Winning crew image by Ben Tufnell/Row360 used with kind permission of CUWBC. Other photography by Alastair Fyfe.
2017 Cancer Research UK Boat Races round-up
Unexploded WWII ordnance at Putney failed to halt the 72nd women's Boat Race and 163rd men's Boat Race from going ahead on Sunday, 2 April.
After the wartime shell was removed from the northern shore at Putney by the Metropolitan Police, the attention of the spectators packing the river banks switched to the zenith of nine months' preparation: the Cancer Research UK Boat Races.
A dominant Blue Boat set a new Tideway record for the women's Race, winning by 11 lengths in 18 minutes and 33 seconds.
Coxed by Matthew Holland, the Light Blues surged into the lead from the Surrey station after the Oxford four seat 'caught a crab' at the start. By Hammersmith Bridge, their lead was a commanding ten seconds, and with the waters calming towards Chiswick, they were celebrating a first win in five years soon afterwards.
CUWBC president and Blue Boat bow seat Ashton Brown, who last year was hospitalised with pneumonia after the dramatic almost-sinking, declared: "it feels great, all the hard work of so many people has paid off."
In the reserve race, Blondie also produced a scintillating performance across the four mile course to make it a clean sweep for the Light Blue women on the Tideway this year, winning by 13 lengths.
It was 'row close'
In the Cancer Research UK Boat Race, our Blue Boat battled from the Middlesex station, keeping the Oxford boat in sight throughout and maintaining a high stroke rate. After a challenging start, cox Hugo Ramambason, CUBC president Lance Tredall and the crew came in a length behind at the finish line.
One of the pivotal moments of the Race saw the Boats' blades almost clashing at six minutes in. Umpire Sir Matthew Pinsent called the crews apart and Freddie Davidson in two seat had to be smart to avoid his oar colliding with that of the Oxford seven seat. But the steering had cost them time and by Hammersmith, Oxford were out to a length, a lead they maintained until Mortlake.
Earlier, Goldie had slipped to defeat, losing to Isis in two and a half lengths after Oxford won the toss and chose Surrey.
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In other news
Meanwhile, also on 2 April, Hazel the golden Guernsey goat, representing Cambridge, cantered to victory in the annual Goat Race in front of more than 1,000 spectators. Hazel beat Dark Blue rival Hamish around the Spitalfields circuit.