Women's Boat Race: Cambridge women pass examination of rowing prowess

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The Independent Online
SPECTATORS line the Thames at Henley yesterday as Cambridge head for victory in the women's Boat Race, writes Hugh Matheson. Cambridge were helped by an Oxford crew who appeared so confused by the open river that they chose to follow the Light Blues in line astern with the umpire, Ronnie Howard, warning both crews simultaneously for bad steering by raising the white flag straight above his head,

The Cambridge women looked sharper throughout the 2,000-metre race and managed to hold their rate at 36 strokes to the minute with Oxford two below at 34. Nevertheless, Oxford rallied well to lose by a length in 6min 11sec.

Oxford's lightweight men also raced harder over the second part of the course to win by three-quarters of a length after trailing by the same amount at Remenham Club. The Dark Blue men, who had won only once since 1978, had won the toss and took the Bucks station, which should have given them more of the stream from the Barrier to the finish. This advantage was cancelled when they took a straight course at Fawley instead of following the curve of the bay.

The Cambridge women's lightweights hung on to win by 1ft after their reserves had won by a canvas.

WOMEN: Boat Race: Cambridge 6min 11sec, 1 length. Lightweights: Cambridge 6:23, 1ft. Reserves: Cambridge 6:22, canvas. MEN: Lightweights: Oxford 5min 45sec, 3 4 length.

Photograph: Robert Hallam

(Photograph omitted)