OXFORD won all four Henley Boat Races last Sunday when the event had to be rescheduled at Eton Dorney because
OXFORD won all four Henley Boat Races last Sunday when the event had to be rescheduled at Eton Dorney because of unsafe river conditions on Henley Reach.
The Dorney venue is still undergoing reparation work following the London Olympics, and this week’s cold windy conditions were in marked contrast to last summer’s glorious sunshine.
But the standard of racing continues to rise as umpire Sir Matthew Pinsent confirmed.
“I’ve definitely noticed the professionalism of the boat clubs going up. I’ve had briefings this week and was at the weigh-in, and their expectations are rising,” he said.
In the Newton Women’s Boat Race Cambridge took an early lead to 250m but Oxford began to come back approaching halfway and they drew level at 1,250m. As Cambridge coped less well in the choppy conditions so Oxford began to dominate and went on to win by one-and-three-quarters of a length.
In the women’s reserve crews race the Cambridge crew, Blondie, were caught napping off the start, and Oxford’s Osiris quickly took advantage, crossing the line well ahead.
The Light Blues also took the early advantage in the Lightweight Women’s Boat Race, but Oxford had their bows in front by 500m, and looked more stable and solid in the gusty cross-headwind. Oxford had a one length lead at the halfway mark and the crowds re-enactment of the legendary Dorney roar helped them to a final verdict of four-and-three-quarters of a length.
In the Lightweight Men’s Boat Race Oxford reversed last year’s defeat by getting in front and denying Cambridge the chance to come back. A confident Oxford maintained control, and crossed the line to win by one-and-two-thirdsof a length.
Next year’s event, hopefully back on its usual course, will mark the last time the Newton Women’s Boat Race is held in Henley before it moves to London in 2015.