Oxford conquer the waves to win Boat Race

Oxford took the 152nd Boat Race by storm yesterday, in a race where fortunes turned halfway between Hammersmith Bridge and Chiswick Eyot.

Winning the toss and choosing the Surrey station to give them the outside of the first bend opened the door for the Dark Blues, and being on the inside of the bend after Hammersmith, where the rough water hit the crews like a wall, closed the door behind them.

Cambridge were half a second ahead at the milepost and settling to a rhythm which kept them alongside Oxford up to Hammersmith. But the bend turned to Oxford's favour as they shot the bridge a second ahead.

From there the cox Seb Pearce forced Cambridge into more exposed water. Suddenly wind and waves engulfed the boats and both seemed to check.

There was no time for pretty rowing. In the words of Bastien Ripoll, Oxford's French stroke, "the key moment was along the island, in a washing machine."

The Dark Blues battled through this more effectively than the Light, and consolidated their lead in a window of calm water along Duke's Meadows. They had six seconds on Cambridge at Chiswick Steps and 11 at Barnes Bridge. The stuffing had been knocked out of Cambridge by conditions.

This was a second win for Barney Williams, Oxford's president. "We were pushed really hard," he said,praising his crew, "who put their school on the back burner despite the intensity of their studies. The commitment they put in really payed off."

He had particular praise for Jake Wetzel in the No 7 seat, his crew-mate in Canada's Olympic coxless four two years ago. "For two years he backed me up and in that four he covered my back every step of the way. I said to him before the race, 'I have your back'. He was a leader and he's a racer."

Tom Edwards, Cambridge's president, put a brave face on the defeat of a crew which critics ranked with the great Light Blue winners of the 1990s. "I've had two years of trying to win this race, and it didn't happen," he said. "All credit to Oxford, they took it to us in the toughest part of the race round Hammersmith. I was quite happy with our position in the crucial period at St Paul's, but we struggled in the conditions, and they dealt with the conditions better than us."

Oxford's French, British, and Canadian mixture beat a crew including the three Germans - Sebastian Thormann, Thorsten Engelmann and Sebastian Schulte - known as the Berlin Wall. "Sometimes machines break," said Ripoll. Oxford's coach, Sean Bowden, in his ninth race, earned praise, while Cambridge's Duncan Holland, in his first, received a sobering baptism.

152nd Boat Race: Oxford beat Cambridge by 5 lengths; 18 min 26 sec. Intermediate times (Oxford first) - Mile: 3.45.5; 3.45; Hammersmith Bridge: 6.42, 6.43; Chiswick Steps: 10.56, 11.02; Barnes Bridge: 15.01, 15.12; Finish: 18.26, 18.41.

Reserves race: Goldie beat Isis by 4 and a quarter lengths, 19:09.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge face-off in the final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture