Rowing: Cambridge make the length

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THE BOAT RACE crews continue to box clever in the last three days before Saturday's contest, writes Hugh Matheson. Oxford have remained aloof and, with the crews complaining of some tiredness, will do even less for the last three sessions of preparation.

Cambridge have showed alarming switches of form, allowing their reserves a sniff in the first pair of two-minute rows and showing real authority in the second.

There was more excitement in the veterans' race, in which the oarsmen have to average more than 40 years and to have rowed for the university. Curiously both colours rely on reserve crewmen from Isis and Goldie. Perhaps they try harder and carry on rowing longer to work off unfulfilled ambitions.

The Cambridge veterans led from the start but allowed Oxford to take a small lead as they came towards Barn Elms. However, after that the race was wrecked with a series of clashes in which, among other damage, the Oxford No 6, Tom Cadoux Hudson, completely sheared his stretcher and was obliged to complete the race pressing on air. Cambridge needed no second chance and cruised on to win by a length.