Rowing: University Boat Race security tightened in attempt to avoid last year's farce

Protester disrupted last year's evernt

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The Independent Online

Boat Race organisers are planning changes to security to avoid a repeat of last year's incident when a protester brought the event to a standstill.

Trenton Oldfield served seven weeks in jail for causing a public nuisance by swimming into the River Thames, narrowly avoiding being struck by the oars of the Oxford and Cambridge crews. He said he was making a stand against elitism. He was released in December, and has claimed he would protest in a similar way again.

"We've obviously been looking very hard at security and we are making some changes," said David Searle, executive director of the Boat Race Company Limited. "It is very, very difficult to police eight and a half miles of bank.

"We are taking additional measures this year and we have looked at all of our actions last year. We've reviewed them and thought about how we would react slightly differently, not much differently, if it happened this year.

"All I can and will say is that anyone who does it is taking their lives in their hands... we just say to people: Just don't consider it." This year's race takes place on 31 March.