St Edward's had raced late on Wednesday evening to allow for exams and were called on to get back on the track for a 9.35am start, but Lancaster was stuck in a traffic jam at a time when the boat should have been afloat to go down to the start.
Lancaster left the car, pinching pounds 10 from his father, ran across two fields to the Thames, found a passing punter, paid for his passage and then galloped up the river bank in his rowing shorts. He then ran straight through the Stewards' Enclosure (dress code: skirts below the knee) to the boat.
Hampton led by a length at the mile marker, but St Edward's stunned them with a change of gear without shifting the rate of strokes and went on to a length-and-a-quarter win.
In the Double Sculls Challenge Cup, the lightweight Peter Haining, teamed with Lazlo Szogi, the Hungarian he beat by one place in the Atlanta Olympics, moved smoothly through Nottingham and Union. However, the crew to watch is Ian McGowan and Nick Peterson, who have already been selected for the United States in the World Championships.
The Silver Goblets for pairs saw an easy win for the World Cup leaders Steve Williams and Simon Dennis, and there may little to trouble them until Sunday, when they should meet the Australians Rob Scott and Dave Weightman.