Oxford and Cambridge crews. Oxford won the lightweight women's and women's reserve race, while Cambridge won the 68th women's boat race and the lightweight men's trophy.
The races were full of excitement, especially in the women's reserve race. With the crews level pegging, the Cambridge boat was forced to stop following a catacylsmic "crab" - an error whereby one oar is not removed from the water in time with the others, causing it to act as a brake and slow the boat down. Oxford rowed away to victory by three and a half lengths of the boat.
The Umpire, four-times Olympic champion Sir Matthew Pinsent had a busy day, as there were numerous clashes between the crews, as coxes strayed into the path of their rival crews. Both Oxford and Cambridge appealed against race results, but Pinsent allowed them to stand. Speaking of the women's boat race, Pinsent remarked:
"It was very close racing, and a very busy afternoon with one thing and another. Pretty straightforward, then Cambridge decided to make it exciting in the last 300m."
All races will continue at Henley next year, before the Women's Boat Race moves to the Tideway in 2015 to join 'The' boat race.
Fill in the form below to send this news item to a friend: