Cambridge’s men and women doubled boat race A dominant afternoon victory over Oxford for the Light Blues.
After the women’s team took their sixth consecutive victory earlier in the day, Cambridge’s men later took the honors by doubling their opponents in the traditional varsity race.
It felt like one of the purest men’s races in recent history, with Oxford trying to secure its 2022 title while Cambridge hoped to secure four wins in the last five, with no Olympians in this year’s race.
The eventual winners suffered rudder problems that threatened to delay the start of the 168th edition of the men’s race, which took place under harsh conditions on the traditional Thames Tideway course.
Both boats received early warnings from referee Tony Reynolds as bookies’ favorite Oxford took the lead with a weight advantage before the race.
While each crew boasted of men with previous blue boat experience, only two in Cambridge were Luca Ferraro, returning from bow to strike, and captain Ollie Parish, seven, returning from 2022.
Parish’s helmsman brother Jasper won with the women last year, this time joining his brother in the Light Blue boat.
It turned out to be a critical trade-off when Jasper made a risky call to approach the shore and river wall and bend near Fulham’s Craven Cottage stadium in hopes of finding friendlier waters.
It turned out to be an inspiring decision that allowed the Light Blues boat to take the lead at half length, and while Oxford doesn’t let their opponents get away, their bows often line up with their opponents’ stern, but fail to gain significant ground. Cambridge took the advantage to the finish line.
Oxford had reason to worry when stroke-stricken Felix Drinkall appeared to collapse on the boat and paramedics intervened immediately as the rower was taken to the hospital.
Earlier on Sunday, Cambridge beat Oxford by 4 1/2 lengths in the 77th women’s race for their sixth straight win.
Both blue boats set records in 2022, beating the Cambridge competition by 2 1/4 lengths, but Cambridge president Caoimhe Dempsey is a different race, as he is the only one returning from either university and neither crew is an Olympian for 2023. would be.
Cambridge was again the heavy favorite and chose Surrey Station after winning the coin toss, but it was Oxford who achieved an early lead in stormy conditions.
The defending champions quickly reclaimed Oxford’s advantage and soon regained control of their own destiny, but things got interesting at Hammersmith Bridge when referee Matt Smith gave a strong warning as the boats were dangerously approaching and Oxford threatened to smash their opponents.
Cambridge steered clearly and was well ahead at midpoint, and Smith had his flags raised as Cambridge battled to victory in the choppy waters.
Cambridge women’s president Caoimhe Dempsey told BBC Sport: “I really couldn’t hold my breath. It was a race whirlwind, with so much going on that conditions changed so much from start to finish.
“I’m proud. It’s a completely different experience as president and sitting in the stroke seat is a totally different experience but honestly it’s still sinking. I’m just proud of the girls. It was a tough race, a lot of stuff was going on and they handled it very well.
“They’re so ambitious, strong and brave that they gave Oxford full marks, they raced a great race, they really didn’t let us go and they got off to a great start.” They were able to handle the conditions very well. It’s great to be a part of.”