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The Independent Online
n The fastest time to complete the four and a quarter mile course from Putney to Mortlake was 16min 45sec by Oxford in 1984, the ninth of 10 successive wins by the Dark Blues.

n The only dead heat came on 24 March 1877.

n Cambridge sank in 1978 and six years later wrote off their boat minutes before the start of the race which led to a 24-hour postponement.

n The tallest man to participate in the race was Oxford's Gavin Stewart at 6ft 81/2in. Ethan Ayer in today's Cambridge crew is only half an inch shorter.

n Oxford also provided the heaviest competitor when Chris Heathcote weighed in at 17st 5lb as part of the successful 1990 crew and the oldest, Donald MacDonald, who was 31 when he rowed on the winning side 10 years ago.

n Sue Brown was the boat race's first woman cox in 1981 and celebrated by guiding Oxford to victory. Five years later Carole Burton became the first, and so far only, woman to cox a Cambridge crew to a win.

n The BBC first broadcasted a running commentary in 1927 while, last year, the event was broadcast to 160 countries. Today's domestic live audience will be approximately 10 million.