In the 169th Men’s race, Cambridge showed their rowing prowess as they secured a commanding lead over Oxford of 3 1/2 Lengths and completed the double.

Starting in sluggish water, Cambridge had the sharper start but Oxford quickly pulled back even.

Cambridge was given warnings off the start as cox Ed Bracey encroached Oxford water early.

Two minutes off the start the Light Blues were one seat up and started to put pressure on their opposition.

Blades interlocked early but three minutes in Cambridge stretched out a 5-seat lead.

It became clear that Umpire Matthew Pinsent was going to be tested down the Crabtree stretch as both coxes chased the faster stream.

The Cambridge crew had a more dynamic and relaxed front end which stood them in good stead in the first half of the race.

Oxford made a move heading into Hammersmith as Cambridge was warned they held half a boat lead.

At St Pauls, Cambridge survived Oxford’s counterattack easily and took clear water as they started to inch ahead sending puddles and dirty water to Oxford.

Cambridge, who were the underdogs, extended their lead to around three lengths as both crews approached Barnes Bridge

Heading into the finish, Cambridge stroke Matt Edge was visibly struggling and looking spent as Oxford dug in with a final last effort to the line.

Luckily the light blues had done enough as Edge collapsed across the finish line with his crew cheering behind him.

President, Seb Benzcry on the Light Blue victory said: “This was my last race with the club, and it’s been four unbelievable years.

“This year was always going to be a big challenge and we knew we had to go for it. I’m so proud of the guys and no one backed off for a single second.”

WORDS: Olivia Bothamly-Dakin
IMAGES: Benedict Tufnell/Row360