Rowing: Oxford hold off Cambridge challenge to give Shore perfect send off

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The Independent Online

Oxford had a close shave in winning the women's boat race at Henley yesterday. In an icy wind and rough water, they found their opponents much improved since they beat Cambridge by half a minute in the Women's Head of River Race a month ago.

The race is 2,000 metres downstream, and Cambridge drew the Bucks station where the rushing land water gave them advantage for the first thousand. Oxford crept out to a third of a length while the Cambridge cox, Steph Warrillow, tried to prevent Oxford's Laura Bottomley steering into her water.

At halfway, where Oxford's station now had the best of the stream, the Dark Blues were ahead by four seats. The crews remained close as the Light Blues kept the pressure on to the line, but Oxford celebrated the eighth and last year of their chief coach Ian Shore's tenure by winning by half a length in six minutes 38 seconds.

Crews: Oxford: bow J Smith, E Rowles, C Galloway, B Staunton, A Pauli, A Van Manen, J Whitlam, stroke Z Lee, cox L Bottomley.

Cambridge:bow A Simpson, C Ferrara, S Jacquot, E Weber, S Bennett, I Borchers, E Kingma, stroke L Connell, cox S Warrillow.

Results Henley Boat Races (Oxford versus Cambridge) Women's Boat Race: Oxford beat Cambridge, 1/2 length, 6min 38 sec.

Women's reserves: Osiris (Oxford) bt Blondie (Cambridge), easily, 7min 9 sec.

Women's lightweights: Cambridge bt Oxford, 1/3 length, 7min 1sec.

Men's lightweights: Oxford bt Cambridge, 2 and 1/2 lengths, 6min 15sec.

Men's lightweight reserves: Nephthys (Oxford) rowed over.