The 163rd Boat Race The Boat Race

The 163rd Boat Race

Clare Balding introduces live coverage of the boat races between Oxford and Cambridge universities on the River Thames in London.

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They can't remember a day like this for the race, ever. A marvellous


race. A marvellous moment in their life. To go all out to the Fulham


football ground. And Cambridge are sinking. Oh, wow. This is it. He's


lost his oar. Oxford are coming to the finishing post. This is going to


be unbelievable. Oh. Oxford won! This jeer going to belong to


Cambridge. COMMENTATOR: The Boat Race is under


way. Make it happen. It's a contest covered in 240


countries, reaching 350 million people. Part of the reason is its


history and interest digs and part is the simplicity. It requires no


translation of complicated rules, just two boats, Dark Blue and Light


Blue. They are packing the river banks for the races. The men's race,


the oldest continuous amateur sporting event in the world but the


build-up to this year's race has been rather unusual. Yesterday we


saw the lowest tides in years and that meant that parts of the river


bank had been exposed that hadn't been seen for decades and a sailor


discovered a very unusual looking object, called in the local police.


They had a look. This morning it was confirmed by the marine police unit


and specialist officers that it was a World War Two ordnance, an


explosive device dropped from an aeroplane. Clearly hit the water and


didn't explode. There are probably hundreds of them in the River


Thames. This is what it looks like but it has meant alarming headlines


and a stressful build-up to the race for the new Boat Race director in


her first year, Michelle Deet. Welcome to the Boat Race. What has


it been like? Well this wasn't in my job description. We inherited an


ongoing situation this morning and we have had superb support from the


Metropolitan Police and Marine Police Unit. Everyone's intent was


for the Boat Race to go ahead. I'm delighted to say the green light is


go. Will it have any impact on the race, on the warm-up of where the


crews can go? Absolutely no impact whatsoever. We have the full open


course and the crews are ready to G the build-up is fantastic. -- ready


to go. We have a festival atmosphere here and in Putney. There is nothing


inhibiting us today. There was talk that the flotilla behind might be


reduced. Any word on that? We put in place a robust contingency. Wep


wanted it to go ahead. It meant the start would've gone to the same


position and we've been restricted by bridges. But we had a plan on


place that the crews can warm-up on the course. We have tal enned


umpires who know this class back to front. We had a plan B but plan A is


in place. We can all relax? We can all relax and smile and ease


ourselves into a wonderful afternoon of sport for the spectators and the


millions watching at home around the UK and around the world. Thank you.


Good luck with the rest of the day. Let's hope it goes increedably


smoothly from now, the cox in 2012 and scam George Gnash, you won it


with Cambridge. What disruption will this cause Zoe, to the heads of the


crews, and what they were planning for their warm-up? I think the main


difference would have been where they would have been warming up. If


they'd closed the river below Fulham bridge, the crews would've had to


warm up on the course, and there is a lot more people, it is busier and


you would have to time things differently. I'm sure in the grand


scheme of things you can factor in that. They had yesterday to think


about t and hopefully will have had a plan B. Where it was discovered


was beyond Putney Bridge, way back before the start but that's where


the crews traditional do their warm-up pieces. George s there any


advantage in having something else for the crews to talk about and


think about and something to occupy everybody's mind? They'll certainly


be telling themselves there is. Usually in igs swas like this - in


situations like this, you spin it into a positive. It is a highly


pressurised occasion, these guys have been thinking about it every


day for the last six months at least. Sometimes it can wind you up


and stress you out. A thing like an old Second World War bomb can put a


smile on your Is fa. You know Michelle and their team have done a


great job sorting it out and we have all confidence the race will go


well. I haven't seen a crowd this big and busy for years. The women's


Boat Race is due off at 4.35. The Boat Race for the men at 5. -- 4. --


5. 58. This is what we have coming um.


! We'll have to try harder. Cambridge women are hoping to remain


high and dry after last year when they were low and very, very wet.


Giving up was not really an option. Dark Blue but all-black, a new


experience for New Zealander, Harriet Austin. This is one of the


most amazing years of my wife. The women's race starts in just over


half an hour, Cambridge haven't won on this course and Oxford are going


for five in a row. Last year they split honours.


Today's men's race is predicted to be close indeed. Cambridge favourite


for women's, but men's race, people who are predicting the result, in


this atmosphere down here. Plenty of entertainment on offer and good


picnics. The crowds enjoying everything on offer, including the


glorious sight of Gloriana. Built for the Queen's jubilee. When the


crowds are this deep, it is a difficult thing for the minibuses to


be negotiate their way through. They managed to and the Cambridge men


arriving. Their average weight is 14.10. Their average height 66'5".


The Cook brothers will be influential and we've seen Jamie


Cook and Olie there. And William Warr, only the third man to switch


sides, having rowed for Cambridge in 2015. Now in the bow seat for


Oxford. There is the women's crew. None of them have rowed in a Boat


Race before. An experienced can Aidan woman rower going through


there. Flo Pickles there. Ashton Brown is the President for the


Cambridge women. She contracted pneumonia after last year's race


having taken the full brunt of the waves in the bow seat. Melissa


Williams there. It is a magnificent sight. It has been a long build-up


combining the training with their studies but it is a sign, Zoe Dell


Toleda and Dame Katherine Grainger of the depth and talent in women's


rowing. How much improvement have you seen in the three years, the


third time we have seen them here? Well, the crews are definitely


improving. I think that was going to build on itself, you know once it


started being seen more and hopefully people would be more


interested in coming and getting involved in the race and hopefully


it'll have a knock-on effect on university rowing all around the


country, not just Oxford and Cambridge. Zoe, in terms of how the


Boat Race feeds into Olympicer if formance, you coxed the women's


eight who -- Olympic performance. You coxed the women's eight. . It is


more stressful for a spectator than it did at the time. It felt in kroe.


Disappointing at first. We wanted to win but we obviously realised we'd


done something different and getting on the podium with something


historic, it was great to be involved. And Katherine granger is


back with us here. For the first time, not as a full-time rower,


having announced your retirement after a magnificent performance in


Rio. I know. Like Zoe I think we had a fantastic time in Rio and great


success in the men's and women's side. It is hard, hard being back in


this environment and in the being in lycra and in a boat. It is an


adatingive and obsessive wonderful world of sport. -- addictive. Rio


was special. A hugely special part in your life. A short time ago you


went to meet the Queen. Well in an Olympic final, it is practice for


meeting the Queen and getting your gong. You get to share it with your


family. It is a celebration. Not many times during your career do you


acknowledge what you have done and what you have achieved with your


team-mates and the amazing results. A day like that, you get to stop and


think - that went well. Everyone in rowing agrees, given your 20-year


commitment to the sport but the one person that can say - well you won't


but we will say it for you, you helped women an one, Helen Glover is


with Lima Kenzie now in Hammersmith Bridge -- Lee Mackenzie Well, what a


good excuse this is to be out here, this is the rowing clubbing serving


alcohol, not these people. You mentioned Helen Glover and I'm


delighted to say she's with me. Let's talk about Rio. You defended


your Olympic crown. . Did you think you could do it again Well, we had


targets on our back and people were going to strive to beat us, we knew


that and we had to have respect for the people they were racing. We were


never complacent Describe the moments? Very surreal. Crossing the


line and managing to defend the title we had in lob -- in London.


That was our goal for the two years. To wake up and achieve it in front


of the statue in front of us, it couldn't have been more picturesque.


You have been involved in interesting projects since but in


terms of rowing, what can you tell us? I'm undecided. I decided to take


a year out. I knew I was going to do that. I thought I would have this


moment when I knew what I wanted but as yet I haven't decided. You are


not leaving home without your medals? No, I still have them, this


is the one from Rio, I'm proud of that. I know you have been involved


in the celebrity race, we'll talk to those guys in a minute. For the


moment, thank you very much. Well, the coin toss, Kezia Denne,


12, and who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, was there for


the coin toss. It was won by Cambridge. They've chosen Surrey.


Oxford both times have chosen Surrey and have been victorious. To talk


you through the douse and explain why the bends can be more


advantageous than the other, here is Andrew could thor. -- Andrew Cotter.


It is a four mile course of the Thames. After three and a half


minutes, the mile marker is reached and the landmark of the former


Harrods furnished depository. The majority of crews leading here go on


to win. Then a large, sweeping turn past halfway into the straight of


Chiswick Reach and passed the island was the often into a headwind, this


can be exposed in rougher water. Then it turns back to favour the


north bank, under Barnes Bridge, into the final 1000 metres and


towards the finished just before Chiswick Bridge. The women have been


carrying their boats because it is a very unglamorous sport. You have to


do your own carrying. The Oxford crew are similarly well supported.


There doesn't seem to be the animosity. The Cambridge crew are


very strong, very experienced. The Oxford crew are all Boat Race


debutants. We will have some great shots for you as well as good sound,


which is always entertaining, particularly when coxes are


involved, because they can say things they probably don't mean to


say. Our stellar Reverend line-up here has been added to by the


presence of Constantine Louloudis, a magnificent Boat Race. How many


wins, four? I think so. Olympic gold medallist as well, joining George,


Katherine, Zoe and myself. Zoe, you coxed yesterday in the veterans'


race. And you are a punchy cox. And Matthew Pinsent, who will be


umpiring today's Boat Race, was umpiring you yesterday and he had


quite a lot to say to you. Have a look at this. You must leave room,


Zoe! This was approaching Hammersmith Bridge. You were on the


right in the Oxford boat. What are you doing wrong? Good question. What


I am doing wrong is that I am in Cambridge's water as they were


rowing back to us. I am not sure what went wrong, but they caught us


up. My thinking was that if I moved out of the way, they would just win,


so you have to do something in that situation. The umpire's decision was


that you were disqualified. Which was a fair decision. I did tell


Matthew I was going to make sure he had a good warm up before today.


Stam, in terms of rowing discourse, can you pace yourself and how do you


do that? Well, you have to pace yourself, otherwise it will catch up


with you quickly. It is a real trade-off because you don't want to


let the other crew get clear water. Then you will be on the


psychological back foot. But it is a long way. Exactly, and you have to


maintain that effort. Sometimes, even the support doesn't make it


feel less painful. When you are watching experienced rowers, it can


look easy as if it is all about power in the legs and a bit of work


with the arms and good technique. But to show you how difficult it is,


it is best to look at people who don't have a clue what they are


doing. So we assembled a group of some ex-Olympians and Boat Race


aficionados, but also some complete novices to the sport of rowing,


captained by Sir Steve Redgrave and James Cracknell. This is the


build-up to the celebrity Boat Race 2017.


Morning! Lovely day to be doing some punting on the river. On a pleasant


late winter morning, representatives from the most important section of


society, celebrities, gather on the banks of the River Thames to begin a


journey. I have heard rumours of Olympians. That has got me excited.


I want to win it. I am not here to come second. These stars have been


summoned by a night of the realm and one of his former lieutenants to


enter uncharted water in a charity race from Putney to Hammersmith in


aid of Cancer Research UK. What are your tactics as a coach? Pick the


best rowers. But you know it is not about how good your best rowers are


in the crew, it is how good the worst one is. You only go as fast as


the slowest person. Going first? Rock, paper, scissors. For Redgrave,


the selection strategy was. A good cox, followed by some who were just


quite tall. As well as the odd pic simply for crew morale. But


Cracknell decided on comedy in the driving seat, and then put his faith


in with, coordination and some serious Olympic and Paralympic


pedigree. So with those crews of varying degrees of ability selected,


time to get down to some hard rowing, on dry land for now. Is


expected, Sophie Raworth has her terminator face on. He is rowing


with one hand. It is in the bag already. Dan Walker is trying to


take us out one by one. Rivalry firmly established, a session on the


water was calling. But first, some complex technical advice from James.


That is the front there. But if the back. -- that is the back. And there


were early problems for Team Cracknell. Zoe Lyons is funny. But a


lack of experience was putting the pink crew in trouble, and


Hammersmith Bridge just came out of nowhere. So Cracknell played his


ace, swapping Zoe for Great Britain cox Henry Fieldman. At the moment,


we are not floating, we are sitting. In terms of rowing, racing and


sitting, work in progress. While in Team Redgrave, another comic was


finding the move from stand up to sitting down and rowing rather


difficult. He feels he is holding everyone else back. He is, but he


needs to relax as that is the only way forward. He will get there, he


just needs another couple of years. I think we are going to smash Team


Redgrave out of the park. Both boats are full of competitive people. We


are going to be unstoppable. We are not putting a unitard on! Sun that


is the only reason I came! The biggest problem is the rowing side


of it. I can't really do it. This is what happens to me a lot in my life.


I was able to take the instructions, but not replicate them like a human


man normally would. They are all enthusiastic. If they can stay


relaxed and we get conditions like this, they have a chance of


surviving. But one member have to do a lot more work even to get to the


start line. # you're the best! Nothing's can


keep you down. To sum that up, running is


difficult? That is a fair summary. If you had to sum up my experience,


it was that bit where it said there was a caption that said, he feels he


is holding everybody back them with a picture of my crestfallen figure.


I am not sure what was more uncomfortable for you, the rowing or


the unitard. Ore, I remember when you use to talk about sport. You


have been in some form of Lycra since September. I asked everybody


before today, we are all wearing the Lycra, right? But nobody had the


confidence to pull that back out. But whether it was wearing the Lycra


or getting in a boat and rowing for the first time ever, we all wanted


to make sure we commit to this because we just wanted to raise


awareness and money for Cancer research. It was such a great cause.


Lycra aside, we had a really good time. Mark will tell you


differently, but we did have fun. Becky, did your sporting


determination come back to you even though it was for a good cause? No.


I was so bad! He was hitting me in the back and we kept fighting. We


couldn't get the synchronisation right. You are a dance and I am a


swimmer and we couldn't do it. We were trying to use our feet in the


boat and we found that we shouldn't, because that doesn't work. James,


what were you thinking? You competed in Rio Annapurna pigs, and you got


involved with this bunch. -- you competed in Rio and the Olympics. It


was really good fun. They picked it up really well. They sell themselves


short, but awesome job. You will see in a minute in the BT. -- VVT.


And Harry Judd from McFly, who was part of Team Redgrave,


If you access the BBC Sport Facebook page,


Harry will answer your questions live from The Thames from 4.30.


He'll be following the women's race and then he'll be


up with us to watch the men's race here at Hammersmith.


But for now, back to Clare at Putney.


We'll see how the two teams get on just before the men's


race in about an hour, but now it's time to concentrate


This time last year, we were talking about the weather. It affected the


outcome for the women's race. For Cambridge, it became more about


trying to survive than beating Oxford, as they were fighting that


sinking feeling. There are plenty of different


emotions on the day of the Boat Race. Lots of excitement, a bit of


nerves as well. On the morning of the race, we did notice it was


raining. It is sunshine right now, but we have had four seasons in a


day. We are used to rowing through different conditions and


experiencing pretty much anything that British weather can chuck at


us. But there was no way to expect quite how severe the weather would


be. We knew it was bad. We perhaps didn't appreciate that the swell


would hit exactly at the wrong place at the wrong time. There was never a


thought that this was something drastically out of the ordinary.


Guys, get ready. Shoulders down. The first stroke is my favourite part of


the race, because it is the moment when anything is possible. We had a


pretty good start. We managed to keep an overlap and were pushing


back later on. COMMENTATOR: Cambridge are hanging


in there. 30 seconds after Hammersmith Bridge, it just looked


like the sea. It is brutal down here. You can see the water, and


Cambridge are in real difficulty. You realise about is getting deeper


and deeper and the pumps are working, but not enough. Cambridge


are sinking. When the umpire flagged us, I didn't see him doing it. My


first thought was, she had better put her hand up. It is about pride


to finish the rate at this point. Giving up was not really an option.


The sense for us was disappointment at not being able to race the race


we thought we could race. They have been beaten by the river. After,


some people said we were brave for continuing. I had a hard time with


that, because I don't think I did anything different than most rowers


would do. You finish what you have started.


And she is in the Boe seat again, president of the Cambridge women's


crew for 2017. There is the line-up. It is a very strong looking side.


Cath Bishop has joined me. Hannah was president last year. Quite


difficult for you, watching those shots back? It is very difficult,


especially knowing that I am not racing this year. When you race,


there is a feeling that you have the opportunity to right a wrong. So I


know that Ashton and Miriam feel that this year, but I did not have


the opportunity to do that. Cath, how have things changed for


Cambridge's women? There has been a lot of investment. I feel as if we


have suddenly turned a corner. We have a new boathouse where all the


crews can train together. That feels like a professional training


environment. It looks like you have built it with air, space and light


in mind. You have a view of the outside. Beautiful views of Ely, for


sure. Looking ahead to the race this year, what are your hopes for your


team-mates and friends? Obviously, everyone supporting Cambridge hopes


for a Light Blue victory not only in the women's race, but also in the


men's and the reserve raises. Ikast, what is your view of the line-up?


There is a lot of experience. . We have our strongest crew in the blue


boat and the reserve crew. They are coming to aadvantage what happened


last year where they weren't able it give their best but also the last


few years where we have been building to create a tremendous


training environment to support them. We hope that pays off today.


Well, good luck. Oxford have none returning members of the crew. Their


president not able to row because she's injured. Harriet Austin has


taken over as the boat captain, alongside some really rigorous


student work, she has an awful lot on her plate. I don't actually know


what makes mep want to keep going through this. -- me want to keep


going. We are students and we have a full academic schedule. On top of


that we're training pretty full time, too.


The team-mates in a rowing crew are unique to other ones. You see people


at their lowest point but you also get to experience the biggest highs


as well. I think it's really important to be


part of a team. You can't sleep in five minutes later in the morning.


Your crew is there, going through the same things as you as well. As a


crew, we're working towards giving the best race on the day. All the


preparation will see us in good stead.


The Boat Race is a pretty special race. It's not necessarily the best


crew that wins but it's the best crew on the day that will win. I


think there is nothing better than crossing the line in first place,


knowing you've given it your best shot. Harriet Austin who is studying


for an MBA and she's the boat captain at Oxford. At 28 she has


been an international rower for New Zealand. And Emily Cameron there,


she's 34, a Canadian international. We really do have perfect conditions


here in London. We say welcome to viewers of BBC World News for


coverage of the Cancer Research UK Boat Race. The women's Boat Race is


four or five minutes away and an hour and five minutes to the Boat


Race. And as you can see, the countdown


clock is ticking down. The tide has turned or is turning at the moment.


They come in on the flood tide from Putney to Mortlake. Four and a


quarter miles. Last year's Oxford President joins us now. There has


been talk about the illness, the injuries your crew have suffered.


How is the mood in the camp and how are you feeling today? At this point


before the race, everyone is incredibly nervous. But, really you


just have to deal with those feelings, put them in a box and lock


it away and get on with the job, really. No matter what the situation


is in the background, really. When you look at that crew and you look


at the line-up. Where do you see the strengths in the boat and how well


do you think they are gelling together? I think the power in the


boat at this stage, from a combination of the different ages.


There is a big spread of ages, some freshers and really experienced


athletes. That's one of the unique things about the Boat Race crews,


such a spread. I think the power is in building on these differences and


really building it into a cohesive crew. You can see the Oxford cox


there, Eleanor Shearer. You have been in this position. What is the


cox doing now with their crews? What are they saying and how much can


they plan for what is to come? The main thing you are trying to do now


is make sure your crew is staying calm and focussed on what is coming


up. That might be telling them to remember the good rhythm, to row in


the middle. It might be saying focus on the first stroke, you will be


making sure you are pointed in the right direction, when the race goes


off, you go the way you want to go. Conditions out there look so


different from last year, aren't they? You must be really jealous


Incredibly jealous, yeah. I mean the thing is when you've got the Boat


Race you say anything can happen but when it is water like this, it is


really every athlete's dream. Maddy, for the rowers, you have done a warm


of had up of how long so far? How are your muscles feeling? Normally a


warm-up would be around 40 minutes, you gradually build it up and


they'll have done pieces at race pace, so they'll have a taste of


what it is going to feel like and they'll be willing and raring to go.


Would you rather be in the boat or watching? I'd love to be in the boat


right now. I've always hated this bit at the start where you wait but


as soon as the buzzer goes, it is an incredible feeling. Well, it is


nearly time for the women's Boat Race, can Cambridge win it for the


first time on The Tideway or will Oxford be victorious once again?


Very shortly you will be hearing our full commentary team. Kath Bishop


and Zoe and Wayne is on the course and leading the way is Andrew could


thor. #


-- Andrew Cotter. Thank you very much, and what a day


it is. The two crews sit there for what


must seem like an age. They have been sitting there for a good few


minutes before we first look at them. These are the moments of real


tension where they wait and wait and try and gather their thoughts. The


chatter comes from the two quokss and we are moments away from the


72nd edition of the women's Boat Race. It doesn't have vted hisry of


the men's evetted but here they line up and get ready. -- have the


history of the men's event. The coxes will make sure they are


showing they are ready or not. Hand up if they are not ready which you


see from the cox of Cambridge. Matthew Holland. So he is ready now.


So too, Oxford. Eleanor Shearer's arm is down.


Attention. Go. A simple instruction to begin the 72nd women's Boat Race.


You can see on the middle set station there, a dreadful start. A


dreadful start. It looks like someone has caught a crab in the


Oxford boat. That could be... At the beginning of the


of the race, Oxford could have' lost it. Cambridge the favourites. Nobody


expecting that, in the opening moments a lead of three or four


lengths. Is there anyway back now? It is hard staerting on The Tideway


they have to sit with their blades facing the wrong way round. It is


much trickier. They'll have a surge of adrenaline. The Oxford crew.


They'll be trying to resurge, start back up. Heart will be pumping. But


for Cambridge, very comfortable. This is, in temples how you expect


and plan for the start of a race to go, this is the stuff of nightmares


for Oxford, on Middlesex. They mustn't be complacent. They


know they still have to shall push on. But Oxford, they have all to do.


Far more. Look at the leaders. They come back Putney boat houses. Such a


shame. Cambridge the favourite but not the way they want to start.


They'll given themselves a lot to do. Wayne is down on the river


watching. You will be as shocked as the rest of us. Incredibly


disappointing, the Oxford fore seat starting a crab. And they were


underdogs to begin with. It was horrible. Being here behind the


boats, I wish they started it over, so we have a clean race. Sadly it is


not to be. They have a heck of a lot of work to do to get back in the


race, this is going to be very disappointing for them and Cambridge


who wanted to see a good, clean race. A huge test for Oxford. And I


think in particular for their cox, Eleanor Shearer, like so many in the


Oxford boat A little bit inexperienced in Boat Races, racing


in the tied way but she has to try somehow to lift the crew. -- in the


tideway. It'll be tough, they'll have lost focus. People will have


thought - what the hell happened? They have to put that behind them.


They have to focus in. A head race now. From a cox's point of view.


Such a difficult thing to do. Obviously you can see the crew in


front. You need to keep your crew motivated but at the same time you


can't tell them they are right next to them because they will know they


aren't. Let's lack at the start. -- look at the start. A huge lead for


Cambridge. This is where it went wrong for Oxford.


Yes, you can see the four seat there, Rebecca went deep on the


first stroke. Easy to do. It is difficult to start with the stream


rushing past you and the adronely. You will be really stressed and


tense -- the adrenaline. I have never seen that. The oar, the blade


went in so, so deep. The lead, if anything is extending. Oxford a


sense of desperation. They mustn't chase it too much in the early


stages and spend all their fuel. Hopefully Eleanor can take control


and say the start didn't work. The thing is, this is a long race, they


have to get into their rhythm and go hunting after Cambridge. It is a


different mentality now. They have to get their speed, maximum,


relentless rhythm, going stroke-by-stroke to hunt Cambridge


down. It is tougher. For Cambridge they have an opportunity to relax.


Look at the rhythm. They are such a strong crew. You can hear the coxes


giving the instructions. And looking through the Cambridge crew, Melissa


Wilson racing in her fourth race, and holly Hill, Ashton Brown, Imogen


Grant. It has that experience. It is difficult to see anyway back.


Cambridge have a ten-second lead. They have immense experience. It is


a classy crew. It is a shame they weren't given that test. But they


will want it get a great time and increase the distance every stroke


because they've had a tough few years. They have not won since 2012.


They'll want to show what they can do. The crowd, we caught a glimpse


of them waiting near Hammersmith Bridge and they will all be stunned


to see the lead that Cambridge have. They won't know what happened near


the start. But they'll look down and there Ashton Brown, how different to


last year for her when the waves were crashing over her in the second


half the rest and the president leading her crew at the moment and


through actual and metaphorical calmer waters this year, but in


total control at the moment. Matthew Holland, just driving them


on. I don't want you to drop it. Hold


it. They are racing themselves out here. They will want to show what


they can do and set the standard. This is one of the best crews we


have seen in the Boat Race. They are out there. Trying to hold their


split. They know how fast they are going and they don't want to let


that come off at all. Even though they don't have a crew beside them.


That's the standed a they will want to set. We were looking at the


trophy. You see engraved not just who wins but the winning margin, 25


lengths for last year, which was rather inflated for the conditions.


That will be in the back of the mind of the Cambridge rowers to make


amends and get as big a margin of strike as they can? Yes they'll want


to avenge that, that Oxford's name has been on it for the last few


years. They named their boat the Light's Up. Yes, they have been in


the dark, struggling, they have been trying to rebuild and they'll have


that feeling they are coming out of the dark and the run of losses, but


the light is coming. The size of the crowd for this rains the men's race


to come, they are draped over Hammersmith Bridge, which is only


open to spectators for a few years ago again, it used to be closed off


but this is one of the noisiest parts of the course. Because of the


spectators, above them. They try to shoot through the Second lamp post.


That's the line of the quickest water. The deepest water. The tide


comes in and Cambridge so, so far clear they all watch and we can see


Oxford in the far distance still to come under the bridge. The lead is


stretched We have a boat here with future Olympians in it. Girls who


learned to row at Cambridge and who are doing well at QB trials. Wayne


continues to watch a -- GB trials. Wayne continues to watch. Yesk


looking like the crew everyone said they were. It is not hard to do


that, looking strong, when they have the lead that they do. Think they


would have won anyway but it is a shame they zrnt a closer race for


longer. The bend plays around to the left as we look at t around to the


south-west and it'll favour - I was going to say it would favour Oxford


t would if they were racing side-by-side but Cambridge can


choose twharts, so no advantage -- choose their waters. So no advantage


for Oxford. It is so calm compared to last year. Sometimes you get


through Hammersmith Bridge and it turns around different direction and


the wind splits up the water but a beautiful shot as we look down on


Cambridge, so far clear in this Boat Race.


You can see how supreme they are. This is a quality crew. Melissa


Wilson, who is stroking it, learned to row at Cambridge. She has lost


three Boat Races, so how sweet this must feel for her. She is leading


the way. She is going to be a bright star for Great Britain in the rowing


team. She has been in the under 23 team and he has so much talent. It


will be a great feeling for her, fourth time lucky, hopefully. She


teams up with Holly Hill, who raced last year in the Blue Boat, and


Miriam Ude. Those are the returning Blues, those who have experienced


the defeat last year, the painful defeat. Again, a stunning shot of


this sweep of the Thames as we look down, Cambridge are so very clear of


Oxford, who must try and find something. Your cox will try and lie


to you and said we are hanging in there, but they will know how far


behind they are. You have to be positive. You can't just sit there


and say you are getting obliterated by the other group. But at the same


time, you have to be realistic. She will probably be saying, let's keep


working and chipping away. At the end of the day, anything can happen.


Last year is a prime example of what can be thrown at you. So you can't


give up until you get to the line. More great shots of the crew. Imogen


for Cambridge is a fantastic lightweight rower who again is


coming up in the under 23 trials. We are seeing many faces here that I


think we will be seeing again. It is painful work for Oxford at the


moment. Painful for both crews, but at least there which have the salve


of knowing they are clear and heading for victory. We are well


past halfway now and there is still some distance to go, but Cambridge


know that victory is coming. The last four years have been wins for


Oxford. Last year in particular was horrible for those in the Cambridge


boat, but look at that. Such a different tale. The Oxford crew knew


they were underdogs. They had a strong team atmosphere within them


and they want to make sure that no matter what the media were saying


and no matter what the odds were, they were going to put in their best


performance. So as you said, such a shame to see that start. But there


is no way these girls are going to give up. They are tough. They have


got pride and dignity. They will want to show how well they can row


bomber regardless of the start. -- regardless. The cox tries to drive


them on. A very placid waters, and the bend continues to sweep around


towards the south-west. The gap is not opening up further. I am looking


for some crumbs of comfort for Oxford, but it is a dominant


performance for Cambridge. How different it might have been of


Oxford had had a decent start, we just don't know. It is a shame,


because Oxford also had the benefit of that first bend, which would have


given them a quarter to a third of a length on Cambridge and hopefully


would have given them a bit of impetus at the start. The American


in the fourth seed got into all sorts of trouble in the start. She


is the least experienced rower out there. That was an extreme example,


but she got really caught out at the start. It is a team event, and these


things happen as a team. The whole crew is responsible for that. It


happened to be her blade, but it could have been another. The balance


was off at the start and it seemed that they suddenly lurched. And they


do seem to be holding now. They are not going to let Cambridge get more


distance. They are going to try and keep on it. It is testament to their


strength and passion that they are trying to stay with this. It is a


fairly new thing for Cambridge to be rating on the Tiber in the Boat


Race, but they are on course for a course record as well -- rating on


the Tideway. The bandstand will appear on the north bank to the left


of your picture. From there, there is about a mile to go and they will


continue to put their foot down and try and achieve as big a victory as


possible, perhaps in a record time. What a great site to see a strong


demonstration of women's rowing. They are a fantastic crew with good


timing. It is great for our sport to see that, and such a shame that the


Oxford girls didn't get that opportunity. But they are going to


dig in all the way, no question. I am trying to estimate the length of


the lead that Cambridge are going to succeed by the.


They have one man, that cox. Cambridge are heading for a huge


victory, with Oxford left trailing, getting the muddy water of the


leaders, Cambridge. It all goes back to the start. Cambridge came into


this race as strong favourites, so I suspect they might have had too much


for the Oxford crew in any case, but we will never know. What a great day


for Matthew Holland. He is 19. This is the biggest stage he has been on.


He has one mega- national schools races. And let's not forget Eleanor


Shearer, the coxswain of Oxford, was at school with him, a couple of


years older. It will be strange for him to have looked across and seen


her on the start line. Getting closer now to Barnes Bridge as we


look down on this Cambridge crew, who have led by some distance from


the earliest moments of this race. And a psychological test for Oxford


to try and make sure that gap doesn't open up any more. Cambridge


are heading towards the huge numbers of spectators. The course is 4.2


miles. The Thames is lined by spectators looking forward to the


men's race to come and enjoying this dominant performance by Cambridge.


Whatever happened at the start, this has been an impressive performance.


Undoubtedly. You could hear the Oxford cox saying, brave and strong.


But this day is all about Cambridge. Getting closer now to Chiswick


Bridge and to victory. The Cambridge crew are just a distant speck on the


horizon to Oxford, who continue to try and produce something. But this


victory is going to be not quite the 25 lengths of Oxford last year, but


not too far away from it, and in perfect waters. No excuses for


either crew, no hiding place. Cambridge continue on their


relentless march towards victory. They have been building something


special. Rob Baker has done a special job. This crew is full of


talent, with future Olympians. They hope they are starting an era for


Cambridge, kicking off today. As you said, there are faces to watch in


that boat, particularly Melissa Wilson and Holly Hill, potential


future GB senior athletes, I am sure. As well as Alice White and


Imogen Grant. It is exciting to see this standard and a celebration of


what Oxford and Cambridge can do with women rowers. The flotilla


behind turns up the water and Oxford are not too far in front of that


flotilla and a long way distant, Cambridge. Ashton Brown and Imogen


Grant, Holly Hill, Alice White and Melissa Wilson and Matthew Holland,


the cox, are getting closer to victory. Last year, Cambridge were


overwhelmed by Oxford and the Thames itself. So different this year on


the, waters. The Dark Blue run is going to win for the first time


since 2012. And for the very first time on this famous stretch of the


River Thames, it is going to be, with the final few pools of the oar,


a likely win, a calm Thames today as the cox cries out. It is going to be


a record time. And the finish line calls... It is


victory for Cambridge in the Women's Boat Race, and what a victory. A


record time and a huge margin and relief for those who tasted defeat


before. And my, how they have made amends. Their opposition had such a


dreadful start, but this crew, I think, would have beaten most today.


Oxford, tired and totally dejected, come home a distant second in the


72nd edition of the Women's Boat Race. So difficult for them.


Sometimes, it is a good race and the contrast between the two crews is


clear. But today for Oxford, it will be doubly painful. That doesn't take


away from the joy and celebration is richly deserved for Cambridge. A lot


of hard work has gone on in Cambridge to turn things around from


where they have been. They probably didn't expect to turn it around in


that spectacular style, but they have. Rob Baker has done a strong


job and they are building something. They have a new boathouse. They have


had things go the right way. And what it means to Melissa Wilson.


Three times, she has lost and now she is a winner in the Boat Race.


Behind her, Myriam Goudet, also a returning blue who lost last year.


This is humbling for Oxford, because it has been a dreadful day. All the


planning and practice that goes into it, and wrong from the start. The


dejection is total and obvious. We are not singling out people because


the crew will lose as a crew. Rebecca will get comfort from the


rest. But if you sit under Chiswick Bridge and think of how wrong it


went at Putney Bridge, it was awful. But again, we stress how strong the


Cambridge crew was. It was a very big win for Cambridge. Undoubtedly a


really classy Cambridge crew. They have some great talent. Really hard


to see a race go that way. You never see in other sporting


events, the difference so starkly highlighted between winning and


losing. In a Boat Race, it is nothing at all. This end they run of


four Oxford victories and it might be the start of something for


Cambridge. As you said, they have the new boathouse and some good


funding, as Oxford do, but they have a good programme going forward. They


won in 2012, but there was a long gap before that, so it has been the


least successful period in that club's history and that is always


painful for any side. So there is a sense of relief that they have


things in place. The boathouse makes a big difference and with talent


like this, it is so exciting to put it together. All those who support


the Light Blues will be celebrating. Will the celebrations continue with


the men's race? The pictures say everything. Sustenance is being


taken on by Holly Hill and Alice White. And a record time. Sometimes


that depends on a lack of water coming off the land, but that was


such a strong performance by Cambridge. Oxford will have a


postmortem and repercussions. We will hand to Clare.


Well that stunning success for them is a new record. They beat the


record by 2015 by well over a minute. Faster than Cambridge's men


recorded last year and faster than Oxford's men in 2014. Conditions


huge Lynne fluence but a significant marker to go under 19 minutes and


for the returning blues, Ashton Brown, Holly Hill and Miriam Goudet


the first French woman to win and for Melissa Wilson as well.


Redemption from their disappointment last year when they barely made it


to the finish. Water coming on board. They kept going, they were


absolutely determined to finish the race last year and then the 12


months in between, all those hours and hours of training, with one


thing in mind and that was this - victory in the women's Boat Race and


they deserve every second of the celebrations and disappointing,


Katherine that it is that Oxford had such a poor start and it wasn't able


to develop into a great race for Cambridge they've achieved what they


set out to do. They have, as we have been hearing in the commentary, it


is not the kind of start. You want to win in that style but you don't


want to win in the problem that happened at the start for Oxford. It


takes nothing away from the cage bridge crew. -- from the Cambridge


crew. They should really be enjoying the celebrations, they are truly


successful. Jason Mohammed is down there with the president, the woman


who contracted contract pneumonia after last year's race, Ashton Brown


She's barely out of the boat. The celebrations mean so much to you,


last year I remember the tears, what a different interview? A definitely


different place this year. I couldn't have done it without the


squad. I'm so proud of my squad and the emat that. You remember the


scenario last year when we spoke about 20 m away, you were in tears,


the crew were in tears with what happened and what an incredible


achievement for you this year. We got the race we wanted to have. Last


year we felt a bit robbed because we didn't get to race. This year I had


an amazing team with me. We did t right to the end But what a story,


after last year and the disaster, then you having pneumonia. You


battled back and you are a Victoria president. I mean, it is team. --


victorious. I couldn't have done it without them How do you retain the


focus knowing Oxford were in all sort of disarray from the start? We


talked about the scenarios we could have going in and we wanted from


that start, we were talking down the boat about as big a margin as


possible t wasn't about crossing the line fist, it was about making it a


real victory. I think we did it by a huge margin which was our goal. What


about your crew. On the left-hand side. The massive roar they gave you


when you came home? They are a great team. Supportive all year. I had a


really tough go this year, but they helped me through it all. I'm really


grateful. Very soon you will be spraying champagne around. How does


it sound? Sounds good. My third Boat Race and I haven't had any champagne


yet An incredible story. Matthew Holland the cox is with me, Clare,


many congratulations. How did you maintain the rhythm and focus


knowing Oxford were having such big problems at the start We set off at


the start to have internal focus. We knew our rhythm was strong, I had to


reinforce that message. Make sure they didn't get too confident. They


had to finish the race Take us into the camp. How much were you fired up


by what happened last year and the devastation in the crew? I mean, it


was, just watching the video back before, for that to happen, and


having put in so much work must have been so horrible. I sort of felt


like that I had to make sure the returners in the crew were able to


forget that for the new experience, I wanted to make sure this made up


for the fact that last year they had a horrible racial And Ashton --


horrible race. And Ashton, a lot of modesty but how much has she helped


the team Her fight has driven the squad on. She's leading us through


this, it has been fantastic, especially when things have got


tough. Well thank you very much, Clare back to you. Apologies, a few


problems on the mic break up. But Matthew a classicically trained


singer, he does a vocal warm-up before he starts coxing. Utter


despair and you have to feel for Rebecca Esselstein but as Kath


Bishop said in commentary, it is the whole crew that upset the balance of


the boat and that's why things can happen but it was over almost before


it began and Zoe and Katherine are with me. Let's look at the start and


we'll hear the Oxford cox, Eleanor Shearer. So, Rebecca Esselstein is


in the four seat but if we just listen in. You can see the boat is


off balance. OK, Rebecca recover. Hold up, Rebecca get your blade


back. That's t forward, and go. -- that's it. Forward and go. And those


sort of five, ten seconds must feel like minutes, Zoe. Yeah, you could


hear she actually stopped the boat. Easy there is the call we use to


stop the boat. Becky was clearly struggling to get the blade out with


the speed of the boat that was being carried with the other seven having


to row. So all seven had to stop to allow her to get the blade out T


happens, it happened with one of my crew mates at a Championship a few


years ago. It happens. It is a shame it happened to soon. Victory is


assured, it is unlikely they would get caught but they rowed on to try


to set a record and they have done so. Absolutely. For both Oxford and


Cambridge, they have one race to prepare for the whole year, it is


one race so even if it is over in the first few metres, they are not


going to stop there. For them, anything can happen. Four are


returning from last year when the weather caused them to have an


horrific experience. And they had a lot to prove. They had a lot to


prove they were in the best Cambridge boat that had been put


out. To be fair to Cambridge, they know what Oxford are feeling, it is


utter despair and they will console them. Let's get a reaction from them


and their captain, Harriet Austin is with Jason now? Clare and Harriet,


this is obviously the last thing you want to do, doing an interview on


live television but what happened at the start? Obviously the start


didn't go as we planned. I think we got together really well. I'm really


proud of the girls. We put in a good race but today was Cambridge's day.


How did you manage to carry on digging, knowing you were so far


behind and you had worked so hard for it? Well, we prepare for every


situation, it is obviously not one that we'd want but Ellie did a great


job at coxing. I'm pleased we found our rhythm again and got back on to


something good Can you tell us what happened, what was your view? What


happened? I mean, we had a minor upset on the start. Again it was


something we had planned for, so we knew how to get back together. We


got back on it and as Harriet said I'm managed that we had got a


rhythm, and had a race to be proud of. Certainly not the race we


planned but on the day our opponents did better. I know it must be very


difficult for you. Thank you very much indeed. Well, very good of


Eleanor and Harriet to talk, so eloquently, because it is just an


utterly depressing, upsetting feeling and the contrast is


enormous. As Andrew Cotter said, I don't think there is another


sporting event where the difference between winning and losing is so


great and here the celebrations of combradge. A huge moment for doer of


Cambridge. A huge moment for them -- a huge moment for Cambridge. A


triumph there and also of patience. Yes a lot goes into the race and as


was said in the commentary, a long many years planning for Rob who


coaches the crew and the set-up. So a tough few years. So lovely to see


that level of celebration even if the race is quite simple and


straightforward for them. It shows how much it means to win it. And


such experience, like international rowers and Imogen Grant who signed


up for a taster because she wanted to get two free drinks. And rowers


who went to the Olympics. We'll rejoin them for the celebration but


the coin toss for the men's boat took place. In the women's race it


was irrelevant, it was over before they got to the first bend but


Surrey has proved a popular choice and once again, it was the choice of


the Oxford President. Michael DiSanto who won the toss and chose


Surrey so. Oxford winning the toss, choosing Surrey. You see the two


presidents there. It has been quite feisty, the build-up to the men's


race. We'll be discussing that in more detail because we have lots of


time. Well I say lots of time, we have 35 minutes, half an hour. They


will be out in the water shortly but the presentation is about to take


place for the women's Boat Race. And as I have been talking about the


crowds here, the huge support, I think the women's Boat Race has


added to the occasion, the interest, the stories that are written as well


and also to the understanding that these are full-time students.


You know they work all day long and they train for hours every day as


well and for those that are successful, it is all worth it, for


those that aren't, it is pretty painful. Here's Jason.


Ladies and gentlemen, one of the great sporting events of the great


British sporting calendar, ladies and gentlemen, will you please


welcome your presentation party, the Cancer Research UK 2017 Boat Races,


this is the 7 #27bd women's Boat Race. Would you please give a very


warm welcome to Mitchell Harris, Chief Executive officer, BNY


Investment management and Andrew Hodge who'll present the troey.


First, ladies and gentlemen, the losing crew, Oxford University


Women's Boat Club. Would you please welcome, Harriet Austin, the


captain, in the absent of the injured president, Isabell von Loga.


Please also give a very warm welcome to Alice, Flo Pickles, Rebecca Te


Water Naude, Rebecca Esselstein, Chloe Laverack. Jenna Hebb Earth.


Emily Cameron, cox, Eleanor Shearer and the coach for Oxford Ali


Williams. Eight nation represent. Great Britain, Ireland, United


States of America, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand


and France. Commiserations to Oxford. But, ladies and gentlemen,


on a fine sunny day here, such contrasting difference to last year,


the winners of the 2017 women's Boat Race, Cambridge University Women's


Boat Club, led by Imogen Grant. Claire Lambe. Put your hands


together for Anna Dawson. For Holly Hill. Alice White. Miriam Goudet.


Melissa Wilson, the ox, Matthew Holland. -- the cox Matthew Holland.


And head coach Rob Baker. Here comes Rob. And what a story, after last


year, the heartache, she then contracted pneumonia and here she


is, about to lift the trophy, Cambridge University women's Boat


Race President, Ashton Brown, ladies and gentlemen.


And before the drink starts flowing, Ashton, do you want to take this


moment to say thank you to the crew and thank you to the team and all


the people who played such a massive role in bringing you here today.


That thank you to everyone. This crew is amazing but this year we


have had an amazing team and such great support from everyone. We


couldn't have done it without everyone who turned up for trial


this fall and all our supporters and friends and family. A giant team


effort. I'm so privileged to lead this group. Your social media


accounts have been saying how much you have been looking forward to


this. Take it inside the camp the night before, what was it like? How


confident were you We didn't want to be overconfident but all year we had


a lot of laughs together. We were telling bad jokes, Rob cooked us a


great dinner and we had a great time. It was a lot of fun Rob, how


are you feeling? Pretty good. We have got an amazing - we have seen


our second crew win. These guys are absolutely amazing, we knew how fast


we were, it was about executing today. They were ruthless in the way


they executed which is what we've been training for all year. Let the


celebrations begin, Cambridge University, ladies and gentlemen.


Coming up next, can our novice rowers learn from their Olympic


team-mates? Jam thing has nothing on this. This will be the toughest


competition of my life -- dancing has nothing on this. Cambridge's


Lance Caddell is hoping again to work his magic spell. I'm very


competitive. Losing is not an option.


And in about 25 minutes, it's time for the 163rd Boat Race.


And the man who will be taking each other on have been lifting their


boats to the water. The Oxford crew, including William Warr, one of their


five returning Blues, but when he last rowed in the Boat Race, it was


for Cambridge in 2015. He has switched sides, only the third man


ever to do so. So Oxford will get out there and do their warm-up


routine. Cambridge are being led out by their cox. And Ben Ruble, an


experienced bow. He is rowing in his third Boat Race. He has lost once


and won it once. Their race will be an hour before high tide, so it is


due off at 5.38, just as that tide becomes a flood tide. That will


speed everything up. They are facing for the quarter miles, which seems a


tough challenge until you realise that some people take on 3000 miles


in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. It is the most


extraordinary thing and shortly, I will be talking to the two man who


won it. The latitude 35 team and their


American team-mates battled tropical storms and sweltering heat to make


the crossing in 35 days, 14 hours and three minutes, securing first


place and beating the previous world record by two days. The course runs


from the Canary Islands to Antigua. Half of the team join me now. How


did you get together? I raced against Jason, our skipper, two


years ago. I won them and Jason was desperate to win the race, so he


approached me a year ago and said, let's put a winning team together.


So you are the Ben Ainslie of Atlantic rowing, call you up and you


win? The Americans always need a Brit to win, put it that way! Alex,


what are the challenge is when you are rowing for that many days


consecutively and sleeping and eating on the boat? What sort of


things mentally do you go through? Generally, we try and break the


entire thing into smaller chunks. Mentally, you can't take on 3000


miles as an entire race. So you have sleep deprivation and you eat


different foods, rowing for two hours at any one time. We broke the


raced down into four hour chunks. Looking at your boat, I struggled to


work out where on earth you have got room to sleep. We designed the boat


so that you have just enough room to fit four big guys in there.


Normally, you only have one person sleeping in each cabin, but


occasionally if you have a storm, you have to clamber up into one


cabin at the front and one cabin at the back. It is a bit horrible. It


is much nicer to be rowing, believe it or not. But are you going to be


doing this again? Has this become your thing? Alexander I have got a


record on the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic. The obvious thing is to


try and do the Pacific. How many miles back? Over 9000 miles, a


monstrous want to try and do. There is something wrong with you, but you


are very good at what you do. Do you ever fancied doing the Boat Race? Or


would it be too easy? I have never been on a traditional rowing boat. I


used to row for Manchester university. But I am sticking to the


oceans for now. I wish you well with all the challenges ahead of you.


That crowd down there are now anticipating the Boat Race. It is


not far away, and those men are experienced rowers. Many of them


have been in the race before. But for our celebrities, it was an


all-new experience. We have seen them in training and this is a


mixture of presenters and sports people. There are some former


Olympians and Boat Race rowers, but it is a real mishmash of the great,


the good and the not sporty at all. Captain that coached by Sir Steve


Redgrave up against James Cracknell, this was what happened on race day.


Dancing has nothing on this. This will be the toughest competition of


my life. I have rowed in a couple of Olympic Games, but it was all


preparing she for today. I have not rowed on the stretch of water for 15


years. I feel an immense sense of pressure. I am feeling excited, but


slightly terrified. It is physically and mentally demanding. It is also


painful in the backside area. I am going to do a lot of whooping and


hollering. I have been told to give it 95%. When I started this process,


I was a terrible row, and I have worked my way up to pretty bad. It


has broken me physically and psychologically, but I am going to


give everything. Come race day, there is a significant blow for the


purple team, with Steve Redgrave unable to attend. And it gets worse.


Team Cracknell win the pass and get their choice of station for the


better racing line. Middlesex. Plenty of changes in seating


positions for both teams, a couple of changes in personnel. Harry Judd


has been ruled out with a back injury for the purples.


Tense final moments on the start. And the pinks have gone early. But


the starter says that is fine. Cheating, some might call it, but


they have a lead of almost a length. A study in concentration, Mark


Watson. The purples have fought their way back into this. Nothing


between these two crews, and coming close together as well, blades in


danger of clashing. Choppy waters of the Thames, Adlington now in


trouble. That has given the purples an opportunity to move out to more


than a length clear. And Michelle Ackerley, the latest to catch a


crab. The pinks take their chance to come back. Almost side-by-side


again, the two crews. Mark Watson is thumped by the chest and the pinks


take advantage. Closing in on the finish, the final few strokes. So


little between these two crews. Sophie Raworth is hit. Has the


chance gone for the pinks? The pinks are coming back, the purples trying


to hold on. So close. To the finish line! And it is a victory for purple


crew for Steve Redgrave's boat. The purples smile and celebrate, Mark


Watson in a world of pain, but he played his part. The purple crew has


the official margin of victory in the 2017 Celebrity Boat Race. The


winner of the inaugural Celebrity Boat Race is Team Redgrave. Whatever


you did, Mark Watson, you did it right. I slid under my feet, but


that was tactics. I may have seen that. One, two, three!


finish to that race. I will always remember where I was. Mark, you are


the only winner on this team. I feel like we are lucky to have you still


with us. Me being on the winning side was never in doubt. It was the


toss of a coin as to whether I would win or be decapitated by the oar. I


thought I was going out of the boat. If anything, it was more painful


than my face suggested. But when we went over the line, it was


incredible. I loved that bit, but every other aspect was difficult.


James, when you have competed in a Paralympics, how much are you having


to alter your skills to be able to work alongside these guys? It is


completely different. We jumped at the start, as you see in the VT.


Race tactics are the same. Don't go off to hard and enjoy yourself. Is


that what we were meant to do? Didn't you enjoy it? Part of it. It


was good and relaxed. Rebecca, you had a nervous time. I know, I crab


straightaway. Than I was panicking and thinking, I don't want to be the


only one. Denmark had about four and Sophie had one, so it was not just


me. I have a lot of credit for the rowers. So much goes into it. People


were like, you are a swimmer, you will be fine. I thought, maybe if I


fall out! It was amazing to be in this boat full of Olympians. But we


wanted to deliver drama. And I was so distracted by Mark's drama that


that may have been the reason why Team Cracknell when not have worked


it out, but you were stunning. The more we talk about it, the more I


emerge as the trump card. Brilliant tactics by Redgrave to pick me up


and make out that I was not very good. He knows what he's doing. Kit


Watson, is your daddy a good rower? No. I never knew he would be a


famous rower anyway. Believe it or not, there are more highlights that


you can find on the BBC iPlayer. Just look up Celebrity Boat Race.


Harry Judd is also bobbing around behind us on the Thames, doing a


Facebook live during the men's race. You can send any questions to him.


Clare, back to you. And Harry double get the most


fabulous view, travelling down the river -- Harry Judd. Cambridge last


year celebrated their first win in four years. Today could be the first


time back-to-back wins and their captain would dearly love to lead


them to that landmark. I hate losing. I am very


competitive. Losing is not an option. As a group going into the


race, we had every reason to be confident. We commanded the race


from the first stroke and that gives you the confidence to know that if


you continue to do what you are doing, that will be enough. I never


want to win a race as badly as I wanted to win that race. Three years


of Dark Blue and it turns a lighter shade. Overjoyed to realise that


goal you have been working towards for so long. We are the holders. I


guess their approach is trying to take it from us. But for me, it


hasn't changed my approach. It definitely gives us more confidence


in the system, knowing we have been there. We are doing exactly the same


things this year. We have some guys coming back to have won and that


gives us confidence that we are building a crew that is stronger and


faster. We have so many guys from such varied backgrounds, different


rowing programmes, different nationalities. My role is to bring


everybody together and form a tight-knit squad to work towards the


ultimate aim, which is beating Oxford on the 2nd of April. There is


a wide range of personalities. You have guys who are happy to sit there


and just do their thing, and you have guys who are very vocal. We


spend so much time in the minibus, joking around, playing stupid music.


This year, it is apparent that we have a good mix between having a


laugh with each other and then when we put the boat on the water, it is


business time. The message to the team has been that losing is not an


option. We are here to deliver back-to-back victories for Cambridge


for the first time since the late 90s, and this is the squad that can


achieve that. So Lance meeting his crew. Let's


meet the rest of the Cambridge University Blue boat. -- leading his


crew. I'm Hugo Ramambason the Cambridge cox. I steer the line,


motivate the crew. In front of me I have Henry Meek. Im'stroke seat,


setting up the rhythm. This is my Boat Race debut. Behind me is Lance


Tredell. I'm the president and one of only two returning blues. I am


ahead of Patrick Ed Miliband. - Patrick Eble.


I'm joined by Aleksander Malowany. The only Canadian. I'm new to the


Boat Race. With me I've go the Timothy tracy. I'm new to the blue


boat but I want be holding back. In the middle of the boat it is about


strength and power which brings me to the man sitting behind me. James


Letten at 6 '0 I'm the biggest personal in the crew. I switched


career after injury. I would love to row in the nationals. Behind me is


Freddie Davidson. At 18 I am eight youngest member. I'm hoping for


victory. Just in front of Ben Ruble. In bow. A strike today would be the


first back-to-back victory since 1989. As the bow man I will be the


first to cross the line. Tom James joins us now. Is it fair to say,


Tom, that the rivalry between Cambridge and Oxford this year has


felt especially intense? I think obviously every year, you know, it's


-- given the history, given that it is a gladiatorial battle that comes


around auns a year and the amount of time they train it is always tense.


This year it is history and given there is history between one


individual swapping sides, there's definitely history between the


individuals and when you are rowing in the race for most it is unwith of


the biggest things we will ever get to be a part of. And for most of us,


it is the one of the biggest things we will be involved at. In the


weigh-in it turned into the sort of thing you might expect at a boxes


fight. Because the two strokes, here, Vassilis Ragoussis and Henry


Meek held each other's hand and engaged in a prolonged stare-off. I


don't know why or what it achieved but I guess it adds, gives us


something to talk about. Absolutely. Weigh-in is a lot of fun, you are


sizing them up. The funny thing s you are targeting these guys for


seven months but you actually very rarely see them up close


face-to-face like that. So there is a lot of kind of primal energy and


animosity going on but you need to channel it in the right way when you


get out on the water. Cambridge have the height and weight advantage as


well, mainly due to one man, now Hugo Ramambason, the cox, he is


fairly tall for a cox at 5'9" but nothing compared to James Letten,


who is at 6'10" as he said in the piece, is the tallest man ever in a


bet race. Does that mean, George, you have to make any adjustments to


the boat itself? Yes, when you are over about 6'5", often you probably


can't quite squeeze into a regular rowing boat in a conventional way.


They may or may not have had to tweak things in their shell. We're


used to having big lads in the came brick set-up. I think they would've


managed it fine. Jim is the strongest man Cambridge have had on


the team I'm very excited to see what he can do. It'll be a close


race, featuring in the Oxford crew, brothers, the first brothers since


the Facebook twins a couple of years ago, Jamie and Ollie Cook. I'm


relieved that when we joined them for a very special family party,


mine is the only family that celebrates dog birthdays Sunday voes


a interest digs. But with the Boat Race, it is difficult to have to fit


it in with the training sessions. Mum loves cooking, we love eating


her food. Today is the fourther birthday. As a family we are close


but when ol lane I because there is only two -- between Ollie and I,


because there is only two years, we have had a competitiveness and that


competitive edge we'll take into the Boat Race. I started rowing just


around the corner and for me, I think when I first went out, it was


all about sort of having fun. And but then very quickly it started to


change to wanting to win and wanting to sort of better mayself. We never


actually shall I don't I this we've competed against each other which


has been a massive relief for me. OK, so we have a height war here,


where people generally come through the kitchen and had some food and


been measured up. We have Paul Bennett, ex-Blues rower, now an


Olympic gold medallist. And Andrew Triggs-Hodge, three-time Olympic


gold medallist. Are you going to leave some for your dad? No. I was


there to watch Jamie's race last year. It's been great because Jamie


has been able to sort of signpost all the various things that come up


with preparing for the Boat Race and all the training and the trials. It


has been roles reversed. Being the bigger brother, Jamie was the one


who had done this, the old hand. He has been through the mill a couple


of times, he has kind of been showing me the ropes a bit. I think


as parent you stand there thinking each race is like a new race, it is


like the first race, your heart is in your mouth. Yes. We know one mum


who faints each time she watches her son race Really? A different mum? It


is one of the best and worst feelings in my life I have felt was


winning and losing the Boat Race. It took me a long time to get over the


fact that I actually did lose it last year. And I was sort of really


done with the sport, with rowing. In the Boat Race, you know, if you lose


it is absolutely gutting. Banished from the house. Don't come in!


Having Ollie here has added that competitive element which has been


fantastic for me to push myself on. Really good luck for the Boat Race.


Thanks. And the Cook family are here in force to offer their support.


Jamie is rowing at seven and Ollie at three. Let's meet the full Oxford


crew. I'm Sam Collier, the Oxford cox I'm


right at the back. It's my job to give orders to the crew, all eyes


are on me, in front of me is... Vassilis Ragoussis. I'm the stroke


seat. The rest of the guys follow my timing. It's my debut. Behind me


is... Jamie Cook. Seven seat. It is my third time in the Oxford blue


wrote boat this year I get to row with my brother, Ollie. I'm ahead


of... Michael DiSanto this year's president and six seat. I


represented the United States at Rio in the Olympics and am looking for


my third Boat Race win. I sit in front of... Olivier Siegelaar I won


an Olympic medal in Rio for Holland. This is my first Boat Race I'm


sitting in front of... Joshua Bugajski, part of the powerhouse. I


rowed as part of last year's defeated boat. This year I'm going


to win. Behind me is... Ollie Cook. My dad taught May to row when I was


12. I wanted the compete in the Boat Race my younger brother sits at


seven. I'm a new addition to this year's engine room. Sitting behind


me is... Matt O'Leary at two. I'm a newcomer behind me is... William


Warr in the bow seat I balance and power as hard as I can. In 2016 I


raced with Cambridge, but this year with Oxford, I hope to cross the


line first. William Warr only the third man to switch sides. This is


what he had to say about it. It hasn't been this easy. Guys I was


close with and I would speak to every week, who I rowed with at


Cambridge, I barely speak to them any more. Some guys said - yeah,


that makes sense. Other guys didn't respect the decision at all and said


they really hope I lose for Oxford and they completely disagree with


the decision. And it is nearly racetime. So all the talking and


staring can stop. The race about to begin. Let's get the through of


Constantine and George, who wins it? I'm always going to be true to


Oxford. I think they looked strong in training yesterday. They have the


form going in and personnel. But it could be a humdinger. George? I


think it Stan is right. It is going to be a close race. Cambridge look


to me like the sharper crew but Oxford's strength is difficult to


avoid. I think if Cambridge are to win it'll go down to the wire. I


certainly hope they do. Let's see what happens. I think we are both


hoping for a good race. It will. It should be a competitive strong race.


Over to our commentary team. Time for the 163rd Cancer Research


UK Boat Race. COMMENTATOR: So they wait and I


wonder if they saw the start of the women's race and what happened


there? The dreadful start for Oxford but here they sit, Putney Bridge


looming over them. Cries from the bank. There is a helicopter above


them. It is an oppressive atmosphere. The skies have darkened.


The temperature have dropped a bit. They know these two crews, in 17 or


18 minutes, it might be quicker today, but those minutes, it is the


culmination of all the days and months of training and for some


years of ambition, and the next 17 minutes or so will be how the story


ends. Now you know how nerve wrecking it can be as an oarsman,


Tom, these moments? You can't train for this. You have to deal with it


in the day. You do all the training, it has to come out naturally you


have a two or three minute window, waiting, what do you think about? We


have seen a bit of drift wood. Not a stray duck, not ordnance from the


Second World War. They are waiting, and the umpire, Matthew Pinsent


there he is. Get ready. He rowed in this three


times. Twice a winner, once a loser. And there is Hugo Ramambason with


his hand up, showing he is not happy yet. and Vassilis Ragoussis had that


stare-off with his opposite number. Matthew Pinsent waits. The incoming


tide is as strong as it gets. The boats will be sprawling around a bit


A strong current. They are just about ready. You can see the arm of


Sam Collier is up for Oxford. Again that first stroke, so, so important.


Happy in the Cambridge boat, no, Ramambason's arm goes up. This is


what happens. You wait for the moment when both coxes are happy.


Go. Down goes the red flag away they go in the 163rd Boat Race. Short,


quick strokes which take them out before they settle into a longer,


steadier rhythm. But now, approaching 40 strokes a minute. And


the adrenaline is released and so, so important, even in a 4.2 mile


race, important to get a good picture and perhaps Surrey, with a


slight edge Cleaner strokes off the start. Cambridge slightly longer off


the start, slower to get going, the important thing for Cambridge is not


to panic, overrace. But to come down into rhythm. They are the slightly


lighter crew Oxford but combradge seem to have nibbled into that. The


initial advantage in terms of bends in this river is for Cambridge.


About a quarter of a length around Craven Cottage but no a quarter of a


length perhaps to Oxford at the moment. It looks to me like the


combradge crew went off pointed slightly wide out towards the right.


-- Cambridge crew. And had to do a wiggle to come back in. Hugo


Ramambason in that crew did a great job. He has been the blue boat cox


for three years but he apparently was hungier on it, got into that


seat, he got back on track. We know that Cambridge crew contains great


power in the middle of the boat but the Oxford boat has great power in


terms of Olivier Siegelaar the Olympian. And Michael DiSanto


finished fourth in that race in Rio. It is a big lead early on for


Oxford. I think it is. It is what we expected. Oxford were favourites


coming into this. We have seen it time and time again, they are goo


good at getting out off the start. We knew that. Cambridge have had a


good season, the last couple of weeks they have been on top form and


looking good. This is what we expected, a slightly less


experienced crew. They come into advantage now and this is where they


immediate to settle into a strong pattern and not being overwhelmed by


being a length down. The bow seat needs to remind them of that, the


distance, they are still there. Cambridge have the advantage of


about a quarter to a third of a length on the bend. It'll be


important for them to capitalise on that and equally important for


Oxford that if Cambridge gain a couple of seats they don't panic.


Out on the water there is Wayne. What do you make to the start An


impressive start for Oxford. They went like a skalded cat out of the


gates. They almost had a shoft breaking through before the first


turn in Cambridge's favour. They couldn't quite do that, now Matthew


Pinsent is making sure the crews are staying apart and making sure


Cambridge have a chance it take their corner. This is where


Cambridge needs to get into a rhythm and take their way back. They have a


lot of work to do around the outside of the next bend.


We can see how close the blades are coming, with the danger of clashing.


Cambridge have put a push in and they are eating away into the Oxford


lead. They have done a great job of capitalising on the bend, both coxes


doing a lovely job of keeping their crews close, but not too close. I


have zero Italy go alongside me, former Oxford cox -- Zoe de Toledo.


We are waiting for the angle to tell us how big the Oxford lead is, but


it looks no more than a quarter of a length. Cambridge have done well.


Oxford's initial advantage is just giving them the chance to look


solid. You can see they look strong. For Cambridge, the next couple of


minutes are imperative. They need to keep working. As they go past the


band 's wetland centre, you can see how close the blades are coming


together once more. They are fighting for the narrow channel of


water where the tide rushes in. There is a real danger of the blades


clashing. There was a bit of touch there and Oxford came off better.


But Cambridge are still hanging in. A good view of the tandem rigging in


the setup. You can hear Matthew Pinsent just warning Oxford to move


back into their waters. Oxford have to have a light touch on the rudder.


Sam is calling for them to stay loose, stay relaxed in that Oxford


boat. A little clash. Freddie Davidson's blade caught that of


Jamie Cook's in the Oxford boat. This is what happens, they are


fighting for that narrow channel of water which provides the quickest


path. This is getting slightly dangerous for Cambridge. These next


couple of minutes, it is imperative for Cambridge to stay in touch.


Hugo, you have got to move, said Matthew Pinsent. Suddenly, Cambridge


are a length down, Wayne Pommen. Yes, they missed a stroke. And that,


combined with the steering, has really cost Cambridge. Now they are


not in a good position. Oxford has the inside of this bend for the next


six or seven minutes. So Cambridge need to produce something special


right now if they are to stay in this race. The Cambridge cox was


doing what he thought was best to keep his crew in the race, but it


might have cost them as they had to steer out of it as they were being


warned by the umpire, Matthew Pinsent. They are coming up to


Hammersmith Bridge. This is where you will see Oxford term. Cambridge


will have to keep pushing. This is turning into a short race for


Cambridge. They have to treat the next couple of minutes as if they


are coming up to the end of the race. It will have to be a huge


effort from Cambridge now, because Oxford are beginning to stretch out


under Hammersmith Bridge. Between 80% and 85% of the time, the boat


which leads at Hammersmith Bridge goes on to win. Now Oxford will have


that big bend around the South Bank and will have that advantage, so the


next couple of minutes for Cambridge will have to be a huge effort to


hang in there and give themselves a chance in the second half of the


race. Cambridge are not letting go of this. If I was Oxford, I would


want to be moving a bit more here with this advantage. Hopefully, we


will see that start to happen for them as this bend continues.


Cambridge are doing a fantastic job. If they can keep this overlap, it


will be to their advantage. As long as they can still keep in touch.


There is Hugo, the 20-year-old, French British student. He is moving


a lot in his legs. You want to sit nice and still so as not to upset


the boat, but that is what happens in the excitement. A bit of


excitement around the water. Cambridge are trying to hang on, but


Oxford are opening out the length and a half lead and looking strong.


They have experience with the Cook brothers and Sam Collier urging them


on. We just saw Oxford put in a big push. At this point, they want to


make it count. This is a really important moment for Oxford to keep


moving away. Cambridge are still in touch. Back down to Wayne Pommen, up


on the river. It looks like Oxford might have done what they needed to


do, which is push hard around Hammersmith, where you have got the


bend, and get yourself at least a quarter length or half length and


then you control the rest of the race. Cambridge have to produce


something really quickly now to force Oxford back onto the side of


the river if they want to stay in this race. Otherwise, Oxford can go


wherever they like when the river turns back around the next bend.


That is a good view of it. The bend will start to move to the right-hand


side a while. We are still with the Surrey bend. If Oxford get that


clear water ahead of Cambridge, they can choose their line, which they


can't at the moment. Matthew Pinsent is in the umpire's launch, keeping


control. The blades are close, but Cambridge are clear water behind at


the moment. I don't think this is over yet. Cambridge are hanging in


there and they might have taken back a couple of feet in the last ten


strokes. In the Oxford boat, they have got to stay relaxed and make


sure they use this advantage. Zoe is right. If Cambridge can keep hold


for the next minute, it will start to come round to their advantage.


Whichever crew is moving has the advantage. They have been level for


the last few minutes and the advantage has come from Oxford's


bend as opposed to their boat speed. They will soon come to the crossing


and then favour the north bank of the river and under Barnes Bridge.


All of the bend after that will favour... Well, Oxford can choose


their line, of course. This is a huge moment for Cambridge. If they


can hang on, perhaps Oxford will start to become demoralised. They


have now done what is the umpire's worst nightmare, which is that they


have crossed stations. The crews are not allowed to roam on the wrong


station. Cambridge are coming back fast and they have to get back onto


the right stations. Yes, if they were to get back into contact with


the Oxford boat, they can't do that on that side because Cambridge


started on Middlesex. Oxford started on Surrey. That gap is not moving.


Not yet. Cambridge have been on the back foot for the last ten minutes.


They have had a really tough race and they are doing well to stay in


touch. Oxford still have composure. If Cambridge can just keep on for


the next 30 seconds, then this last bend of Oxford will inch out and


they will get into their last bend which gives them an advantage. There


was just a mis-struck back near Hammersmith which cost Cambridge and


they fell back at that point and it has remained like that since then.


But Cambridge are still hanging on and hoping. Let's go back to Wayne


Pommen. These crews are making Matthew Pinsent work hard.


Cambridge, a minute ago, put in a huge push to try and get back into


this race. You could see the additional effort they were putting


down. They took a few feet back from Oxford. But after that, Oxford were


able to withstand it and now they are back in control. I'm not sure


how much came which have left to throw at them. It looks like Oxford


are putting their puddles under the centre of the oar. Some of the


supporters in the Cambridge launch were waving their arms. I think they


thought Oxford were encroaching a bit too much on Cambridge's water,


but it looks as if Oxford have withstood that push from Cambridge.


Yes, we did see the giant arm outstretched by Matthew Pinsent with


the white flag, telling Oxford to get back in their own water. Just


over a mile to go from here. Perhaps that gap is now beginning to look


more decisive. Very few boats come from behind at Barnes Bridge, which


you can see in the distance. That is a significant lead for Oxford.


Cambridge have been rowing in the Oxford wash for a long time now, a


horrible way to row. It is bumpy. Oxford have nice, clear water on the


other hand. They have got Cambridge and our sites and they can control


what they are doing. Very solid. Cambridge are just a little bit


tired. Past the houses of Barnes and the crowds which have come out in


their hundreds of thousands today. There is the Oxford boat.


Cambridge are hanging on, but this is too much to try and get back


beyond Barnes Bridge. Umpire Matthew Pinsent is still not happy that


Oxford have enough of a lead to be in Cambridge's water. He has warned


them quite a few times. You can still hear the coxes asking.


Cambridge are hanging in there. It would be a miracle comeback from


here, but Cambridge seem to be getting closer once again.


They are not going away. It is just that the river is going to run out.


Steinegger this is Cambridge's bend now. So for Oxford again, really


important to stay relaxed and keep doing what they are doing, trust and


believe in their rhythm. Cambridge have nothing to lose now. Two and a


half minutes of racing left. This is where they have to put everything


in. They have done incredibly up to this point, rowing in Oxford's wash,


which is not comfortable. Down to when Toulouse Wayne wants more. It


has been interesting to watch. Oxford had the better start and they


capitalised around the Surrey bend, but in the past ten minutes, the


crews have been going at almost the same speed, so it has been a great


race. That gap is not closing for Cambridge, Oxford maintaining their


lead. Their bodies will be urging them to stop, but their minds are


driving them on. Matthew Pinsent is still not happy. He is saying they


have to move back to their side. It is a good lead, but not yet


decisive. There has not yet been a point where Oxford feel like they


have really broken away from Cambridge.


It has been very equal speed. Undoubtedly, Cambridge have kept the


pressure on right through this. As we saw in the women's race, they are


not letting it go until the finish line. Sam Collier, the cox, asking


for more. But there will be no back-to-back wins for Cambridge on


this day. Huge flotilla behind the two crews, who are still close


together. It goes back to that little bit around Hammersmith


Bridge. Perhaps the brighter start for Oxford, but Oxford, in the 163rd


Boat Race, will reclaim the Thames. They are champions once more.


Cambridge were so close, but in the Boat Race, that is so far away


still. Oxford have their celebrations. That was a very good


race. All credit to Oxford, very clinical race. They got off the


start cleanly. They got into their rhythm. Even when they came under


pressure, they were able to hold onto the lead. Cambridge, what 1030.


Even though they were in that horrible wash for such a long time,


they showed tenacity. And the contract again -- the contrast


again, because they gave so much in training. Sacrifice is an


exaggerated word, but they do. They get up in the morning and have long


winter sessions. And then it just doesn't happen on the day. This was


an ambitious move. Was that Cook heading towards Cook? That was


Jamie, no doubt heading back to embrace his brother. Too many cooks


spoil the boat. What a sight. Remember the winkle Voss twins, they


were the last brothers, the twins who lost for Oxford. But Damian


Ollie Cook are winners as brothers -- Jamie and Ollie Cook. And the


sad, muted cheers from Cambridge. Ble. Don't fall in now. But again,


when you win, it doesn't matter. Siegelaar there, just getting his


breath back. When you have given so much energy and you are broken, it


doesn't seem to matter when you have won. There is always the first


couple of minutes after racing is over and it is horrible. Oxford have


shown their dominance. They have a big engine room and they have


allowed the to work hard in the middle of the race. Cambridge,


losing the race is horrible but they had a fantastic, a fantastic


evident. I don't think they probably got off the start as well as they


wanted and had to really work back in the race to deep in touch but a


horrible race to have to race, just so close, never quite getting the


chance when you are back on level. For the guys in the stern they've


never seen the Oxford boat. So, it is a really hard row. All credit to


them for keeping the margin to what it was by the end. # Well Vassilis


Ragoussis has och sowsfully coughed up half his lung and he is


recovering now and Oxford will head into the boat club where


celebrations will continue. In the reserve races, Oxford beating


Cambridge and in the women's, I think it was by a good distance as


well. And Blondie, Cambridge, won in the women's. Over the day it is


even. A win for the Cambridge women, a win for the Oxford men and the


reserve races but there is Sean Bowden who has seen so much success


in the Boat Race. A successful coach as well in the 90s, he had a spell


with Cambridge, working there under Robin Williams and now with Oxford


what success he has had. And for Cambridge, they have found shore


already and Oxford now, weary but winners, they will head in a very


good race and again, as you were saying, the start was so impressive


for Oxford. Yes they had to pay for that later on but it was a building


block because they decided that then they would look for clear water


which they never actually found but it was the right plan. I think


Cambridge never let Oxford get comfortable like Tom said. They


pushed them the whole way. It is a difficult position to be in for both


groups. Actually when you are up you want to keep moving and you want to


see you are breaking away and you can see the opposition right there


behind you. And you want to know you are still moving and moving faster


but in this case Cambridge hung on and hung on, so great race from both


groups. ! Souk see how valuable getting a good start can be. It is


not necessarily well you lose half a length perhaps off start, it is what


you do in the minute, minute-and-a-half, two minutes,


while you settle into the rhythm. If you are behind it is difficult to


relax and stride out to carry through the next 20 minutes. And


those two men, Olivier Siegelaar they are Olympians, there is the


super slow motion there. That's effort that goes into it. But a high


quality book, Ollie Cook was a travelling spare for Rio but a high


travelling boat for Oxford? It is and it pays when it comes to big


occasions and I think for Oxford, it is a very powerful unit. If you get


them all working together well, you get good results. We'll hear from


the inwiners in a moment but let's hear first of all from the losing


president, the Cambridge president, Lance Tredell. Well, Lance, a tough


sport when you win but more painful when you don't. How are you


emotions? Um, obviously getting to this point and not to get the win


today, yeah, it was - you know, the guys, you know, we stuck together we


fought it out. We never gave up. It just wasn't enough today


unfortunately. What was the difference, you had to back off to


regroup, was it necessary or was it costly in the end? There was no


stage where we backed off. We were pushing all the way. The guys put up


a great fight. Congratulations to Oxford on the win but, you know,


Cambridge will be back. There is a lot of great people, great thenges


going on in the club and we'll be back fighting next year, for sure.


You have been on the winning side, now sadly for you, you are on this


side. This is your last boat, race, though s it? Yes, this is my last


one. The second of two. So, disappointing not to go out with a


win, of course but I'm not doing this for me, I'm doing this for the


team. We are one unit. All nine of us in the crew, with the coach and


you know, so it is disappointing for me but, you know, it is about the


club and you know we'll be back fighting, no doubt about that.


Thanks very much. You can see there the faces of the crew. A tough race


for them and for Oxford a magnificent victory, stronger,


cleaner, nickically better. Back to Jason of -- technically better. More


reaction from the victorious crew? Thank you very much. Victory for


Oxford and I have the Cook boys with me. You know what they say, too many


Cooks, fantastic performance, what a brilliant performance. Thank you


very much. Thank you. It wasn't easy. We had a good race. It was a


good row but we put everything out there. It was tough. Just trying to


follow this guy. ! And how was it to be doing this as brothers, extra


special? Extremely special. There is like a deeper bond, it goes back to


when I was bond and Ollie was two and I kicked him out of my mum's bed


because I wanted to go in there. And I still sleeps there.


Well Cambridge put out a serious effort. They never gave up. I was


terrified the whole way I was communicating with the cox to make


sure we wouldn't incur a foul but we did the job, we were clinical but I


think, thanks so much to Cambridge. And also, chaps our team in the


studio were talking about the nerves and adrenaline before the race


started. What was it like? It is huge, I have done international


races but you can see a huge crowd, a couple of helicopters, the buzz, I


mean, it is nothing like I have ever experienced Your president, Michael


DiSanto scarpered off as San as he got out of the boat. I have no idea


where he has gone. -- as soon as he got out. How crucial a has he been?


I was been living him with a year. He has kept me on the straight and


narrow which has improved my peformance. We were so well-prepared


our coach, Sean Bowden did a phenomenal job. Here he is, Michael


DiSanto condition greatlations. Where did you run off to, was there


somebody you wanted to say hello to? My mum was on the launch, pretty


special. How does this compare, you rowed for team USA at the Rio


Olympics, winning here today alongside the Cook brothers and the


crew, who have been fantastic, where does it rank? Into nothing like


this. My three Boat Races, that's got to be my favourite. The harder


it is, the more you can savour it tend of the hats off to Cambridge a


good boat but we were better on the day. That's what it is about. Often


you get people like me saying what has it been like in the run-up to


the race but I know you have a remarkable crew and team spirit. You


can see in the fall, it seemed like nothing was going our way. We had a


poor result and training camp it turned around and we have been


building, building, building, and it happened here today. We wanted That


some celebration tonight, boys? A little bit Michael you have said you


are not racing again on this Boat Race, on live television, would you


like to say you will be back? No, I will not be back, but the president


last year, was asked a tough question by Matthew who umpired and


he asked is it the end of an era? I can say defintively it is not. As


long as Sean is at the helm, Oxford will be a great place Have a good


night tonight, many congratulations. Cheers, lads. Michael DiSanto


mentioned Sean Bowden there. For Sean, his 12th win with Oxford and


his 14th in total. Before he coached Oxford he won three out of four with


Cambridge so. An amazingly successful koe. He has found the


knack of inspiring and motivating men to train for as long as they


have to, but it is the execution that matters on the day. Katherine


Grainger, let's look through the race, the start not as influential


as the women's but still really important and Oxford got the better


start. Absolutely. At the start of the race, especially in two-Boat


Race, it is crucial what can happen. Mentally as much as physically that


race can transform in the first few strokes, Oxford were off to a flier


and started to move off early but what was great, Cambridge with a


higher stroke rate but kept the pressure on the whole way, even


right up to Hammersmith Bridge, which is definitely in Oxford's


favour. Now here you can see the boats came close together. Matthew


Pinsent who was umpiring, he had to call them the whole way through,


they were close together. What you actually see is the two seat of the


Cambridge boat did lose for one stroke, missed a stroke completely,


that can have a big influence. Because of that Oxford start to move


away again and the water opened up and it looked like Oxford, it was


going to be up to them. They actually moved to the other side of


the river but had to separate again but once they got moving they were


clear water and quite a comfortable win in the end. Well, you and George


both know how much this race starts, Constantine. At what stage in the


race, if at all can you enjoy it? I will pick up with what Katherine


said. It was comfortable in one respect. There was clear water but


you can see the pain written on the faces of Vas and the six seat. They


gave T Cambridge stuck at T in one way a classic Surrey win. The crew


on Surrey held and held and started to row away at half way but they


really struck there. These crews, they know if you don't keep on going


in the boat, they are so strong, those Cambridge guys are so strong.


At the finish, there was only so much celebration. The guys


collapsed. They could barely raise their arms. Well we'll talk about


the story, William Warr, he switched sides, he has won the Boat Race with


them. Let's hear from him now with Lee. Will, you have done this in a


selection of different colours now, different shades of blue but


congratulations how was that? ? It was a really tough race. We had a


great crew and a great row. Respect to Cambridge as well. We got out


ahead but they were putting a hell of a lot of pressure on. A big thank


you to Sean and Mike for leading a great campaign. I know how hard it


is to lose for Cambridge as well so big respect to Lance and their team,


a tough race. An interesting dynamic for you, you have to build up


relations with the crew mates and you have relations with Cambridge?


It was a bit weird at first but the Oxford guys have been really, really


supportive of me. I still have a few friends left at Cambridge, too, so,


you know, a really great crew. And, yeah, it was a great race and, I'm


really happy with that. Ultimately what was the difference out there


today? I don't know, we had a great start. Got into a great rhythm and


we got ahead. We did a huge push. I can't remember, around Hammersmith


area. We got out ahead and then just held on for dear life, really. They


kept on being there and, they pushed us hard but I think we kept our


cool, just about and stuck to Sean's plan. We had a really good season.


Yeah, thanks to my parents, as well. I know they were worried. I'm


pleased you didn't let them down. Congratulations, enjoy it. Thank you


very much. And William Warr can now go back to concentrating for his


studies, he is studying for in Population Health. That's why he


went to Oxford because he said that was the place where he could win it


back. So I think that was' Oxford 80 wins, two behind Cambridge now I


think. But when you watch that race, what do you think overall for the


future of rowing, the Boat Race has been a springboard for Olympic


rowers, the two of you a feign example? For me a classic race, both


crews will have learnt loads from that experience. It was really,


really gritty from both crews, as Stan was saying, you could seat pain


etched over their faces of the Oxford guys who were in a relatively


commanding position. The Cambridge guys didn't give up. It is


fantastically valuable it take into sporting careers. I'm sure one or


two will be in Tokyo. That one of the enduring images, post-race of


the Cook brothers celebrating and it's time now to join the


presentation down at Mortlake, just beyond the finish line. Jason can


take us through it. Yes, what a beautiful afternoon


along the Thames and what a fantastic afternoon it has been for


Oxford University in the men's rates. Please give a warm welcome to


our presentation party. Put your hands together for the chief


executive of Cancer Research UK. Alongside him, the Newton Investment


management representative. And Robert Gillespie, chairman of the


Boat Race company Limited and the man who needs no introduction, a man


who at Christmas time showed us that he has as much rhythm as the crews


here in the Boat Race. Please give a warm welcome to Strictly Come


Dancing winner, Mr Ore Oduba! Not to mention my BBC Sport colleague.


Please show your appreciation also to a fine crew. They played their


part in today's 163rd Boat Race. Please welcome Cambridge University


Boat Club, led by the president, Lance Tredell. Commiserations to


Cambridge. Ben Ruble, ladies and gentlemen. Freddie Davidson, James


Letten. Timothy Tracey. Alexander. Henry Meek. Hugo Ramambason and


their coach Steve Trev. They very much played their part. And the


moment we have all been waiting for. Prepare for lots of things to be


sprayed on the stage and probably tonight and in the coming days. The


winners of the Boat Race 2017, Oxford University Boat Club race!


winners of the Boat Race 2017, Oxford University Boat Club The Boat


Race champions of 2017. Please give a huge cheer to William Warr,


Matthew O'Leary, Oliver Cook, Joshua Bugajski, Olivier Siegelaar, Mr


James Cook, Vassilis Ragoussis, Sam Collier. Don't forget a crucial


member of the organisation, the coach. A big cheer for Sean Boutin!


And led by this man, the president, Michael DiSanto! Michael is now


going to hand over the trophy to Ore, and Ore has the pleasure of


handing the trophy over to Michael. Oxford University Boat Club, ladies


and gentlemen! Hard to keep a lid on it.


Michael, just before you crack open the fizz, this is your opportunity


to thank a few people. First and foremost, my family are the


backbone. Sean, Barbara, Andy, Philippe, Austin. These guys. My


girlfriend. This is just spectacular. What a day. It is like


the Oscars, although we got the award right. What about the fans who


have assembled here? Thank you so much. That is what makes the Boat


Race so special. Thank you so much. Are you ready? Many congratulations.


Oxford University Boat Club, ladies and gentlemen!


Isis! Helen Glover has joined me to watch the celebrations of Oxford. I


know you have been watching the race with some of the massive crowd that


are here. What was the atmosphere like with those watching on TV? It


was amazing. To be part of a crowd watching our sport, cheering on the


teams, it was a great atmosphere. Have you had a chance to come to the


Boat Race before? Never in this capacity. I have watched from the


sidelines, but I have avoided the crowds because I didn't want to


catch a cold or be on my feet all day. So to be here and be watching


what is going on is amazing. It is so loud. And just to be able to


relax and enjoy it. In terms of the women's race, going back to the


record time for Cambridge, although it is still a very young race on the


Tideway, but how impressed are you with their performance? That is one


of the key thing is, because a lesser crew would have seen the fact


that they were probably going to win by halfway and come off the gas a


bit. But they kept their standards high, and that shows real class to


see how they got the record on top of the win. In both cases, the race


was a case of redemption. Cambridge were so disappointed last year, and


they won the women's race. For Oxford, who were beaten and bowed


and very disheartened in the men's race last year, coming back to win


this time. Constantine, sometimes that is what the Boat Race is about,


picking yourself up again and how you respond to failure rather than


how you celebrate success. That is absolutely true. It is obviously


true of the Cambridge women, and of the Oxford man too. There seems to


be a special type of celebration for when you win after having lost the


previous year, and a kind of redemption about the whole thing.


George, as far as the Cambridge men are concerned, they were not that


far behind. They never went away, said Oxford. They were always


chasing. It was not a done deal. They only lost by four microseconds.


As a percentage -- four seconds. That kind of steam will fuel the


fire to turn it around. That is often the way it works with these


things. Well, we are nearing that moment which seems to be the most


bizarre way of celebrated success. Katherine, how important are the


Boat Races as a showcase for rowing, even though they are so different


from Olympic racing? It is great. You see the crowds down here in


person. You see the global coverage on television. It is a big event for


rowing as a sport and it is a huge feeder for the GB team. Here comes


the moment. Sam Collier, the cox of the Oxford man and furthest away


from Matt Holland, who is going to get checked in. Although it is in


celebration, the Oxford crew get in as well, because it looks warm


enough. The Cook brothers are still going for it. They are going to be


talking about this forever. I always worry that it is not deep enough,


but that tide comes so fast that nobody has been seriously injured so


far. That was a good throw! Sam has gone a mile. The Cambridge women


probably need to work on their throwing of the cox. Well, it has


been a magnificent day, helped hugely by weather conditions. It


really makes a difference with the camera shots as well. Helen, you can


hear the cox shouting his orders. You can see the effort on the


rowers' faces. Yeah, today is a day when you can get immersed in this


amazing sport, going through the middle of a city with everybody


watching it. I just want to say, Ollie Cook deserves an extra medal


just for that swan dive. It was a very good way to finish what has


been a stunning day at a very busy time of sport.


We are the only broadcaster to bring you live and uninterrupted


coverage of Masters Weekend, next weekend.


There is also live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and live


radio commentary of all four days on Radio 5Live.


For the first time, the Light Blues dominated the women's race in a


record time for Cambridge, and Cambridge pushed the man all the


way, but Oxford came out on top on a day that started with a bomb scare


but ended with an explosion of Dark Blue. Thank you for watching the


Boat Races. There is no second place. You are either a winner or


loser. You have to win. That's the only thing that matters. It's not


necessarily the best crew that wins, but it's the best crew on the day


that will win. It hurts a lot, but it hurts less if you win.


These are the moments of real tension. That was a dreadful start!


Someone has caught a crab in the Oxford boat. Oxford could have lost


it. This day is all about Cambridge. Victory for Cambridge in the Women's


Boat Race. And away they go in the 163rd Boat Race. What an impressive


start for Oxford. They got out like a scalded cat. Cambridge are not


letting go of this. Oxford are back in control. I am not sure how much


Cambridge has left over at them. No back-to-back wins for Cambridge.


Oxford will reclaim


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 163rd men's boat race and the 72nd women's.

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