River bleeds Dark Blue

It was a clean sweep for Oxford today as the Tideway bled dark blue. The Oxford women’s boat, men’s boat and Isis reserve crews all scooped thumping wins, showing up their Tab counterparts.

The women’s event, perhaps inevitably, dominated the day given this was the first time the female race was held on the Tideway. In the 70th year of the Women’s boat race, Oxford stormed home, coming in 19 seconds ahead, about five and a half lengths. On Friday, Osiris, the women’s reserve crew, beat their Blondie, their Cambridge counterpart, by an enormous 15 length margin. 

The men’s reserves race took a slightly lower profile year in the face of the women’s event. Isis emerged victorious over Goldie by a narrower margin of about three lengths to the cheers of the Oxford fans at the finish. Two seat Charlie Thurston described it as “the best day of my life.”

In the final race of the day, the men also brought home a strong win of 19 seconds. The race was close for the opening stages, unlike the women who had a strong lead from the start, but at half way Oxford mounted a strong push to break clear of the light blues who never regained their ground. Sean Bowden, the OUBC head coach, said after the race that the eight minute point in the race was the key moment, when Oxford turned the screw on Cambridge. OUBC President Constantine Louloudis spoke of his pride for all the Oxford athletes who had taken part.

Spirits were high at the finish as the four victorious crews celebrated together, Bolly spraying everywhere. The coxes Jennifer Ehr and William Hakim were tossed into the river as the world’s media watched. Claire Balding paid tribute to this “wonderful day for women’s sport”.  

Check out the @CherwellSport and @CherwellOnline twitter feeds to see how the day unfolded. We’ll shortly be uploading our exclusive, behind the scenes, photo gallery of the day.