THE BOAT RACE 2018 REPORTS
Pre-race favourites Cambridge made good on their status to utterly dominate The Cancer Research UK Women’s Boat Race 2018.
Umpire Sir Matthew Pinsent dropped his red flag and the crews set off into their high-rate starts. Oxford, wary of their issues from last year, were a little cautious and Cambridge took full advantage, stretching out to half a length after 20 strokes.
Coming along the Putney boathouses, the Light Blues were already straining against the leash to break contact. They held this advantage as the crews settled into their race rhythms. Despite the bend in Oxford’s favour on the Middlesex side of the river, Cambridge’s livelier race rhythm help them to extend their lead to over a length going past the mile post point in a time of 4:06. Now Cambridge had the freedom to choose which line to take.
Cambridge continued to build on their lead and were 3 lengths up coming underneath Hammersmith Bridge. It was clear by this stage that it would take a monumental effort for Oxford to recover the deficit.
Oxford cox Jessica Buck tried her best to limit the lead that Cambridge had by trying to take a shorter line on the inside of the Surrey bend. However, the Light Blues continued to move away and began to build for the finish line underneath Barnes Bridge with a lead of 6 lengths. Cambridge’s time to Barnes Bridge was 15:47, 25 seconds off the record set by last year’s crew.
Keeping their foot on the gas, Cambridge powered to victory to take victory in the 73rd Women’s Boat Race by a verdict of seven lengths.
Cambridge ran out clear winners in The Men’s Boat Race to complete a clean sweep for a jubilant Light Blue cohort.
The power and poise of the Light Blue crew was too much in the end for Oxford, who had already made a personnel change in the week..
Both crews began cleanly and it was the underdogs Oxford who took the initial lead. Once the crews settled into their race rhythms, Cambridge however clawed back the deficit and seized the initiative to lead along the Putney boathouses. That was never to be relinquished..
Umpire John Garrett had to warn Cambridge to stay on their Surrey station, as President Hugo Ramambason swerved across into mutual water. Any Oxford attempt to recover was extinguished by a professional and clinical Cambridge boat, who had the bit between their teeth..
By this time, Cambridge had built on their lead and had an advantage of over one length coming around the first little Fulham elbow. This was already dangerous territory for Oxford, who knew their opponents had the advantage of the long Surrey bend..
Cambridge continued to move away throughout the next three minutes, establishing a remarkable lead by Hammermsith Bridge to the delight of Light Blue supporters on the famous Boat Race landmark..
The race fairly much followed a similar pattern from that point on – Cambridge continued to move away, buoyed by their dominance and powered by an American quartet in the engine room. Oxford could do little to stay the inevitable, and the sight of their bitter rivals disappearing into the distance was not a pretty picture for any Dark Blue supporter..
Crossing the finish line, it was jubilation for the victorious Cambridge crew who finished in a time of 17:51 with a verdict of 3 lengths..
In what is Steve Trapmore’s final year as head coach at CUBC, he paid tribute to his crew. “They’re an incredible group of guys with so much drive and commitment,” he enthused. “They executed the race plan to perfection and I’m so proud to have coached them.”