Oxford wins boat race after WWII bomb removed from Thames

Oxford and Cambridge boat races

The 163rd boat race got off to a scintillating start, the boats on level terms before Oxford opened up a lead of nearly a boat length at around two minutes.

Cambridge clocked 18 minutes and 33 seconds to end a run of four straight losses registering only their second success during the last 10 years.

The pre-race omens didn't bode well for Cambridge, with cox Hugo Ramambason asking the umpires to delay the start until conditions on an increasingly choppy Thames began to settle. As the crews wound around the Fulham bend, where Cambridge's advantage on the Middlesex station was estimated at around 1/3 of a length, Oxford drew out to around three quarters of a boat length lead.

It was perhaps sweetest for president Ashton Brown, who caught pneumonia during the 2016 race.

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Dawson, White and their team-mates punched the air in delight as Cambridge celebrated their first victory since 2012.

It also extended their overall lead to 42-30.

"To me at the start of the year, before I'd seen it through, this (the women's) squad looked more exciting", Holland told Press Association Sport.

With only two remaining members of last year's victory in their boat, it was hard to see Oxford's worldwide experience not showing through.

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The latest victory was the 12th Bowden has overseen in 14 years, but was only secured after his crew had struggled to gel throughout the race's build-up.

"It was hard work for a long time", Bowden said.

Their president, Michael Disanto, a USA rower at the Rio Olympics, was delighted. We stuck together, but it wasn't enough today.

Cambridge's women's head coach Rob Baker said: "Oxford had a mishap at the start, which was really unfortunate; we would rather that doesn't happen".

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"We know there is global interest in the Races because of both its tradition and the sporting theatre it provides and we are very happy to be able to deliver it with YouTube".

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