Cambridge beat Oxford in 158th Boat Race after midway halt
Apr 7, 2012, 14:17 GMT
London - Cambridge beat a damaged Oxford crew in the 158th Boat Race on Saturday, after the action was brought to an unprecedented halt when a swimmer appeared in front of the crews.
Oxford was effectively left one man down soon after the restart of the race, when one of their rowers lost his blade in a clash with the Cambridge crew which went on to get its 81st victory.
The umpire allowed the race to continue, having warned Oxford to steer clear of the Light Blue crew at the time of the clash.
The Dark Blues had been a quarter of a length ahead of the Cambridge crew when the swimmer appeared before both boats, forcing them to stop early into the second half of the race.
The man - who was speculated to be a protester - was picked up by police as he left the water, the BBC reported.
After a half-hour delay, the race was re-started at the halfway point of the 6.8-kilometre course.
Oxford had moved quicker off the original start, while Cambridge - whose crew was one kilogramme per man heavier than the Dark Blues - settled into a strong rhythm that saw them close in soon.
Both coxes steered their crews aggressively from the start, fighting over the narrow fast stream at the centre of the River Thames and prompting repetitive warnings from the umpire.
Oxford, with 76 victories under their belt in the series which has also seen one dead heat, were favourites to win this year after taking seven of the last 10 races.
The Boat Race is a prestigious sporting event, whose competitors often also participate in top international racing events, including the Olympics. The event is only open to students at either Oxford or Cambridge University.
This year's Oxford crew included four British nationals, alongside rowers from the US, Germany and the Netherlands, while all but one of the Cambridge rowers were recruited abroad - from the US, Australia, Germany and New Zealand.
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