The 162nd Boat Race The Boat Race

The 162nd Boat Race

Clare Balding introduces live coverage of the men's and women's Oxford and Cambridge boat races, the 162nd men's boat race and the 71st women's boat race.

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This is one of the great British sporting traditions, two ancient


universities going head-to-head on a mighty river in an iconic city.


Welcome to London, welcome to the Thames, welcome to the Boat Races.


Six months of training and hard work... Using every bit of lung


power they have a... Now they are starting to make it count... Now it


is down to real guts and determination... For Cambridge it is


all about determination... Oxford are the winners!


The Thames... Oxford... Cambridge... Two races... Only one possible


outcome. We have ignition! Binary, a number system composed of only ones


and zeros. This ancient simple code is central to modern life. It is


adaptable and evolving, keeping pace with the changing times. Oxford


University Women's Boat Club have won this historic race... But


whatever the era, there are only two options. Zero, one. Friend, enemy.


Win, lose. These ones and zeros can encode vast amounts of data,


plotting improvement and revealing the bigger picture. Life, death. It


is only when the values are lined in the correct order that the system


can be fully understood. Binary, only two values. Win, lose. Which


crew will be the one, which one will be the zero?


It is brutal in its simplicity, you are either a hero or you leave with


zero. This is the Oxford women arriving earlier this afternoon. The


race is in honour of Cancer Research UK. The minibus was being driven by


the woman who was president last year, Anastasia Chitty, who will be


at key member of that grow. For Cambridge, they come here trying to


turn the tide. Oxford have been dominant in recent Boat Races but


this is only the second to be raced on the Tideway. Alice Jackson going


through, their average age is 24. For the men, Oxford coming here off


the back of three wins in a row, they are on a roll, they have won 11


races since the turn of the century, six of the last eight. Some collier


is the cox, Jamie Cook going through there. Cambridge have the benefit of


more Boat Race experience. They have four returning Blues. Their


president is Henry Hoff -- Hoff stopped. They are strong


crew, their form has looked good and they are determined to make sure a


winning day. It is beautiful sunshine right now but we have had


four seasons in a day already. We have had heavy rain, hail stone


before that. The shots are lightning coming down, and actually hitting a


tree there which caught fire. We understand the presentation platform


in that area is not damaged but it now feels lovely, but the water


conditions will be difficult. Anything could happen. This is


earlier for spectators, it has not been an enjoyable afternoon so far


but we are promised it will continue to Brighton and we should get the


better conditions still ahead. It means as far as the race is


concerned, it is going to be choppy out there. These are live


conditions. For the third time this century, the Boat Race is taking


place on Easter Day so happy Easter to everybody and let's welcome


George Nash and constant tying the lewdness, they are now part of Team


GB. This test is different to anything you would experience


anywhere else in rowing. Most rowing is on a two kilometre Lake, you are


usually separated by a line of laying boys from the upper --


opposition. You mentioned the wind, which today will be very bad. You


are coming in blind coming around nothing about your opposition before


you start the race so there is loads of uncertainty, nerves, and it is


altogether a lot more random factors in play. Adding to that, they are


full-time students as well, not full-time athletes. It is an


incredibly demanding lifestyle. George and I are full-time athletes


now. In comparison it is relaxed, sedate. As a student athlete you get


days when you don't have a minute off. You have deadlines, tutorials


and training, extremely draining. I mentioned that Cambridge have been


in good form recently so are you hopeful this could be the year for


the light Blues? You have your scarf on. I have nailed my colours to the


mast early with this scarf. Cambridge have shown good form this


season and I have everything crossed for them today. They are coming in


pretty hot favourites. Constant tying, you are disagreeing with the


word hot. They are real bunch of scrappers. They will get out there


and take on the mantle of being underdogs. If you style it right,


you get the momentum going with you. When you are level against a crew


going against you, the momentum is with you. Five of that crew have


experienced winning, and they have all improved individually. It is not


a write-off at all and I am certainly backing Oxford. The men's


race is due at 4:10pm. Nadine Dorries you were part of the Oxford


crew that won the first-ever race on the Tideway last year -- Nadine. It


is incredibly a motion for me to be back. I remember sitting on the


start line and thinking of all the generations of Oxford women who have


made it happen. You are still at Oxford studying, aren't you? Yes, I


am in my last year. So why aren't you in the boat this year? It


requires a lot of dedication and the women in the boat are balancing this


with their demanding studies. This year I have a lot of projects to


finish and I wanted to focus on my research. Cath Bishop, who was part


of a winning Boat Race group for Cambridge in the 1990s, the guys


were talking about the difference of this challenge and for the women it


is a challenge they haven't had that long to get used to. Yes, it is a


new tradition we are building in a way. There are some things that are


different, obviously we learn and we talked to the men's clubs, on the


other hand we have all done Boat Races and there is something about


the intensity and experience that is the same. Yes, the course has


changed but in many ways it is about raising Oxford and bringing your


best. There is nothing else like it, it is a sporting event which is


utterly unique. Here is what we have coming up... Dark blue has been the


dominant force in the last decade but every dynasty must come to an


end. Nothing ever lasts forever. It is a rowing race and it doesn't


matter what history is around it, deal with what is in front of you.


Last year Oxford were the first women ever to win the Boat Race on


the Tideway. What seemed impossible is now a matter of course. It is


such a huge occasion you don't want it to overwhelm you. If it is light


blue versus dark blue, we have the Varsity victory is covered. It is so


much bigger venue that everybody gets caught up in the narrative.


Choppy waters, swirling winds, we have tricky conditions on Easter Day


and it could get worse before the men's race at 4:10pm. For those


considering coming out to the banks of the Thames to have a look, the


news is that now it is warm and sunny so get out there. You should


get a good spot as well to enjoy both races. It is a huge social


occasion, around 250,000 people are due to be part of this crowd and in


amongst them I think checking out the pubs is Helen Skelton. The


atmosphere is building in here, this is a pub close to where it kicks


off. I'm not the only one who thinks this is an occasion to be


celebrated, for a lot of Londoners it is an annual event. Quarter of a


million people will line the banks of the Thames today. Among them,


myself and comedian Sean Walsh. Good to see you. Why haven't I got a


microphone? What is your experience of the Boat Race so far? I have no


idea, I am happy to be here. I think there has been a booking error. I


think right now Stephen Fry is going to Stoke to do a university gig. We


are exploring the social side of the Boat Race. You live a stones throw


from here, yet you have never been here. Buy your own admission you


thought it was in Cambridge. I'm usually in bed, it is Sunday. All


right, mate, how was it going? Everyone is enjoying themselves by


the banks of the river. We need to get him involved. Is he part of the


Boat Race? He is part of the enviable atmosphere that we will be


dipping in and out of all afternoon. Who knows what will happen. We look


forward to the uncertainty. The women's crews are out on the water


continuing to warm up, but although this is a head-to-head, it is a


jewel between two incredibly physically fit crews. It is also a


race against the course, and Wayne Common, the winning Cambridge


president two years ago, is out there -- there. You can see the


brooding skies behind me, it is very windy behind me, we have had hail,


wind and lightning. Wind of 40-50 kilometres per hour from the


south-west. Halfway through the course after Hammersmith Bridge it


will be a big headwind, very rough and the crew that handles at best


will win the race. If it gets even rougher than this, it could be


sinking conditions with the crews taking on water. Very entertaining


to watch but no fun for the crews so we don't want to see that today.


There have been awful conditions, six sinkings in total. As and when


they make it to the finish, the Jason Mohammad will be there waiting


for them. Thank you, very good afternoon to you. I am in place at


Mortlake where I will be interviewing the winners and losers.


This course isn't just long, it is also open to the elements.


Therefore, conditions could change dramatically so tactics and strategy


are just as important as brute force and endurance. Matthew Pinsent won


this race twice with Oxford, this is his guide to the river of pain. Four


miles around 17 minutes of pain. It begins at Putney Bridge. The crew on


the left is racing on the Surrey side, the crew on the right,


Middlesex. Three and a half minutes into the race they will


arrive at the first mile marker, then onwards towards Harrods


Depository. Hammersmith Bridge is often a decisive part of the race.


The majority of the crews leading here go on to win. The next bend


gives the crew on the Surrey side a huge advantage, where conditions can


often be rough and windy. Then it is under the central arch of Barnes


Bridge before heading onwards to the finished just before Chiswick


Bridge. That is the challenge that awaits


them but there is no glamour in rowing, you carry your own boat down


to the water, and the Cambridge crew have three returning Blues. Ashton


Brown, Martschenko and Rosemary Ostfeld. They also have the


experience of Myriam Goudet from France. They have core strength and


the experience of former winners. Their average age is 23. They are


very strong. Rosemary knows them well, she has coxed here in the


men's race but you know the comparisons between these crews and


would you make Oxford the strong favourites?


Oxford are the strong favourites, they have experienced winners coming


in as well as a cox who is very talented. Cambridge will be a good


crew but I can't see how they could get past Oxford. Will the conditions


make it more level? Conditions certainly can come into play


depending on whether you get worse on one side than the other, but it's


hard to say until you get into the race. The better crew will get into


it better but one might have a slightly better boat and be sitting


out of the water better. Oxford were impressive last year, what do


Cambridge need to do to catch up? They had an outstanding crew last


year, there are lots of factors that go into a fast boat at the Boat


Race. Having the right coaching and athletes and having belief in your


system, a range of factors. You try to build those year-on-year. It's


quite difficult to make big leaps but if you are losing you have to


try to be more bold about what you might be able to do to make a


difference. Some of those things don't change quickly. Nadine Coyle


are standing and looking out at the river is their part of you that


wishes you were in the Oxford boat? --,


on a daylight this it looks pretty tricky. The conditions are


definitely tricky and it's a big challenge and it is why we train in


all conditions and we go out no matter whether it is raining and no


matter what the wind does and we try to be prepared for all of these


situations. In recent years Oxford have definitely had the upper hand


but over its complete history of the men's and women's races, Cambridge


are actually the most successful, so how do these waves of domination


come about? Can they be broken? Matthew Pinsent reports. Like the


waters of the tidal Thames, the fortunes of the Boat Race come and


go. When the tide is in, morale is sky high, but conversely, when its


download, it's a long way back. -- low. There is a history of winning


runs in the Boat Race, in a period of success it is almost as though


the other team can get nowhere near you, and at this moment it's the


turn of Oxford. This has been a dark blue clean sweep. Sean Bowden's men


have won seven out of the last ten and he has created a dynasty and


under Christine Wilson, the women look to be starting their own.


Moving to London has completely changed the game for both Oxford and


Cambridge. Oxford have only won one race but you get the impression they


are on a roll and Cambridge need to really come back. The dark blues


haven't always had it their own way. In the 1920s Cambridge's men won 13


in a row. And the women did the same at Henley in the 1960s. In the


modern era it was Oxford's turn again with the late Dan Topolski


leading them to ten years of unparalleled success. It builds up


and it can depress the squad but it can also be a stimulus if someone


comes along and says, we have got to stop this, that can be really


motivating. What are being greedy and is needed to build an empire and


create a winning mentality? Once you start on a run of success you keep


being successful, so we had a coach who had an effective programme and


he knew how to win and people were attracted to it. You began to


believe that as long as you went with the system, then you were going


to win. The question is, how do you turn it around? How can you bring


about the end of a dynasty? I think it is that fundamental self belief


that this is our year, we are the ones who can do it, and then you


have to find your own method, making your 2000 strokes better than the


opposition. Everything has to come to an end. Doesn't it? Nothing ever


lasts for ever. It's a rowing race and it doesn't matter about the


history around it, you are dealing with what's in front of you, that's


the bit you can deal with. If we have a look at recent results you


can see that Oxford's dominance, winning eight out of 11 and the


Oxford women have won 11 out of 14. The Oxford success rate coincides


with the period of Sean Bowden as the coach, taking over in 1998,


Constantine, you know how he works, what makes him so successful? He is


one of the most thoughtful and innovative coaches in the sport and


he brings a real focus to everything he does, when you first meet him he


is quite intimidating and he can come across as quite cold but


incredibly analytical and brings intense focus do everything he does.


He won't follow the crowd and he makes his own decisions. He is a bit


of a pioneer in the sport, I think. It has made Oxford a club that


everyone else in the sport wants to emulate. Obviously he is a coach


through and through. Steve Trapmore came to Cambridge with a good


reputation as a row, he was the stroke of the eight that won Gold


for Team GB at the Sydney Olympics. What is he like as a coach? Steve,


similarly, is quite meticulous, and similarly analytical. He is a bit


more personable and Sean, but incredibly passionate and works


incredibly hard and is always the first guy into the shed and the last


guy to leave, regularly putting in 13 or 14 hour days down there and


the passion rubs off on the guys. He is always kind of keen on the


technical aspects of the sport, he was famed as being a very particular


rower in how he moved and road, and he is keen to instil the passion for


technique in the guys. This is his sixth Boat Race in charge with one


win so for our. At Oxford, do you get the feeling there that the


system is trusted because the system has proved so successful? Is it


about process more than personality? It's a different race, as George


spoke about earlier. It's different to usual international racing and


you need to understand the race and the river and the tactics. If you


have a coach like Sean Bowden, or example, who has won year after


year, not only does he clearly understand that but is his athlete


will trust him straightaway. Going back to the women's race, Cambridge


were absolutely dominant, what did they have then that Oxford didn't?


They had a really strong coaching team with legendary Ron and Roger,


these amazing coaches who turned many of those closet into Olympians


over an incredible period. We had a lot of talent coming through. -- he


turned many of us into Olympians. We certainly tried different things and


they have looked at bringing in guest coaches and freshness and


inspiration to lift things and get the edge. It also comes down to the


talent that you have at the beginning of the season and there is


only a short period, September to March, to mould these athletes, some


of whom are incredibly new to the sport. It is a lot to do in a short


period. Four years ago they recruited a woman with Olympic


experience, Christine Wilson is Canadian but had worked with the USA


at the Olympics and coached men at Yale and Cornell. She has a holistic


approach to the crew and students, she believes in developing their


personalities as well as talent, but she does expect the best out of


them. To be able to work with somebody who is that talented, in a


high-performance environment, is incredible. She knows more about how


I work than I do. There is an underlying desire to really gain her


respect. We are going to organise you into two groups, one will start


in the tanks and one on the station and then there will be a swap, OK?


The building of every team is a little bit of a mysterious process.


They don't have to be best friends, but they do have to trust each other


and finding those dynamics isn't ever a straight line approach. You


said your job is to worry, so do you have nights where you are lying in


bed and worrying about your number six or the dissertation they should


have finished? It is a coaches job to worry behind-the-scenes, so I do


have sleepless nights. I have never met a coach who can look at a boat


and immediately assess how they can improve and what they can do to get


better. It's way more compact and connected to the foot stretch and


the hull. We like to think we are in control but at the end of the day


it's up to them. As it gets closer to race day, what do you say to them


to stop them obsessing because most of us would? We stay focused on the


process, always elevating the standard of these women. It's almost


like a polishing of rough diamonds. She has taken the time to invest in


you, and there is always that desire to hear that comment where she says,


that's the right idea. At different times, these women, they do need


bolstering. Because what they are doing is just flat out impressive.


I'm not sure I could do it. I'm pretty excited about what this crew


can do at their best. Their performance on the day is their


message to the world. If they are prepared and they show up when it


matters, that's pretty fun to watch. And they do look very strong in


training, I have to say. Katherine Grainger, the Olympic champion, is


beside me. You have seen Christine in action. They have a good setup,


Oxford? They do, and they have confidence that the system and


coaching works and the athletes need to fit into the system the best they


can. How about you? We are set for Rio, how are things, how are you? We


are not set yet, a few months to go but we are aiming for Rio now, as


soon as the clock ticked into 2016 that is everyone's focus. The final


countdown. We are announcing the crews in the coming weeks. Game on.


Presumably for some people it is still very open? The big selection


dates have come and gone and everyone has improved as much as


they can. The coaches are fine tuning the boats for Rio. It is not


relaxed and comfortable yet, there are still more athletes than we need


so there will be cuts and that is tough for everyone in the squad.


It's fair to say that there is one certainty, they are the hottest


favourites of any of the British athletes going to Rio, to win gold,


that is these two. Its two in a row at the European Championships. They


are the world champions again. Great Britain are Olympic champion! They


are the worthy winners. They are here today and they will be


doing the honours in the presentation later. Let's head out


to Jason who I hope has got them. Yes, thanks very much, the


excitement is mounting here at the finish line, and Heather and Helen


are beside me. You were out on the water, what were the conditions


like? It was sunny and the water was flat but by mid-morning it was a


different story. I hope it's OK. The conditions will be crucial this


afternoon? Yes, especially because you have to go on one side or the


other and the coxes will have a big job to do. You are handing out the


trophy is, how honoured are you to be here? Really honoured because we


know this will be the highlight of their years. I'm sure they were


probably won't remember who hands then the trophy but it's a big deal


for us and it's nice to be asked. Feeling good for Rio? At the moment


we are feeling strong but there are still a few months to go. A bit more


training to do but everything is on track. Good luck for Rio and we look


forward to seeing you a of Brazil. Helen Skelton, where are you? We are


at the Blue Anchor, bit of a pilgrimage for both racegoers. I've


never seen so many middle-class people in my life! It's like a


Waitrose on Black Friday! Look how many pastel colours there are! This


really is an event for everybody. Especially now that the women's race


happens on the same day, the second year. Lots of families gather on the


south side of the river to catch a glimpse of this historical event,


part of the nation's rich tapestry. I have a question, do the women have


cox? They certainly do, that is a very important role. This boat is


the same length as a double-decker bus. That is big. They are steering


using a rudder the size of a credit card and every time they use that


they are breaking the boat, they have to find the best line. I have


rowed and paddled a lot, there is a lot of pressure on these rowers,


including the lady who is looking for success in the Cambridge number


five seed, Daphne Martschenko. Rowing means everything to me, I


started when I first got into secondary school. And I was never


athletic before that. It completely changed my life in terms of giving


me the confidence to be able to do sport and Excel. To be able to come


here and have hundreds of thousands of people watching the race, that is


unparalleled compared to anything I had ever experienced before in my


life. It's not an easy sport, how difficult and demanding is your


schedule? We take the train three days a week to Ely come and we have


a session which enables us to get back in time for 9am lectures. In


the afternoon we will have a erg or a weights session. You train in the


same way as professional full-time athletes but you are studying as


well, how difficult is it? Some days you feel like Superwoman because you


can accomplish all you need to do in the academic sphere and you go and


crush it on an ergo session. The closing stages of a painful row for


Cambridge. We have a lot of drive this year and the energy in the


squad has been incredible. Thereafter re-of us returning from


last year and it's definitely an advantage especially because our cox


Rosemary Ostfeld was the blue boat cox last year, coming back is a huge


asset for us. It sounds like you get a lot out of the sport but on race


day, how serious is the Boat Race to you? It is the event that you spend


all year training for and it's always in the back of your mind that


that is the goal that you are working towards. It is the Boat Race


and that's the only race that matters. Daphne is one of three


returning Blues in the Cambridge boat.


We are live on the banks of the Thames. The course, twisting and


turning, stretching ahead of them. Four and a quarter miles. Cath


Bishop is with me, and how often would they do a race over four and a


quarter miles? Not very often. The Cambridge crew raced in the same


course but the other way round, but in a timed race, a time trial. It is


not something you do, even at Olympic level, you wouldn't race two


kilometres that often. You would do shorter, sharper pieces that would


build up ready to do this. We will talk more about tactics, but first


let's meet the two teams about to compete in the Women's Boat Race.


First up, the Coxes. Morgan Baynham-Williams is Debbie tent, one


with international experience. American Rosemary Ostfeld returns to


give orders to the Cambridge crew. And stroke, Lauren Kedar. Muddy


backcourt is striving for her second straight win with Oxford. Cambridge


president Hannah Roberts steps up after two years of experience in the


reserve boat. It is such a huge occasion you don't want the


excitement to overwhelm you. At six, hoping to make it four wins from


four appearances, Anastasia Chitty. For Cambridge, 27-year-old French


international Myriam Goudet. Elo Luik becomes the first Estonian to


compete. Daphne Martschenko will be hoping to make amends for last


year's defeat. Two more first timers at three, Joanne Jansen and Alice


Jackson. At two, MS spruce, while Fiona Matalin follows in the


footsteps of her grandfather, who rowed for Cambridge in 1951. I feel


very lucky to be sitting in his seat. And there is a Canadian


flavour out bow, Emma Lukasiewicz, while Ashton Brown for Cambridge has


Canadian nationality. And they are the crews whose


stomachs will be churning right now and they will be trying to focus on


the challenge ahead. Let talk about the Coxes, Baynham-Williams and


Ostfeld, how do they shape up? Morgan is an extremely experienced


international cox and I think she will put her crew in an excellent


place today. Is it likely they will have pumps on board on these boats?


I'm pretty sure they will have their pumps on board. You need a good


amount of water before it is worth taking the weight of the pumps but


given the conditions predicted, I suspect they will have opted to put


the pumps in. Cath, does it add weight? It doesn't make a huge


amount of difference, and if both crews have them there is no real


advantage. Does that mean it is much more difficult for a crew to sink or


is it still possible? It is pretty difficult for recruit to sink. You


can move to find better water. They are small boats, it is still


possible and if the waves high enough the water can fill into the


boat so it can happen. Not that they will be thinking about that, I


suspect it is all positive. Yes, although the Coxes will be prepared


for the water, they will be prepared to make decisions about their


steering if it comes to it. The sun is out now, so hopefully the


conditions will be much more pleasurable for the spectators.


Andrew Cotter will describe the Cancer Research UK Women's Boat Race


of 2016. Good afternoon. You think of all the


work that has been done, and that will pay off in the next 20 minutes.


The waiting is almost over, but you can see the life in the river


already from the overhead shots. That wind as they sit in the start


is coming from the left and a little bit behind. You think perhaps of the


Thames as flowing out to sea in a linear direction, west to east, east


to west, but it doesn't, it weaves around. They head north-west


firstly, and into the second half of the race they will turn round into


the wind and the river will be venomous. Wayne will be out on the


river, and it is pretty lively already. Yes, there is a heck of a


wind. It will be hard for these boats to stay straight off the


start. Both will have to work hard to stay aligned. The minutes feel


like ours and it is even worse when there is this kind of wind out


today. And the start is so important. You might not think it


would be in a race of four and a quarter miles but the first few


strokes are there building blocks. They set the race for you, and to


get a good start is vital. You can see also the difficulty here that in


these conditions the boats will start to display around little bit.


They cannot really drift too far ahead of each other, but they can


move in different directions and start to point towards one bank or


the other. The women are racing a couple of hours before high tide,


the men will race one hour before, but the river flows with them


because the tide is coming in. They are down at Putney Bridge, the


famous starting point. There is a little stone in the South bank,


University Stone, which marks the starting line of the Boat Race. And


Oxford are on the Surrey station. They won the toss and chose that.


Just as Cambridge in the men's race, they won the toss and chose that as


well. We are one-minute or so away from the start. Can this Cambridge


crew somehow bridge the gap that was clearly there last year and in


recent seasons as well because Oxford have dominated this. They


dominated last year. Both crews with three returning Blues.


The umpire for this one is Rob Clegg, there he is, he rowed in the


1990s for Oxford. Arms in the air tell us. Rosemary Ostfeld is not


happy with the way her boat is sitting at the moment. When her arm


drops, that will signify that she is ready. Ready to go now. Rosemary


Ostfeld puts her hand up again. Both crews have got to be satisfied that


their boat has just the right direction to start. As I say, they


are drifting around, but Rob Clegg is ready. You can see the arm of


Rosemary Ostfeld up again, and Morgan Baynham-Williams has her arm


up. When her arm goes down, the tension and go will be the simple


instruction. Quickly, Cath, it is so important to get this good start.


Crucial. If you are not ahead in the first period, it is really hard to


come back. It is crucial to commit. Rosemary Ostfeld is happy. Ready


now, so they go, and Oxford just sitting there for a moment on the


start as Cambridge seem to get out more brightly. It is a real bruising


efforts for the first minute or so, then they settle into things but


this start is so important. Oxford really didn't look ready for that


start, contrary to the practice start I saw them do on Friday. They


looked really good and sharp, so I'm quite surprised they really seemed


to struggle at the first stroke. As you can see, they are coming back


into it now. They have a very strong mid-race pace, once they got off


this initial fast, hard part of the race they will be into it. Just a


fraction down at the moment, Oxford. Cambridge will have the initial


advantage of the bend round Craven Cottage. Oxford were really caught


napping. It is certainly going to help the Cambridge girls feel it has


gone well from the first moment, they will be settling themselves


down as the body releases the adrenaline and the sheer intensity


of that start as well. They are beautiful conditions at the moment.


It is bouncy out there, and will get even more lively past Hammersmith


Bridge. You can see Oxford have made up for that start, and they are


beginning to eke ahead. They will have to try to come round the


outside of the initial bend, which will favour the Cambridge crew on


the northside of the river. Cambridge are working hard, putting


in a bit of a push. It will be a big commitment point, the Cambridge


girls have talked about the importance of coming out of start


and maintaining the intensity that keeps them in the race that will


give them a chance later. You can see Cambridge's stroke rate is


slightly higher, they are taking more strokes per minute than Oxford


which means the pace they are setting might be more unsustainable.


They are getting close to clashing and Rob Clegg, the umpire, is


warning them. Both coxes know the line they are allowed to take. Many


hours' training. They are creeping together. This actually means the


coxes are fighting for the water and getting the advantage on this first


bend will be crucial. Of course they are looking for the same line. The


reason they both look for the same line is because the fastest water is


in the middle. It actually comes out at Craven Cottage, it is quite far


out from the north bank and they are both fighting for that fast water at


the moment. It is a good race in the early stages. Rosemary Ostfeld has


done a good job of holding Oxford out on the initial bend. Oxford have


also done a good job of staying with her. She's doing a great job of


keeping her crew in the race, but I suspect after this bend Oxford will


creep out on the straight. Not too much between the crews in terms of


their bows, and also the blades coming closer together, we might see


a clash. We see a shot of how wide they have to come round past Craven


Cottage because the faster water is closer to the Southbank as we look.


Of course when we get that overhead view, it is easy to see where they


are on the river, but when you are sitting in that boat, it is really


difficult to get that same perspective. Yes, that's one of the


hardest things of coxing the Boat Races, knowing where the best line


is. As I know from my horrible experience of the Boat Race, you can


do a lot to make mistakes as a cox and this looks like a significant


moment for Oxford as they are coming onto the straight. There are stages


in races where the cox will ask for a push, it certainly seems to have


happened for Oxford. Even with that, Oxford have taken out almost half a


length. They did what they wanted, what they


talked about earlier in the week, having a good start and keeping up


the intensity but now they have to find something that can give them


that speed per stroke. You can hear Rosemary Ostfeld, the very


experienced Cambridge cox, the returning Blue. Let's listen in. 34,


push it again. Likes! You have got it. Legs through -- legs! You have


got it, guys. All right, I need you to now. Those cries you are very


familiar with, Zoe. Constant encouragement. Yes, you can start to


hear the desperation creeping in, she knows that this is a really


vital moment to keep her crew in the race and I do think they have done a


good job so far against a very strong Oxford crew. It looks like


Oxford have now made their decision to start to move away. What you can


really see is that they have a bit more length, Oxford, the oars are in


the water for a bit longer which adds up on each stroke, 35 strokes


per minute, inching away, they added that push. Cambridge are going to


struggle at this point in the race to find more length, everything you


do day by day, the training, to row a long stroke that you can maintain


under pressure, and Oxford are doing it better at the moment. As they


sail past one of the more familiar sights, the Harrods Depository, they


are expensive flats now, and you can see that Oxford are beginning to go


clear. Ashton Brown in the bow seat is the only one who can see


anything. They are going towards Hammersmith Bridge. Coming close


together again. This is desperate for Cambridge because now the Big


Ben favours Oxford so this will be a hard six minutes for Cambridge. --


the big bend. It has been a heck of a race up to this point but Oxford


after the bad start just had a better, longer rhythm. A minute ago


I saw them putting in 20 or 30 strokes, a big push. You can see the


difference it has made and if they can do that again they can get away


from Cambridge in the next minute or two. Once again, Rosemary Ostfeld


trying to purge on their crews. They have crept a bit back and once again


they are coming closer together. -- urging on. This will really hurt


Cambridge, they have done a great job to get back and they have not


broken contact so Oxford should not come across in front at this point.


That was both crews coming together and you could hear the umpire


warning both of them to move apart. That was far too close for me. You


don't want a clash in the Boat Race, I know that far too well. That


looked a bit risky but having said that Rosemary Ostfeld is keeping her


crew in the race. A great job not to lose


contact, looked as though Oxford would move away but the Cambridge


girls fought hard to hold on. Can they now, this is critical, hard for


them on the outside of the bend because the bandage is with Oxford,


but what can they do? The blade of the number two seed, of Cambridge,


Fiona Macklin, was very close to Oxford. They have put in another


push now. They are coming together again. -- number two seat. It all


favours Oxford now and they are in charge of this race now. The water


is more choppy there too. Much harder, the advantaged is definitely


with Oxford. Cambridge are battling hard. This is what we promised you,


coming around the bend and heading into the wind, as they go, South,


South West, once you get past Chiswick Eyot, you can see the river


and how they are having to battle and which crew can cope better? It's


just one of those things in the Boat Race, you have to deal with this


water in an Olympic event where you have time, but that is not something


you do in the Boat Race. I was coxing the veterans Boat Race and


the water was appalling. It is good to see both of the crews still


rowing reasonably cleanly into this water. There is a better view, from


up high if looks placid but down there you can see them grappling


with it. These boats are designed to cut through the water, but this is a


real test of all of their technique. Yes, you can really see on the


right-hand side your picture how rough the water is and it might


affect Cambridge more than Oxford. They do look like they have slightly


rougher water. And you can now see that Oxford are starting to move


away and how those waves are really hitting Cambridge hard. They are


getting filthy water sent down to them, as if it weren't bad enough,


now they have all sorts of puddles and dirty water. It's very


difficult. The Cambridge boat is rocking around. Almost impossible


conditions to row in. Cambridge are trying to maintain contact. It is


absolutely Drupal down here and Cambridge got the worst of it


because they were furthest from the shelter of the Surrey bank and in


the last 30 seconds Cambridge have taken on real water, I saw a few big


waves coming into their boat and I assume they have turned on the pumps


but it's looking very heavy now. You can see Rosemary Ostfeld heading for


the shelter of the Surrey bank to get out of it. For some reason


Oxford are in the worst of the waves and now are struggling. That's a


strange move, look at Oxford there, with a quizzical look on your face?


I'm not sure what they were thinking there, they have the better water on


the Surrey line and Oxford have headed into the rougher water now.


The Oxford cox Morgan Baynham-Williams is a very


experienced character. Heading at running speed towards each other.


Oxford clearly thought better of that decision and came back. They do


have clear water, they have the bend anyway. That almost let Cambridge


back into it. This bend is running fast for Oxford, they had plenty of


clear water and that mistake has really cost them, Cambridge do have


a bit bend left after we get past Barnes Bridge. There is water being


taken on there, the pumps will be working hard, they have splashed


boards as well. Cambridge are hanging on once again. I'm not sure


Oxford will make that mistake again with a desperate lunge to the north.


That's what a major error by Oxford. -- that was a major error. Can


Cambridge capitalise? It's hard to add anything to what you are doing


in rough water because you are being constantly thrown off your rhythm by


the conditions. Hopefully they will sense how much they caught them up


and now they will have to make a move somehow and get some confidence


that Oxford are making mistakes out there. You always work so hard on


your technique and it comes down to just feathering the blade and you


come out in these conditions and it's a very different prospect,


Oxford have pulled clear again and you can see their lead. The river is


in venomous mood today and it will play a major part in the race and


certainly in the men's race. That's what makes racing on the Tideway


such a glorious thing, it is alive and it has character. It has


personality. It gets angry. This is an angry day for the tide way.


Oxford still have the lead, almost a length clear now and they still have


the advantage, the bend is playing out now, but they still have the


slight advantage of the large sweeping bend as they head down


towards Barnes and now the order has been restored. For a moment it was


frightening for Oxford and I'm sure Morgan Baynham-Williams will look


back on that but they have a better rhythm now and they will reassert


their authority in the race. There is more life in the Oxford crew,


they have got that sort of lightness, their boat is higher. It


looks heavier for Cambridge. It's hard to get out of place where it is


so heavy, each stroke, how can you lighten it? You have to put more


effort in and everyone does it together. At this point with this


level of fatigue that incredibly difficult. As we leave the pier


coming into the last third of the race, Oxford have a commanding lead


but Cambridge are sticking with them and it will be interesting to see


what happens if the water stays rough. With that clear water in the


final bend there is no advantage for Cambridge because Oxford can choose


their line, but you can see the chop in the water and its fascinating


conditions. The flotilla behind is chopping up the water as well.


Rosemary Ostfeld is making a bit of a move as well towards the Middlesex


bank. Just hanging in there, a couple of links, certainly Oxford


are in control but Cambridge still have an outside chance. -- a couple


of lengths. On the Surrey side, the Oxford side of the river, there is a


real patch of dead water, it's very flat and shallow and slow. It looks


like Oxford are now crossing over and obviously looking to stay out of


the shallow water. If Cambridge move back Oxford will have to move back


towards the slower water. Cambridge are struggling with the water, big


waves, really rocking them, the boat was rocking each way. It is tough


going out there and there is not much shelter because this is the


worst bit in terms of waves. Oxford have made a big move out of the


stream, they decided they don't want to be in the rough water and are


moving straight into the bank and I'm not sure it will pay off. That


is a risk. A long way out of the best water now. This is a test of


coxing. We are finding out where the stream is and whether the roughness


is giving them an advantage or slowing them down. All of the


Tideway legends will say that you have to stay in the stream. Shallow


water towards the bank but Oxford believe that there might be smoother


water there, and it will cancel out the lack of stream to help them.


That I'm not sure about Oxford going to the Surrey bank and heading for


the shelter, but I think Cambridge have coxed this better and given


themselves a chance. There are still three lengths now. But Cambridge are


resolutely staying on the racing line and Oxford are heading for


shelter. This is just the most interesting steering I have ever


seen, at least in the last ten years of the Boat Race. The creative


coxing going on today. Morgan Baynham-Williams of Oxford making a


hugely calculated move to head for the save water along the Middlesex


bank. At first I thought she was crazy but now I see what is


happening with Cambridge in front of me I think Morgan was the smart one,


Cambridge have half sunk. I can see white horses engulfing the Cambridge


boat. You can see the difficulties that Cambridge are in. All sorts of


trouble now and the pump will be working so hard. You can see the


water, standing in the shell will stop Cambridge are in real


difficulty. This is where the Cambridge men's boat sank in 78 and


it would take a lot with about with modern advances do sink but you can


see the difficulties they have. This is not something that the pumps can


do. There is a good chance that the Cambridge boat won't make it to the


finish line. Cambridge are going to lose this race, and now it's a


battle to finish. That is the view from Rosemary Ostfeld, you can see


what she is dealing with! The water is splashing around inside the boat.


And it's creeping almost over the bow, into the seat of Ashton Brown.


The real bother now, and suddenly the decision by Oxford to head for


the shelter of the bank seems like amassed a stroke. Cambridge in real


trouble here. Cambridge has already shipped more water earlier so they


were carrying more water from after Hammersmith. It will be incredibly


difficult for them. They are not racing, they are literally in


survival mode. The stroke rate is right down, Oxford are heading for


victory, a long way clear and not far from the finish. Cambridge are


labouring their way through the waters of the Thames today. They


will have to graft simply to finish. They will head for the central span


of Barnes Bridge and the rather more Syrian progress of Oxford. Cambridge


are a long way back and it's hard graft now. If they can get a bit of


clear water the pumps. Working, as there is more water filling in the


pumps can't keep up, so perhaps as they clear out of Barnes Bridge now


they can stay a bit higher out of the water and they might start


shipping some of it out and you will see the pumps feeding over the side


of the boat and see them shooting water out. But with water like this


I think they might not make it. There have been no sinkings in the


women's Boat Race so far and I fear we may be about to see one. They are


now almost fully underwater. I can't see how the Cambridge boat will make


the finish line. What a moment, a red flag has been waived and in the


shadows of Barnes Bridge Cambridge are sinking. Cambridge, you will


have to state to the side, we will pick you up. If you want to keep


going you can keep going. History has been made but not the history we


wanted to see today. They want to keep going, they are here. They will


be 1000 metres to go, but there are now heading to the side, they want


to keep going says Rosemary Ostfeld and they all will want to keep in


but is it even possible? If they can find some shallow water,


they might get some water out of the boat. I cannot see how they will get


to the finish line, but perhaps they will. They clearly want to finish


this race. This will be a victory of sorts in itself if they can make it


to the finish. Oxford are long way clear and made the decision through


Morgan Baynham-Williams to head for shelter. Oxford sail on, pushing on


towards victory here in the 71st Women's Boat Race. A dark blue


victory it will be once again, and victory once more for the likes of


Anastasia Chitty, muddy blood clot, Lauren -- Maddy Badcott and Lauren


Kedar. They have been through hell and high water. In March you can get


all sorts of wind and weather you don't get in some of racing. It is a


different world from the Olympics and brings these other factors that


the weather and the water throws at you. But the moment will shortly


belong to Oxford once again, as they come up to the brewery and finished


just before Chiswick Bridge. You can just see hidden by the trees and the


shelter of the north bank, Cambridge are gamely battling on. I'm sure


they will finish this now, it seems to have cleared a little bit for


them but it will be victory once again for Oxford. They have chosen


their course through Morgan Baynham-Williams. Oxford are going


to win, and by a handsome margin as well. They have beaten Cambridge,


they have beaten the conditions as well, they have mastered the river,


in all its devilish nurse today. Oxford win the 71st Women's Boat


Race. I think Oxford have done a good job of keeping it together,


they made a couple of serious mistakes, not just off the start but


also that steering error, but they made an excellent decision to head


for safety and they were the better crew in terms of their ability to


keep going through the rough water. There is Lukasiewicz and Anastasia


Chitty embracing. They have these moments that are such familiar


moments to all who have watched the Boat Race over the years as they


gathered beneath Chiswick Bridge and they are long way in the distance,


and Cambridge struggle on, and it has been a real struggle but the


fact they are finishing it is something. It has been a struggle


and a loss, and it is a novel tough blow for Cambridge who have been


trying to come back and have a crew that can win the race. In the first


half of the race they did really take it to them and hang on, there


are some positives there, but otherwise Cambridge haven't had


enough on the day once more. So it will be a fourth successive defeat


for Cambridge in the Women's Boat Race, but past the finish post they


come. It will be of no consolation to them at all because they know in


this race it is when or lose, all or nothing, but they have finished, but


they have been beaten by Oxford and the river today. It is always a


desolate feeling, there is no consolation at this point. What they


have been through, the tests they've had, how far they have been


stretched, and in the end the result is a loss and that means nothing to


take home. In recent years I've not seen a more graphic demonstration of


what the river can do and why these races are so special and difficult


at times. Absolutely, that's what makes the Boat Race more exciting


and more interesting to the spectator than some of the Olympic


courses, is the fact that these races can change so quickly. It is


something they do in their preparation. The coaches have got to


make sure they know the river and they can prepare the cox is to make


those decisions that we saw the Oxford cox thinking about. The


Cambridge cox have that choice to make as well. I wonder if the men


watching this, we have the two reserve Boat Races to come as well,


they will be fascinated viewers because there is so much to learn.


The races will be very interested. It will be interesting to see if


they are getting any feedback from their coaches somehow from the bank


of what has happened during this race because that would be vital


information. And a word, Zoe, for Morgan Baynham-Williams, because it


was a big decision to make for the north bank and we thought that at


the time, and I think it was the wrong decision at the time, but it


proved to be right later on to go for the shelter. The first decision


was a mistake and she got lucky that Cambridge didn't close on them more


but the second decision was definitely the right decision. He


saw them waving their penguin which they found floating around and


became their crew mascot so that's what she had ready for this part of


the race. In the Cambridge boat the penguin would have come to a sorry


end. In 1978 in the men's race the crew were in a similar position but


they made for the shelter under the sensible guidance of the umpire. The


victory belongs to Oxford, once again they have won the women's


race. You can see Emma Spruce coming forward, and Anastasia Chitty, what


a strength she has been as well. The president last year, and her fourth


Blue Boat, her fourth victory. What a record she has. It is a really


class group, there has been a real core that have competed for many


years, that have really contained and sent on that forward from


year-to-year of what is required to win. There we are, Oxford are the


winners and steered very well in the end by their cox, Morgan


Baynham-Williams. Let's hear from her now. Morgan


Baynham-Williams is with me, high-fiving everybody as she gets


off the boat. Talk us through the strategy. It got pretty wavy and I


think there was a point I realised the waves were outweighing the


benefit in the stream. We went for more shelter so I decided to get the


guys over there as quickly as I could. We had the pumps on and off


all the way trying to get the water out. They did such a good job, the


wind picking up and they could barely hold on to the blades. I


tried to drive them out of the wash as best I could. When we came round


the corner from Barnes, the waves were down a bit and I thought stay


there. Would you agree you didn't get off to the best possible start?


I think our foregirl may have missed a stroke. Maddy Badcott is here as


well, amazing performance from your crew but also your cox. We are so


lucky to have Morgan, she smashed it. Those conditions are probably


worse than anything I have rowed on but we train all year to be ready


for anything and we are so glad it turned out well. How does this


compare to last year, as President? Last year I was over the moon to win


but this year in some ways it means so much more to me because I have


worked so hard to build this team. This was an insane race and I'm so


glad our training paid off. And you have such an incredible team spirit,


don't you? Yes, this is probably the best team I have ever been part of.


Because we care so much for each other and for Morgan, we have built


so much over this year that I think that's what got us through the race.


Let's have a word with Anastasia Chitty. We chatted last year when


new won as President, how does this compared to last year? The race was


very different. Entirely different conditions. I never imagined they


could be that bad. It was so exciting. Morgan got her tactics and


strategy absolutely bang on today. She did a great job. We saw Rosemary


moving from Cambridge and we realised we needed to get over


there. Four in a row, how does that sound? It is pretty exciting, I've


been fortunate enough to work with four -- these girls for four years.


From the excitement of Oxford, to the desperation of the Cambridge


crews, but how well they did to finish, because particularly down


Chiswick Reach, the bow worst taking on so much water, it was up to their


thighs. Katherine Grainger, that was more like watching America's Cup!


And I bet they are wishing they had huge sales to help them. It is very


dramatic. The cameras can pick up a lot, but when you are an athlete in


that position, when the boat is full of water and the pumps are not


responding quicker enough to get the water out, and you are fighting it,


the Cambridge to finish at all is a huge achievement for them. Here,


Rosemary Ostfeld puts her hands in the air to say I want to carry on.


She is sitting in water. Yes, the part she is sitting on is the lowest


part. The umpire brings up the red flag to say it is OK to stop, it is


a safety precaution, and it is their decision to stop the race. They have


been preparing for months and months, nobody wants to finish two


thirds down the course. Bill -- they will be upset to lose in that way.


Let's hear the reaction of the Cambridge crew.


The president Hannah Roberts is here, and all of the crew decided to


surround her for the interview. That is an amazing end to the race,


carrying on such remarkable team spirit. There wasn't really an


option that we didn't finish. We have bought so much into this year,


and obviously the result was not going to go our way but we had to


see it through to the end. When did you realise it was all going wrong?


Through the second half, it started coming in faster than our pumps


could get it out. Once it was filling up, there was no way the


pumps could overcome it. I know it is defeat, I know you have worked so


hard, how proud are you of your wonderful crew? I am so proud. I


couldn't ask for better women to do with this and I'm so proud.


Commiserations. Thank you. Hannah Roberts, the president of the


Cambridge women's club. There is Christine Wilson, the coach, who has


now continued her 100% record, four from four from her and she has some


setup there. They were utterly dominant but it was a memorable


race. I cannot remember seeing anything like that and I wonder what


it was like on the banks. Helen Skelton is around about the


Hammersmith point, they were still afloat at that stage. Yes, the crowd


were whooping as they went by, even Sean Walsh got excited. I found an


activity that means Sean is too exhausted to talk. Are you trying to


suggest those ladies had a pathetic attempt? How hard is it? At least I


didn't think. Let's stick to the activity where he cannot talk. How


gutted will they be? So gutted, it is really tough but they did so


well, and the sink is really unfortunate but they have done very


well so they should be proud. And plenty of people will be proud of


them. It is a phenomenal effort even to get in that boat. Yes, very well


done. Chaps, you are in a celebratory camp, are you confident


of a double? Yes, the dedication of the Oxford crew should really strike


through. How tough is it out there? Really tough, but they are Oxford


winning conditions. Nobody told you to stop rowing. It is four miles out


there. I did 100 metres in 21.9 seconds. That is a drop in the


ocean, isn't it? Carry on rowing. and they all will want to keep in


but is it even possible? Maddy Badcott, the winning Oxford


president says that it's the worst conditions she has ever rowed in.


Oxford celebrating a dominant success, and plaudits to Cambridge


for their bravery and managing to complete the course. These are


rowers that you know well, you have won the race with some of them,


certainly with Anastacia and Maddie. How impressed were you today? I am


incredibly impressed and proud of what they have done today.


Especially rara -- Lauren in the stroke seat, keeping up that rhythm


in these conditions is incredibly difficult and they did an amazing


job to deal with the conditions. Also a good decision by Morgan. When


everyone in the commentary box was saying, what is she doing?! The


losing crew Cambridge will come up to the podium first. Thank you very


bunch indeed, one of the great British sporting events and what


drama we have had here this afternoon for the Boat Race. Your


presentation party this afternoon, the CEO of Cancer Research UK.


Helena Mara see, and our Olympic champions Helen Glover and Heather


standing will present the trophies. These welcome the losing crew,


Cambridge University Women's Boat Club led by their president Hannah


Roberts. Ashton Brown, Fiona Macklin, Alice Jackson, Thea Zabell,


Daphne Martschenko, Myriam Goudet, and Rosemary Ostfeld. Please show


your appreciation with a huge round of applause for the losers this


afternoon. Once again, just like last year, a huge congratulations to


Oxford University Women's Boat Club. Our winners this year. Once again.


Led by their cox Morgan Baynham-Williams. Emma Lukasiewicz,


Emma Spruce, Joanne Jansen, Ruth Siddorn, Elo Luik, Anastasia Chitty.


Once again on the winner 's podium, Lauren Kedar, and the winning


president Maddy Badcott. Four out of four now four and a -- Anastacia


Helen and Heather are standing by to present the trophy to the victorious


Oxford University Women's Boat Club. Winners once again. After a terrific


form and is here. -- terrific performance. Your president, Maddy


Badcott. If you could hand over the trophy now to Helen, who has the


honour of handing the trophy to Oxford University Women's Boat Club


and the president Maddy Badcott! As the Oxford women celebrate, their


male counterparts take their boat down to the water. And the Oxford


men are coming into this race in a similarly dominant run of form


having won their last three races. This is one of the most


inexperienced crews for a while. Their president is Morgan Gerlak


from America who will be rowing at number three. Here is the Cambridge


crew. They have returning Blues, Ian Middleton is in charge for the third


year in a row, three big Americans, Luke Juckett, Henry Hoffstot, the


president, and Ben Ruble, the vice president. Their average weight is


13 stone 13, they are the heaviest crew and have strong form coming


into this. As we saw from the women's race conditions are as tough


as they have ever been on Boat Race day so literally anything could


happen. Think about the rivalry between these great universities,


it's not limited to the banks of the Thames, they compete all year at a


variety of different sports. Here is Andrew Cotter with more. The


sporting clubs of Oxford and Cambridge have been in ferocious


competition for well over 150 years, the Boat Race is of course the


oldest and best-known but at Twickenham we have the Vermeulen is


in rugby union which give a real taste of the fierce rivalry between


the two universities. It was the dark blues of Oxford coming out on


top in the men's varsity match while Cambridge were triumphant in the


women's fixture. What's next? What about powerlifting? The light blues


cleaned up there. Other students do skiing and snowboarding, it finish


1-1. Staying with wintry themes, Oxford 's women swept all before


them out on the ice. And their male counterparts workings of the court,


winning the basketball. Cambridge romped home in the horse racing, and


in outdoor ultimate frisbee, Oxford flew high. Cambridge were squeezed


out in the squash and crushed in the 100th men's lacrosse fixture. In the


women's cross-country Oxford were left trailing. Onto rugby league


which does not quite have the same varsity background as union but


Oxford were in a different league, 70-0 winners to help the dark blues


lead 24-23 by the end of February. Also taking the women's gymnastics.


Oxford hosted the 109th Varsity boxing competition which saw the


first ever women's Blues awarded. Their match ended in a draw with


Oxford winning the men's event. It is so much bigger than you expect,


everyone is caught up in the narrative. It has been going for


hundreds of years, it is spectacular. Cambridge have the


upper hand in trampolining. Also in korfball, but I'm not sure what that


is. Also cheerleading. The dark blues won the men's and women's


badminton matches earlier this month. And in that very traditional


British bought, the rather gentle pursuit of Australian rules


football, Oxford did all of the celebrating. -- British sport. There


will be a few beers, drinking out of that delicious cup. And so with the


overall standing delicately poised, we are here a few hundred yards from


the start of the Boat Races at Craven Cottage for one of the oldest


fixtures in world football, beginning in 1873, it's time for the


latest edition of the varsity football match. That football match


has been won by Oxford, the score was 2-0 and this was the first goal,


great skill. That means that for the varsity


sports of the season 2015-16, Cambridge so far have 37 wins,


Oxford have 38. Two draws. There are 16 remaining sports this academic


year. We are on the banks of the Thames, now, Constantine Louloudis


and George Nash are with me. Katherine Grainger is with me as


well, we are about to get on a speedboat down the river which I


normally look forward to but given the conditions today I'm not so


sure! I know, watching the race to win turning into a battle for is a


viable, at least we have an engine! That helps. Constantine, you would


have watched the women's race closely, what did you make of that


and how difficult it will be? We were relying on a smartphone


connection so I could not see much but it seemed savage. Those


conditions, I've never rowed in anything like that. It is merciful


that they made it to the finish and it will become really tactical for


the men's race. There will be shelters for different crews at


different stages and the coxes will play a big role. Let's head out


there because Matthew Pinsent was following the women's race as the


reserve umpire and he can give an update on how difficult it will be


for the men. Thank you. We have returned on the umpires launch which


follows the women's and men's races, and everybody saw the absolutely


biblical conditions that are out there. There is a wind coming


against the tide which is really making huge mountains of water


beyond Chiswick Eyot, where the Cambridge women got into such


difficulty. The real difficulty now is that on the incoming tide river


is coming up and up all the time which will make conditions in theory


worse and worse. We are keeping our fingers crossed that everyone will


get to the finish line in the race but there is no doubt that these


conditions are absolutely brutal. For the crews that are out there


racing. We will keep our fingers crossed for a safe finish for this


race coming up but it's really tough. James is going to be our


driver taking us hopefully safely to the finish position. I mentioned


earlier that they used to race in opposition in the Boat Race and are


now part of Team GB. They could yet in Rio be rowing alongside a man


called Mohammed Sabihi. He hated water and the sport of rowing but he


now could be part of the Olympic team in a couple of months. Here is


his story. The feeling on the water is unparalleled to anything I have


ever done, that feeling of harmony. The reward for your hard work, when


you look at the Boat Race, you build a bond for life. My first rowing


stroke, I was 15. I took to it really badly. I kept falling in.


There were many moments in the first six months when I wanted to quit


because I hated the sport. How are you? Very good, yourself? I remember


my first day. You got me into the river. For five seconds! Let's have


a look at the gym. It hasn't changed much. Since 2008. It still has that


rocking floor. It is nice and cold, very back to basics training. It was


not common in my school for people to row. It was the basic sports of


football, rugby, basketball and tennis. At the time I still had


thoughts that there were stigmas that you could not row if you did


not go to public school but actually it's not the truth. The first moment


when the penny drops was in the Erg championships when I won my age


division, and it is something that made me think, I can do this. I was


born as a Muslim, and it is also my personal choice growing up to


continue my faith. There has been no prejudice against


me about being a muslin and it has been very accommodating as a sport


to allow me to fast and I like the fact that I'm an ambassador for my


religion and I doubt like the fact that I'm one of the first, but


hopefully that is for the next generation. Constantine and George


obviously know him very well, he was talking about trying to fast and


train. Ramadan will be from June the 5th or sixth next year until 30 days


later, how would he do that a month before the Olympics? Can he do it at


another time? Well, he can put it off until the winter but it comes at


a cost. If I have got it right he has to pay for 1500 meals for people


in his native country of Morocco. And then do Ramadan in the winter


back in the UK. I could be wrong on that. I rowed with Mo at the


Olympics in 2012 and it was during the Olympics and he moved it to


December, he made a sizeable charitable contribution to a


Moroccan... It had an effect in Morocco, and then he did it in


December and got permission from his Imam, who was supportive. He's a


great character and a very talented rower. Down to the finish, we will


hear from Andrew Cotter in the commentary box and before that Helen


Skelton at Hammersmith Bridge. We are survey in the river situation at


the moment because this young man is a rower at Cambridge. Would you want


to be out there now? It is a lot choppy than it looks. Would you be


in the boat this afternoon? Yes. When you say it is more choppy, it


does look like a millpond to people having a meander along the South


bank of the river, but sitting on the surface we have seen how


difficult it was for the Cambridge ladies, how difficult is it? It's


hard to describe but is not the same as it looks, it's definitely not


flat. As this wet your appetite? Well, I have done the rowing


machine, so I'd experienced what these athletes go through and I


understand their pain and what they are going through, so I'm looking


forward to this one. People passing the alcohol! The level of dedication


is something I'm not suspecting you are familiar with, think about how


much they train, like professional athletes. Isn't it seven hours a day


or something? Twice a day. Not seven hours twice a day? Seven hours in


total. The only thing I do for seven hours is sleep, nothing else. There


is nothing I will do for seven hours. It's incredible. You are an


inspiration(!) turn your eyes this way because soon Clare Balding will


be making her way down the river to the finish line to take in the men's


Boat Race. This is your first experience of the race so far, how


are you finding it? I'm loving it. Who is meant to be winning? Oxford


or Cambridge? Everybody knew Oxford were going to


win that. Do you have a prediction? Cambridge. You have an affinity with


them. Where did you get that? JD Sports? Let's turn our eyes to the


river and keep our eyes out for Clare Balding. There she is. Look at


that! She has turned into James Bond, she wants the next Bond role.


Glamorous and elegant as ever, there she goes. Clare Balding.


Hello, how are you? I am Clare. Ben. Very nice to meet you, Ben. We both


came to Cambridge together, both lost the Boat Race together. We are


both going to win it together this year. Do they bring the best out in


each other, do you think? I think so. Luke is very emotional, whereas


Ben is more calm and cool. You must feel like family, more than


team-mates? We have seen a lot of success and failure together. You


can kind of tell when the other person is not having a good practice


or a good day. When were you first aware of the Boat Race? For me it


was 2010, we had a Wisconsin guy here. The fact that it could lead to


somebody who was once just like me all the way to England, to


Cambridge, doing the Boat Race, it was a very inspiring thing to see.


What was your parents' reaction when you first mooted the idea of coming


to Cambridge and rowing a boat? Initially my dad said he thought it


was one of the most stupid things he had ever heard, but they recognised


my passion for it and have been nothing but supportive for the


entire three years I have been here. How strong would you say the


Cambridge boat is this year? I would say strong. We have had some good


success early in the year and we've used that as a platform. I think we


have a core of guys returning, and a new, in lands who has a lot of


international experience. -- in Lance. What do you think will happen


this year? In terms of the race? I think we will win. That is the


confidence all sportsmen have to show outwardly of course. Sometimes


they don't believe it deep down but you sense this Cambridge crew does


believe it. Then again, the variables today, the river threw


everything into more uncertainty. The Cambridge women won their


reserve race. Just one more race to come. It is time to get technical


and take you inside the Oxford boat, in the company of Jamie Cook, who


can explain more about the boat itself and the roles of the men who


feel it. I am Jamie Cook and I sit in the


seventh seat of the Oxford University boat. I will show you a


boat and the roles of the rowers within the boat.


Let me quickly explain how rowing works. We have a sliding seat. We


each have an oar, to propel the boat as far as possible with every


stroke. The cox communicates the strategy, he uses the steering


column is to shift the rudder that moves the boat along the course.


Next, I forgotten his name... Now, our stroke man, Nik set the cadence


and the rhythm to follow. These guys set the power and the endurance that


we need to get the right length. This guy here, he is our technical


wizard. He sits here and connects the timing all the way through down


the boat. These guys unfortunately have to experience the worst of the


conditions. It is all of the wind, a bit like in a Formula One car, and


these guys are able to control their body weight and their blades, and


attack the opponents of needed. Essentially what it comes down to is


timing, teamwork and power all the way down the course so we crossed


the finish line first. The couple of things Jamie didn't


get chance to show us was the electric pump, which I'm sure we


will be talking about, but now it is time to meet the crews in the words


of their presidents. I'm Henry Hoffstot, the Cambridge president


and I will be sitting at six and this is my crew. In the bow straight


we have Felix Newman, at two Ali Abbasi. Sitting three is Charles


Fisher. Rowing in the fourth seat is Clemens Auersperg. The approach is


better than last year, we have an internal confidence that makes us


believe we can win the race. Adding strength at five is Luke Jock it.


Ben Ruble... At stroke is land straddle -- Lance Tredell... And at


cox, Ian Middleton. For Oxford, at bow we have George


McKirdy... Each year is different, this is our year, our story. In two


seat we have James White. In the fourth seat, we have Joshua


Bugajski. In number five seat we have Leo Carrington, in the sixth


seat we have Jorgen Tveit, James Cook, Nick Hazell, and the cox of


this year's boat is Sam Collier. It is an amazing thing to do. Those are


the two Cruz, who sit now in their boats at the start. Oxford were


late, they have been given one false start. Two false starts and they


would be disqualified. It would take something drastic, very brave


umpire, but just an indication of things that can sometimes go wrong


in the Boat Race. An intriguing race, especially bearing in mind


what we have seen in the Women's Boat Race and the conditions, and


that will add to the nervous tension. This promises to be


fascinating. Today the conditions are totally decisive. We saw it in


the women's race. Without the pumps today, the Cambridge women would


literally be swimming in the water. It's like nothing we have seen for


over a decade. Again, we stress that when the coxes' arms are up, they


are not happy with the way things are. Being late to the start and


getting that initial false start warning might unsettled crew and it


might be that the umpire is on the lookout for Oxford to make another


mistake. The umpire is Simon Harris. He wrote for Cambridge in 1982 and


1983, both won by Oxford. The arm of Sam Collier is up. Cambridge won the


toss and chose Surrey. The arm of Ian Middleton is up, both coxes with


their arms up. You would think it would favour the Surrey station


today. Usually it doesn't matter, if conditions are neutral, but today it


has got to favour the Surrey station. Yes, I don't think you


would ever choose Middlesex on a day like today but with these conditions


all bets are off. As they battle the nerves and tension, and all the work


they have done over months, the future is still uncertain as the


boats move about. We are ready for a moment, but then the arm of Ian


Middleton went up. In his third Boat Race, very experienced. You can see


the bow of the boat wandering around in the strong tide coming in. It is


one hour before high tide. You have got to get the start right. Dipping


the blades into study the boat. And the arm of Ian Middleton is up on


the Surrey station but he is ready now, we are ready now, and go is the


instruction. The 162nd Boat Race is under way. Both crews are desperate


for the best start here and they will have that fierce pace for a


minute or so, then settle into that rhythm, but who gets the better


start? I think Oxford got away slightly cleaner. Cambridge looked


to be pointing slightly towards the Surrey bank. Now it looks like


Cambridge are moving up. Oxford are not used to being in this position


of being underdogs, can they cope with that? Some of the athletes are


brought with potential, not necessarily great oarsmen, but they


will have to do it the hard way today, from the Middlesex Station


with the wind not favouring them. They don't have the returning Blues,


and Cambridge with the slight advantage at the moment. Yes, this


is the first year when you would say that on paper Cambridge might have


the slightly better crew, so can they get ahead of that reputation


that Oxford has built for themselves over the last few years? I think


Cambridge looked that idea crew. Matthew Pinsent is down near the


water watching this, your thoughts? It is a very even start. We were all


expecting the weather to get a lot worse as we go down the course, at


the moment the conditions are almost benign but Cambridge look very


smooth and confident at this stage. Ominous, I think, for oxidant -- for


Oxford. He can see Cambridge have just edged clear of Oxford. The dark


Blues have that quarter length advantage of the Middlesex bend


around Craven Cottage. The boats are named today Kevin and Daniel. Daniel


Sapolsky, a legend and a great coach of the Boat Race as well. --


Topolski. The Oxford cox, Sam Collier, sounds very relaxed. He


doesn't seem that worried that his crew is down on Cambridge.


Sam Collier, we are hearing. Just an early pre-emptive warning as they


start to creep together, and Cambridge being warned for straying


into Oxford's water. Cambridge responded quickly to the


warning from the umpire, there could have been a clash but they turned


away quickly. Sam Collier does not have the Boat Race experience of Ian


Middleton but he does have greater international experience as well. He


comes from the Hampton School of rowing where so many great oarsman


have come from. But Cambridge have a clearer bandage now, and Oxford will


have to come from behind -- advantage. Slipping half a length


behind now. That looks like nearly two thirds of a length, Cambridge


starting to stretch out their lead, they still look a little bit more


relaxed, a little cleaner and more together than Oxford. Cambridge now


have this first bend coming up in their favour, if they want to finish


the race here they have to step on the gas. After the bridge all bets


are off because the water will be rough and Cambridge will want to be


in the lead. Sam Collier, the Oxford cox, let's dip into the words of Ian


Middleton now. Now stretch! Stretch! Stretch! Yes! Really clean here,


guys. Stroking just slightly higher at the moment, 36, 35. More than


half a length lead and the boats come together a bit but Cambridge


have that clear advantage at the moment, moving along nicely. This is


where Oxford will be looking to put in a big push, they have to maintain


overlap, they will need to stay with Cambridge from the outside of this


next bend. Traditionally Sean Bowden, the coach of Oxford, tended


to push around Hammersmith Bridge and they will have to do that now


because they have given away three quarters of a length and perhaps


even more now. Cambridge out in front. Matthew Pinsent again. Again,


I think it is ominous signs for Oxford. Cambridge have got this long


bend to come, probably six or seven minutes of rowing now before Oxford


will see any advantage from their bend which is a long way down the


course but I'm really impressed with Cambridge, they looked calm, they


look controlled, they look confident. That is so important for


them in these conditions at this stage of the race, they have got


this, they have got it if they want to win, and it will happen in the


next two or three minutes for Cambridge. The wing beats of the


boats you can hear as they mingle in with the cries of the coxes and


Cambridge are building their advantage. The one unknown factor of


course is how alive is the river after Hammersmith Bridge coming


through Chiswick Reach and past Chiswick Eyot? Oxford are hanging


on, if they can't push they need and they might get a bit of help from


the river. That's right, there could still be an act of God here, so to


speak, even if Cambridge is a length in front, like what we saw from the


women's race, anything can happen in the waves. Any time you apply the


rudder it's a bit of a break, it is a tiny thing but it does slow down


the boat. They have started to put a bit of a push on, as they try to


hang on to Cambridge. Oxford are definitely hanging on down the bend,


it's a very impressive performance, gutsy, they love like they are now


starting to lengthen out and relax a little bit more even though they are


nearly a length down. A pretty impressive performance by Oxford to


hold on at this point. Past the green spires of Hammersmith Bridge


and you can see the times, pretty impressive in these conditions but


it's about to get more difficult, you can see the angles they have


chosen and Cambridge are moving across to the Surrey Station, but


the river will now become more animated as they round the bend


which of course favours Cambridge. If I were in the Cambridge crew I


would be stepping on the gas hard, they have the first half of the bend


and Oxford did not let them get away. The whole thing about the


Surrey bend is that with every minute you don't get clear, the


Middlesex crew will gain confidence so Cambridge don't want that to


happen. If the water is like it was in the women's race Oxford will have


a worse time of it. I thought Oxford where heading to Surrey to get extra


safety from the water but they have come back together now. Cambridge,


in a strong position, an unfamiliar position based on recent years, they


have clear water almost now between themselves and Oxford as the


flotilla of boats behind are churning up the water which is


lively enough. And they sweep around and Ian Middleton in his third Boat


Race, the youngster is still just 20, coxing Cambridge and asking for


more, having a look round to see where Oxford are but the whole crew


can see that, and he's the only one who can't see the advantage, Oxford


are hanging on and they have just about clear water between the boats


but Oxford are hanging in and they have to keep digging and driving and


try to maintain that. You can see the white horses and Cambridge have


just hit it, both crews going into the rough water and this is where


the challenge will start. Can they keep their full length, can they


keep rowing? What a different view down there, the view that these men


have. Where the river really is lifting up, and the blades are


cutting through the choppy water, up goes the spray. And again it is a


battle of technique and who can deal with the conditions better. You have


got to keep the water out of your boat, if you have a couple of big


waves it's immediately like having an extra man on board who is not


rowing, two or three men, it gets heavy. Matthew Pinsent, as we head


to Chiswick Reach, things are coming alive here. Yes, as we can all see


there are really big slabs of water out here on the Thames. And at the


moment I would say that it is still Cambridge's advantage but there's an


interesting dynamic in that their corner is beginning to run out in


the next two or three minutes, Oxford have probably got two or


three minutes to save the race, if they can stay in contact and of


course they get the last bend but the real test is against the river,


not the opposition. How clean can you be, how smooth can you be? Can


you stay on top of the waters of the Thames? That's the real challenge at


the moment. Both crews are battling the angry river today and Cambridge


as they have clear water, Oxford have to re-establish contact because


otherwise Cambridge can choose the line so the final bend will not


favour Oxford. If Oxford can re-establish contact Cambridge will


have to move out. It's worth pointing out that although some of


the Oxford crew have not been in a Boat Race before a number were in


the victorious Isis Crewe last year that it actually wrote through the


Cambridge reserves when Cambridge had clear water. They have


experienced rowing through a race that looks through -- looks as


though it was done and dusted. Sam Collier will not quite lied to his


crew but tell them that they are still in contact and can still do


it. When you start to fall a bit behind you lose the ability to see


and hear the other crew and you rely on your cox to tell you where you


are in the race. Here is Sam Collier. The 20-year-old. You can


see the delicate touch that he has on the rudder cable, the wire that


controls the rudder, just holding it with a feather touch, it is so


difficult in these conditions. It's hard to manage the boat well in


rough conditions so he will have to keep making good decisions.


Cambridge have a clear advantage, Clearwater, and as you look down the


boat, the stroke, and Henry Hoffstot, the core of Americans in


seven, six and five and then Clemens Auersperg, Charles Fisher, Ali


Abbasi and Felix Newman. About a length clear now and Oxford are


grafting and working to try to maintain contact but you can see


their lead now and Cambridge in play control as they passed the Chiswick


Steps. It will take a mistake by Cambridge to lose the lead but it's


not out of the question because there is more rough water coming. I


don't know if you can see but the pumps are working hard on both


boats, water is spilling out the side of both of them. You can see


that the water is still in the base of the boat there, but the pumps are


working. You can see that the crews are working. How can you maintain


your rhythm and act as one? The coxes are asking, as one. But how do


you do that? Matthew Pinsent again. You can just see that the challenge


of the river that was setting up three or four minutes ago, Cambridge


have met it admirably. They have rowed clean and smooth over the


water and the psychological challenge for Oxford is that they


know they are behind and it's a testing day on the river, and it


feels heavier and wetter, they hit every splash and every wave and it


will feel as if it is adding more and more to their workload. It will


increase the distance between them and Cambridge that they have two


make-up. Both crews are working in a world of noise and effort and spray


that is kicked up but I wonder if it's worth a desperate gamble by


Oxford but Cambridge are cutting across to Middlesex anyway for


shelter. Both of them have learned from what happened in the women's


race, seeking the shelter of the Middlesex bank, there is always a


risk of sinking. Look at that. This is a Boat Race at its liveliest best


for someone who enjoys the challenge but Oxford are really working hard


here, every little wave that comes up, the blades cutting in and


kicking up the spray. And it's a thankless to ask for Oxford now


because they are beginning to lose further distance to Cambridge and


creep further clear. We saw Ian Middleton the Cambridge cox turning


to look behind him at Oxford's progress. It looked as though Oxford


were staying with them, but these last few strokes they have started


to slip, I think they needed to Turkey and a bit quicker. -- to tuck


in. They are passing the weeping willows of the bandstand and heading


towards a Cambridge victory, they will move beneath the central span


where both of them have to pass through, the central span of Barnes


Railway Bridge. Cambridge have an advantage which must be 34 lengths


now. Still Sam Collier is asking his crew to believe, two and a half


lengths perhaps. -- must be three or four. They are not losing any


further contact. They seem to be holding the distance well and they


are still looking reasonably relaxed actually. Maybe not quite as


confident as the Cambridge stroke, Lance Tredell, very experienced and


calm and steely guy. They will have to pop out through the middle arch


so we will see how the steering takes them here. Very few are the


crews that come from behind, it has only happened in 49 and 52. And


Oxford did it in 2002. That was when Cambridge's Sebastian Meyer


collapsed and was almost a dead weight. It is hard for them to come


from behind, around 1000 metres to go from Barnes Bridge to the finish.


It looked as though a lot of this bridge was making sure you were


ahead as you got to the rough water so that you could keep out of the


worst of it and it has paid off for Cambridge. They have held them off


through the rough water and there is a look of determination on the faces


of Cambridge, they will not let this get away from them. A lot of


encouragement for Oxford, though, they have kept the gap to a minimum.


Oxford are trying their best not to lose further contact but this will


be victory for Cambridge today to end a long run of Oxford wins,


Oxford have won the Women's Boat Race and the reserve races have been


shared, but this is the one that matters. Matthew Pinsent, what are


your thoughts in the closing stages? Oxford are now racing for pride,


they know that they must have lost the race, but you have to imagine


the atmosphere in the boat, the pain and the agony previously is now


coming right, they will be feeling light and warm and dry. Because


victory is within their grasp. It's a magical, magical moment. Coming up


for Cambridge. There is the Cambridge crew. Felix Newman, Ali


Abbasi, Charles Fisher, Clemens Auersperg, the tall Australian, Luke


Juckett, the returning American, Henry Hoffstot, Ben Ruble, the three


Americans. And Lance Tredell. Ian Middleton driving them on and asking


for a final push. No thoughts of a quick time today and that doesn't


matter, Oxford are hanging on, they have not drifted further so the


margin of victory will be three or four lengths and this will bring to


a end a long run of Oxford victories. Asking for a final push


now. Bush! Even now as their legs are dying and


their backs are breaking and their arms falling out of their sockets,


keep pushing. -- push! They will keep pushing to the finish. And


still they drive on. Oxford are the winners of this race in 2013, 20 14,


and 2015. This year it will belong to Cambridge. What we talked about


for Ben Ruble, and Ben Middleton, the cox, they know the pain of


losing and will make amends for that today. Even though the water has


calmed down as they come around the bend, they have done their work.


Cambridge are really piling it on here, they want to win by as much as


they possibly can, look at them go, they will get every inch. It is


Cambridge who take it, they win the 162nd Boat Race, three years of dark


blue turns a lighter shade. Oxford were second today on the Thames, and


the bent bodies and get heads of the ten men and the smiles and


celebrations of Luke Juckett and what it means as we mentioned to


come back having lost and lost, coming back to win now, what a


difference. What a race he has had. He had problems before when he was


almost knocked out of the boat a couple of years ago. Now he is


celebrating as a victor. Then the sharp contrast. Some men


who will come back and try again, others this was their only chance.


Well beaten today by the favoured group, Cambridge. Here you have,


underneath Chiswick Bridge, both crews gather and the cheering from


Cambridge will taunt and haunt Oxford in years to come but that is


what the Boat Race is like. Cambridge, the winners, and


emphatically so. Yes, the cliche is there. There is to second place in


the Boat Race and losing it really hurts. You can see on the faces of


the Oxford crew. But I think they did a great job to stay in the race,


but Cambridge were the worthy victors. Tired and defeated, three


cheers for Oxford, but the winners have it all in the Boat Race, and as


a former Cambridge man, Wayne, you will be delighted. You had problems


in 2003 through injury, but then to combat the next year to and you know


what it's like to have been injured before and come back and win. Yes,


it is just an unbelievable feeling. I think we knew looking at the


races, the solid core of the boat, we knew from November that Cambridge


were going to be a very strong crew, and then the contrast again with the


losing cox, Sam Collier. A little nod of recognition but he will be


back. This has been a very strong Cambridge crew this year, and Sean


Bowden, the Oxford coach, knew he had a lot to do. Credit to Sean,


even in the years when he doesn't have the best athletes he produces a


good crew and this was not a huge margin of victory. I think both


crews can be proud of what they did today, especially given the


conditions. And their word for Steve Trapmore too, he came in in 2011,


and now to win here are good, clean solid win for Cambridge, that's what


it means. There will be delight for Steve Trapmore, the Cambridge coach,


and what he has done. Yes, there will have been a lot of going back


to the drawing board. But each milestone in the year they were


where they wanted to be. It was a good season from start to finish so


they can be happy with that. It wasn't a race of clearly defined


moments where things happened, but from the start, a pretty solid start


from both crews but Cambridge edged ahead and never really relinquished


it from then on. No, Cambridge started inching away and then sat at


this length for a good proportion of the race. It wasn't until they


started to hit the rough water that they really got away from Oxford. It


was interesting the choice today of the Surrey station did perhaps


favour the crews. Anything could have happened in this water but both


crews seemed to deal with it pretty much the same. Yes, there is danger


in these conditions that one can sync, which is what we saw in the


women's race. But for both crews to get through in one piece and to have


a winning margin for Cambridge. What a fascinating day of races it has


been, and Cambridge said they have not experienced this for four years,


coming into land as a winning crew in the Men's Boat Race but they have


that now. And again, it will mean a huge amount, not just for the likes


of Felix Newman and Ali Abbasi, Charles Fisher and Clemens


Auersperg, but for Pitt Street and Ben Ruble, who know what it is to


lose. -- for Pitt And embrace with the reserve crews,


and just a reminder that Cambridge women won the reserves race after


Oxford men won the reserve race. Yes, unusual to have that reverse in


the decisions in the reserve races. Quite often you get the stronger


squad and they will win both races. We should point out six in a row for


Isis. Henry Hoffstot is getting into position to talk to Clare so let's


talk to him now. There was jubilation for Cambridge


because so many including Henry Hoffstot have been in this race


before and lost it before, third time lucky, well done. I am at a


loss for words. This is a feeling like nothing I've ever experienced


before, I'm truly humbled. It is a lot of hard work that goes into


this. We wanted it more today. We did a great job, there's so many


friends and family I would like to thank. It is a spectacular day for


the light Blues. Great negotiating of the course as well. Luke Juckett,


we saw the most amazing celebrations from him who was pumping the air as


became over. A quick chat with Ian Middleton, well negotiated, that


course was tough today. Yes, Steve and I went out on the course


yesterday when conditions were similar, we knew it would be a tough


second half and we had to set up in the first half. Credit to the guys


who responded to what I asked. And they put in a final push to really


pull away from Oxford. Yes, Lance was talking to me the entire time,


telling me they were sprinting. We wanted to open up as much as we


could and take some lengths back that we lost the last few years.


Tradition demands that you will be thrown into that water. It doesn't


look very inviting. I'm already soaked so it doesn't matter! We will


try and grab Ben and Luke. He was saying it is down to you, well done.


He has led us well every time, and we responded and got what we


deserved today. For a lot of them in that crew it was a matter of


redemption. Absolutely, there's guys and off the back of two defeats, in


their final year, so I know what it meant to them. I'm really glad I


could be a part of that today. How much does it hurt in the middle of


that when it is so rough and choppy? The conditions got crazy, it is just


a case of managing the conditions. Often when the conditions are that


bad it is not easy to work and it's a case of carrying on during those


rough conditions and managing better than the other crew. Many


congratulations, and let's grab the other two Americans, Luke and Ben.


Actually wait a second, we will be hearing from Oxford first.


Where do you think the race turned against Oxford? Probably coming


under Hammersmith. Cambridge did a really good job getting ahead on the


Surrey bend, and credit to them, they handled the conditions and


deserved to win the race. It was probably a difficult situation for


the boat club. The results in the winter perhaps hadn't gone against


you in experience terms perhaps the dark Blues were less capable than


Cambridge, is that a fair conclusion? No, we are part of the


best boat club in the world, we will be back. Does this feel like the end


of an era for Oxford? Absolutely not. Thank you. Fighting talk from


Oxford, they will be determined to move on from this. But Luke and Ben


with me now, how sweet does victory feel? Amazing. When we started


coming through Barnes it felt like it might really be happening. You


had enough energy to almost dance your way over the winning line, how


did you have anything left? Adrenaline, three years of build-up,


it really got me up and out of my seat ready to roll. We can show it


to you actually because I have no idea what you were shouting and you


probably shouldn't repeat it but it was fairly impressive moves there! I


was just saying this is Cambridge really loud, it was a long time


coming. The coach put together an amazing plan for the year and we all


bought in and it was a collective effort all the way through. We are


reaping the benefits now. Speaking to all of you, you have all


mentioned Steve Trapmore because this is important to him. I guess.


He wants to win as much as we do, which is amazing for a coach. It is


his passion, and we all sat down around him and told him how much we


appreciated what he had done this year. We wanted to do it for him


because we think he is a great coach. I think he is finally getting


the credit he deserves. You have done it for him, and yourselves as


well. Let's got more reaction. I'm standing with Sam Collier. Do you


think that was a fair reflection on Oxford, that results? I mean we


really wanted that one to be our race so I don't know, we threw


everything we had at its. The conditions played a part. It was a


tough one. How much about those conditions did you know as you went


on to the state boats? Our preparations were thorough, we knew


it was something similar to that, really strong winds and we have some


plans to try and deal with it that were clearly not effective enough.


And just say a little bit about the qualities of the Oxford squad that


you have trained with. I cannot commend these guys highly enough, it


is an incredible team, an incredible setup. Morgan wasn't wrong, this is


the best boat club in the world, there's no question about that.


Thank you. Inc. We highlight the contrast on a


day of contrasting weather, sunshine and storms as well. For Cambridge,


absolutely everything. They seem reasonably excited at having won, as


you would be. It just ends that spell, not an era of dominance, but


three wins in a row for Oxford, and finished now by these men, who


controlled it pretty nearly from the start. I say this with a sense of


trepidation, but let's hear from Helen and Sean again. I think our


eardrums just about burst, there was a lady who squealed so lovely, she


was ecstatic. Yes, she has gone. I can do it for you, if you want.


Cambridge! It was very similar to that. Ladies, was that the race you


expected? Did it live up to the hype? Yes, because it was so close


all the way through. The women's race were quite far apart but this


one was tense to the end. It was dramatic enough for you. I'm trying


to work out who you are supporting because you have an array of colours


on here. Which one were you backing? I support both because I went to


both universities so it has been mixed feelings going through the


race. I feel bad for the Cambridge women, and very happy that the


Cambridge men have won. In our cases, it has been a really good


turnout. You are friends with the Cambridge ladies' cox so tell her


well done from us. Plenty to celebrate down here.


It is now time presentation for the Cancer research UK Boat Race, after


the nastiest conditions bought a long time. On the presentation


podium I'm joined by the CEO of Cancer Research UK, Harpal Kumar is


the Palin Glover, part of Team GB, the executive director of the Boat


Race company, Mitchell Harris, the CEO of investment management for BNY


Mellon. Please show your appreciation for the effort and


commitment of Oxford as they make their way to the stage.


Morgan Gerlak the president is leading them off the stage after a


tough afternoon and a tough day. As they said in the interviews


afterwards they were determined to come back. The first time since


2012, the Boat Race winners are Cambridge!


Felix Newman leading the way up here. You will get your moment to


lift that trophy. For some it has been a long time coming including


the President Henry Hoffstot. His third Boat Race. And with Luke


Juckett and fellow American Ben Ruble they were determined that this


would be a winning race. They have come out on top. And a big mention


for Ian Middleton the cox who is in front of me, how well steered


through the choppy waters... And Steve Trapmore, their coach. A quick


word, because everyone I interviewed of your crew were desperate to say


how much they wanted to do this for you and how much they respected you


and how much it will mean. Well, I have to say that I'm really proud


right now, it was the guys out there doing it and we just try to set them


up year round, giving them a bit of confidence. It was just epic. .


Have you ever felt prouder? No, it's hard to put into words really. The


emotion, you can hear it in his voice and see it in his eyes. One


final word from the president, Henry, would you like to say


anything? Thank you for your support it means more than I can express,


for all ten of us, Steve included. Thank you, go Cambridge! The winners


of the Cancer Research UK Boat Race, Cambridge!


Fierce and wild celebrations and well-deserved, for Cambridge. The


champagne spray, not the first spray they have had to deal with after


this fascinating day on the river. Cambridge in the men's race have


beaten Oxford and the conditions because as lively as it has been for


many years, out on the Thames, some of them experiencing the race for


the first time, Felix Newman, Ali Abbasi, Charles Fisher and the


Austrian Clemens Auersperg. But then there is Luke Juckett and Henry


Hoffstot, the American who says that he is lost for words but often


isn't. And Ben Ruble, coming back. Lance Tredell, the stroke man, and


Ian Middleton. And all of the celebrations are there. It was a


very... It was quite a controlled race in uncontrollable conditions.


They were very disciplined, keeping their length and rhythm even when


conditions were awful and they did a great job to make it through on top.


I totally agree. They were very relaxed, both of them really held it


together well. Just looking at the shot from above, it looks like


perhaps the Oxford women's cox Morgan Baynham-Williams might be


about to go in there. We will not want to miss that. They will throw


in the victorious coxes at the same time, one from Oxford and one from


Cambridge but I wonder if they would do it separately? The more


established tradition is this and Morgan Baynham-Williams is getting


ready to be hurled, she will probably change direction at the


last moment and go somewhere else! She is getting ready. Cambridge will


do the men's at the same time. Ian Middleton in his third Boat Race, he


has not experienced this. And Morgan Baynham-Williams in her first, they


will go into the Thames! The winners of the Women's Boat Race, Oxford and


the men's, Cambridge. One, two, three! Synchronised diving into the


Thames. Yes!! Cambridge and Oxford together, isn't not a nice way to


finish? As Ian Middleton said, he was wet enough already. After a hard


day out on the river, that was rather ungainly. Ian Middleton got


some good hide there. It was more a skimming stone from Morgan


Baynham-Williams. Any other time that would be deeply unpleasant but


I think any cox would like to go through that celebration after


winning. For Cambridge today it is victory in the men's race, Oxford in


the women's. And what a day it has been on the river. The sun is out


now but we have had a bit of everything and all of the champagne


for Cambridge. Your final thoughts? Great racing from all of the crews,


well held together in those conditions that nobody wanted,


frankly. Well done from everyone. Wayne, something you have


experienced as part of a Cambridge crew in 2004, it means the world?


Cambridge will be determined to show that their system is right and


Oxford want to show that it was a one-off will stop congratulations to


Oxford women and Cambridge in the men's. -- a one-off will stop Clare


is still down there. Of course we have a whole afternoon


of racing to reflect on and looking back to the Oxford win in the


women's race. Christine Wilson, their carriages with me. Four out of


four, 100%. It is. We are so fortunate to coach a remarkable


women and we had a bit of a theme which was, whatever came today, they


would be perfect Boat Race conditions. I'm not sure we expected


something quite so perfect. They were extraordinarily tough


conditions and I'm not quite sure what it looked like on the


television, but they were rowing through the Pacific Ocean at times.


That is what it looked like, believe me. There were times when Morgan was


steering and people were thinking, what is she doing? Matthew Pinsent


was with me in the following launch, and he kept telling me that it was


OK. I was wondering if he was right because she could cross out of her


station to one side of the river and then came back across but when she


got over there, you could see the water she was in and it was a


brilliant decision. Really brave, making that decision in the moment,


internally she said she was thinking, Christine is going to kill


me, but she instinctively knew that she needed to get into better water


and she did the right thing. She did the right thing for them and they


did the right thing in battling through because my word, they were


good, they were committed, all of that training and the work you have


done in getting their technique right, and for them to stay calm in


the moment, almost not thinking of it as a race against another crew


but a competition with themselves to be the best they can be. Yes, they


certainly are very focused on figuring out how to move the boat.


If it is lousy conditions someone has to do a better job of ploughing


through that stuff. They're connected length and sense of the


boat kept them at it, one stroke at a time. For you, as personal


achievements go, where does it rank? I'm really proud of these women. I


think the conditions didn't necessarily let them show how good


their rhythm and base speed was, but I think they are an extraordinary


crew, and they have got so much out of themselves this year, to really


exceed all of our expectations. They did a great job. Congratulations and


enjoy tonight. Her work for next year will probably start


immediately. As the tide starts to come in and lap over your feet, take


a step this way, I don't want you to ruin your shoes. As the days go,


that was one of the more memorable. Dramatic. That sums up everything.


We all want close races that people have to fight for, and today had it


all and more. We did not think the weather would play such a huge role,


but in both the men's and women's it was competitive and I think although


Cambridge just survived to the end in the women's race, they were very


tactically smart and never gave up even when they were sinking. It was


amazing, that. Incredible looking back now, that they did actually


managed to finish because that boat looked like it was going nowhere but


down and it would have been a terrible end. They were never going


to stop, the amount of training they have done, they are ready for


anything and we know that this race can throw anything at the crews. The


timing of it, being in March, means that they have to attack it all the


way through the race and conditions were always going to be tough. There


were moments when they regained a bit and came back at Oxford, and


they were ready to see if there was an opportunity. Work to do that


Cambridge women but for the Cambridge man, delight, because that


is necessary in terms of the competitive nature of the race, it


needed a Cambridge win. Absolutely, they have gone three years without a


win and it is fantastic. I'm over the moon for them and I can't


express enough how much they needed that, and how much they deserved it,


frankly. They have had a great year with loads of things going right,


loads of great training in place. On the day they were incredibly


clinical and remained incredibly relaxed and composed at the start of


the race. Even though conditions were horrific, I don't think they


actually affected the men's race as much as the women's. That is


testament to how well they prepared and executed today. Absolutely


great. Constantine, we heard in the immediate aftermath from the Oxford


crew that they will fight back. I'm sure. They still have that system in


place. They have a lot of younger talent coming through the ranks and


they will be right back at it next year. I agree with George, without


my Oxford hat on, for the event it's good to mix it up and have


competitive racing and have it going either way and if it means the odd


Cambridge win we will have to be done with it! Very gracious! You


guys are going back into camp and will be part of the GB team for Rio.


Announcements being made soon. In two weeks' time? On the 9th of May


we make the decisions on the European Championships, that is the


first international race that the British team will compete in. We may


may not change the boats before Rio and that will be the deciding


factor. In June we will know for deficit. I hope it will be smoother


water than this! It has been an amazing day, starting with a


lightning strike and a tree bursting into flames down the river from us.


We had rain storms and hailstorms and the choppy as water we have seen


for ages which meant Cambridge nearly sank in the women's race.


They made it to the end. Oxford victorious. And eventually a win for


the Cambridge men. We will see you soon. Goodbye. This year is


different. It is a challenge like no other. We go out and race because we


love racing. This is our year. It's just an amazing thing to have the


opportunity. It is the Boat Race and it is the only race that matters.


The tension, go! -- attention. It is absolutely bucketing down here. In


the shadows of Barnes Bridge, Cambridge are sinking and Oxford are


going to win. It is the 162nd Boat Race. It is underway. Very smooth


and very confident at this stage. Three years of dark blue turns a


lighter shade.


From the banks of the River Thames in London, Clare Balding introduces live coverage of one of the oldest and most iconic events in the sporting calendar. This year's meeting between Oxford and Cambridge universities sees the 162nd men's boat race and the 71st women's boat race.

Cambridge lead in both the men's and women's all-time standings, but in recent years the dark blues of Oxford have proved formidable opponents, winning six of the last eight men's races and seven of the last eight women's contests.

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