The 160th Varsity Boat Race: Live Blog

19.20: That’s all for today folks. Here’s a quick summary of today’s action:

  • In the Boat Race, Oxford beat Cambridge by 11 lengths after an early clash caused a Cambridge rower to crab and miss a couple of crucial strokes
  • The reserve race was also won by the OUBC crew, with Isis dominating against Cambridge’s Goldie boat.
  • The Varsity Football went to penalties after a tense nil-nil game, Cambridge won 4-2.

And in the day’s most anticipated event:

  • Oxford’s representative beat Cambridge in the Goat Race too, although an interlocutor called Annie took the overall victory… 

18.59: Good news all round for winning President Malcolm Howard:

Pride comes through in each of the quotes offered too:


18.47: Some good pictures and quotes coming from the press conferences and celebrations!

18.42: On a more serious note: The BBC’s montage, intercut with some pretty Oxford footage, is pretty inspiring.

It’s been a busy day, and I – like the many athletes who have entertained us today, am in need of a beer or two. Stay tuned for extensive post-race analysis from Cherwell, and keep following @Cherwell_Online, @CherwellSport, and @maxlxng for info. 

18.36: The two Oxford crews have just dipped their coxes in their Thames. It’s always good to see that.

18.32: I always like to use the boat race as a reminder of what could have been, were I not engaged in sleeping ’til 1pm and eating fried food whilst at university, it’s an absolute privilege to share an alma mater with these guys. 

18.31: As Oxford take to the podium, let’s bask in the glory of these athletes who are far more impressive than me. 

18.30: The presentation is now happening. 

18.29: We’re hearing that Luke Juckett was also rowing with a broken rigger, not entirely sure how a boat is put together, but that sounds pretty debilitating. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see both boats going full pelt for the whole race. 

18.26: The Oxford rowers have been fantastically modest in victory, Karl Hudspith saying how “unfortunate it is to end a year’s training like that [for them]”, and current OUBC President insisting on a need to be “gracious”. Poor Luke Juckett looks devastated, but he’ll be back. 

18.20: Result declared, stay tuned for top quality post-race reporting. Apparently this was the biggest victory since 1973. 

The victory time was 18 mins 36 seconds. 

18.19: There is a protest by the Cambridge crew, but the umpire isn’t having any of it. 

18.17: OXFORD WIN BY AROUND 10 LENGTHS.

18.15: 

Meanwhile Cherwell’s Sport editor is clearly enjoying the likely victory…

18.14: The Oxford boat has reached Barnes Bridge. Looks like a foregone conclusion now – barring an act of God.

18.13: 

18.10: The lead is just going to get bigger according to the official twitter account. The BBC are speculating whether or not the end of the race will see a protest.

18.08: 

18.06: The Oxford boat is continuing to pull away. Would take a monumental effort for the light blues now. CherwellSport can clarify what just happened:

18.03: CLASH. The Cambridge no.2 seat has just missed several strokes and Oxford now hold a substantial lead of several lengths.

18.02: Andrew Cotter on the BBC commentary is wondering whether the tabs may be spending too much energy too soon. Oxford look to be back in front, but it’s very close.

18.01:

17.59 Oxford take a short lead on the first bend

17.58: AND THEY’RE OFF

17.55 Tension builds as crews prepare for the race!

17.51: Both Blue crews are ready to start. Follow the race live here.

17.44: Isis have dominated in the reserve race! Congrats to them, and let’s hope that blue boat will continue the success.

17.42: Good omens on the Isis/Goldie Race:

17.40: The finish line is quiet now, I can’t see that lasting…

17.37: Jon Briggs on Twitter provides a timely reminder that the Isis-Goldie race takes just as much out of the athletes: 

We will bring you news of the reserve race as we get it!

Related  Nuclear over reaction?

17.31: The BBC are currently engaged in a fabulous game of innuendos centered around the word ‘cox’, we at Cherwell consider such immaturity beneath us. (Not really, tweet any good dirty jokes @samuelevolpe) 

17.27: Whilst Clare Balding gets distracted by a puppy, some Oxford BNOCs are showing their support.

17.23: Not only will the winning crew gain a lifelong memory and a lot of pride, they’ll also get watches apparently. Hope they feel motivated!

17.18: Apparently raining on the Thames, I’m no scientist put I imagine that’ll alter the river’s flow? (tweet @samuelevolpe to provide scientific corrections.)

17.11: I always enjoy Clare Balding’s grandstanding (pun intended) introductions. Hope you all caught last term’s interview with Constantine Louloudis in Cherwell, if not it’s here!

17.05: What’s done is done, thankfully the rowers can make amends very soon indeed. They’re (well the boat at least) officially on the water! 

17.03: I’m sad to report Cambridge win 4-2 on penalties.

17.01: Down at Craven Cottage it’s unbearably tense. Currently 3-2 Cambridge after three pens a piece. 

16.56: Meanwhile Dan Snow (former Oxford boat-race rower) is on the BBC with a morbid VT about the 1914 boat race. Inspiring nonetheless. 

Otherwise, this is the latest from Max:

16.54: FOOTBALL ENDS 0-0. We’re looking at the ‘dreaded penalties’. @CherwellSport will be your best port of call right now…

16.49: WINS PER STATION:

SURREY: 84

MIDDLESEX: 85

It seems the Surrey advantage is not as great as some say afterall!

16.41: The football is reaching the closing stages and apparently the fans are getting desperate, while chances are coming for both teams as the game opens up. 

 

16.38: Swearing won’t be tolerated apparently, that’s a fiver of mine in William Hill’s pocket then… 

16.27: Cambridge are having a crampy time at Craven Cottage:

16.24: And we have news from the Goat Race, where Rowan Borchers is reporting on events:

16.23: The Isis/Goldie race starts at 17.25 – Oxford have won 5 out of the last 6 times

16.22: Goldie is named after the Cambridge Boat Club president John Goldie (1849–1896), whilst the Isis boat is (predictably) named after the Thames in Oxford – in itself named after the Ancient Egyptian goddess, also revered in Ancient Greece and Rome. Basically she’s meant to symbolise the ideal mother or something. 

16.20: Goldie won the reserves toss, and Oxford won the toss for the main race. Both chose the Surrey side, which resulted in victory ten out of fifteen times between 1994 and 2008. 

16.14: The level of security on hand is impressive today. This might be why I couldn’t bet on Trenton’s return.

16.11: We’ve been hearing from the Oxford captain and the umpire too:

16.08: Oxford win the toss – is this a good omen for later? 

16.07: The coin toss is taking place AS I TYPE. 

16.00: It’s busy down on the tideway – Cherwell has also been playing ‘count the red trousers’. 

15.55: There’s free cake at the media centre so not all is not lost. 

15.53: It’s nil-nil at Craven Cottage as the referee blows the whistle for half time:

15.50: Here is a confusing map which is probably of no interest to you whatsoever: 

15.48: The Boat Race toss will be taking place at 16.07

15.47: The Surrey side is generally considered to be better, as it gives that boat the advantage over the largest amount of bend in the river. The Surrey station granted victory those who chose it in 10 out of the 15 races 1994–2008. However, the benefit of choosing either station is made obsolete once there is open water between the two boats. Therefore, a crew confident of its own start might choose the Middlesex side, which has the advantage in the first and last bends.

15.40: Both the Oxford and Cambridge teams have arrived at their respective boathouses and will now be warming up and preparing for the race. A coin toss, chaired by the umpire, will ensue. The winner of the toss will choose whether they begin on the Middlesex or the Surrey side. 

15.38: The BBC’s live coverage will begin at 16.30 for those who want to compliment Cherwell’s (more complete) updates. 

15.36: Twitter is seething with reminders of the 2012 race, which was interrupted by Trenton Oldfield, and resulted in a Cambridge victory. 

15.29: Now settled in the press office at Putney. A room full of ergometers and computers. Damp. I don’t want to be a journalist. No Pimms provided. 

Related  6th Week: Obscurantism

15.28: If any of you were unsuccessful gamblers during yesterday’s Grand National, why not have a flutter on the Boat Race? William Hill are offering Oxford as 2/7 odds-on favourites, with Cambridge at 5/2 and the possiblity of a dead heat at 66/1. Personally I like the high opinion the bookies have of both coxes – 2/1 is being offered for, “Commentators to apologise for bad language of one or both coxes at any point during race”. Sadly I’ve been unable to find odds on a return of the erstwhile Trenton Oldfield…

15.14: Just a quick reminder that @CherwellSport is live tweeting the Varsity football match from Craven Cottage. By all accounts it has been a cagey opening quarter of an hour.

15.10: The intrepid Max Long is making his way to the media area so forgive any blip in the level of wit Cherwell is providing… This handy webcam site will give a hint as to what the conditions down on the Thames have been like today. Excuse the frankly terrible music – we are definitely not responsible for content on external sites. http://www.earthtv.com/de/kamerastandort/london-webcam/

14.13: The dreaded imminence of finals means that some will be following the race surrounded by books:

14.05: Quick Recap for those who are joining us now:

• The big race starts at 17.55. Plenty of time to stock up on pimms and canapés. 

• The Isis/Goldie Race begins at 17.25. Isis (Oxford’s second boat) has won five out of the last six races against Goldie.

• The Varsity football match will begin at 3pm, and Cherwell Sport will be reporting from Craven Cottage with all the action

• A false rumour that the Boat Race was to be cancelled due to “lack of water” was quickly refuted. The Sheffield Half Marathon will be fact be cancelled for this reason.

• Cherwell is the only Oxford student paper live blogging the event throughout the day

14.04 One can’t help but think that the Boat Race sponsors do little to dispell myths about Oxbridge. They’re hardly Nike and Adidas.

13.54: Quite similar, in fact, to the Goat Race, which has never been won by Oxford.

Rowan Borchers will be reporting on the event once it starts (time yet to be confirmed)

13.52: Oxford may be the favourites for this evening, but Cambridge won the veteran’s boat race yesterday for the third year in a row

13.43: Cherwell is sending five journalists to the Boat Race today. Here’s the sport’s team on their way to Craven Cottage to cover the Varsity Football match:

13.40: Quick Fact: Oxford’s Storm Uru, former lighweight international, will be the first ever Maori to compete in the Boat Race. He’s been named Maori sportsman of the year twice. 

13.35: Meta.

13.25: Here is a screenshot of the fateful BBC headline:

13.21: Sly News have been quick to pick up on the joke:

13.18: Rumours have been circulating that the Boat Race was to be cancelled after an ominous headline by the BBC opened “Race cancelled due to lack of water”. Luckily this refers to the Sheffield Half-Marathon rather than the Boat Race. Those who need reminding of BBC innacuracies during past boat races need only scroll down. Stick with us for the most up to date coverage. 

13.14: Helena Dollimore reminds us that next year this will not be an all-male event. The question still stands whether both races will be televised and given equal prominence.

13.12: Fascinating insight from the twitter world

12.19: Rumours that a Cherwell editor intends to disrupt the Boat Race are entirely unfounded. 

11.48: Here’s some bare Oxford skin as the crew head off to do some warming up:

 

11.34: Last year the BBC provided a far from imbalanced commentary. Stick with us for the real story.

11.28: As many of you will know, the Oxford rowers were victorious last week in what was to be the last Women’s Boat Race to be held separately at Henley. Here’s a cool video showing the history of the women’s boat race:

The Newton Women’s Boat Race: History from NewtonWomensBoatRace on Vimeo.

11.02: We’ll also be reporting on the Varsity Football Match, which will be taking place at 3pm at Craven Cottage, itself on the Boat Race route. The rowers have already wished them luck:

 

10.58: We’re going to be active on twitter throughout the day! Make sure you tweet us to be featured on this live blog, and follow @Cherwell_Online and @CherwellSport for constant updates. Max Long (@Maxlxng) will be reporting from the ground, and Rowan Borchers (@RowanBorchers) will be covering the Goat Race live from Spitalfields City Farm in East London

10.50: Good morning everyone, and wellcome to Cherwell’s coverage of the 2014 Boat Race. The water is already running keenly down the Thames, boaties are by now all porridged up and ready to roll, and all of the London crowd are ironing their best blazers, putting the champagne on to cool and whipping up some cream to dip those strawberries in.