Rowful! Defeat in Women’s Boat Race as Cambridge Lose ALL 4 Henley Races
Oxford secure a 4-0 clean sweep of the Henley Races as Cambridge fall to defeat in the 68th Women’s Boat Race.
In arctic conditions at Eton Dorney, the Cambridge crews were caught cold, as the women succumbed to a Boat Race defeat for the 11th time in the last 13 years.
With the rowers donning hats and gloves in a futile bid to keep out the bitter chill, the Women’s Boat Race was a keenly-contested affair for the first 1000m.
With Cambridge edging ahead after 500m, the light blues appeared favourites to push on and secure a second consecutive victory for the first time since 1999.
But Oxford were not to be denied, cutting the lead to a third of a length by the 750m mark, and then powering through the gears.
This Oxford crew did not just enter the final 1000m; these women attacked it, sprinting away from their light blue challengers and daring them to match their speed.
With Oxford pushing out that fluent one-stroke-at-a-time rhythm, the darker blues accelerated on, stretching their lead to three-quarters of a length with 250m to go.
The Cambridge crew battled on bravely, but Oxford were masterful in their management of this race and brilliant in their execution of the last 1000m, and their final furlong was a thing of sporting beauty.
Oxford didn’t just win, they stormed to victory, passing by their competitors and charging over the finish line with a two length lead.
And, in an interview with the BBC, the Oxford crew admitted that their tactics were played out to the perfection.
Amy Varney, the Oxford Five, said: ‘We never lost sight of the end goal, we trusted ourselves and each other so much. After about 600m, we started to really get moving. As soon as we were level at the 1000m mark, I knew we had this.
‘I can’t put into words what it means. It is just the most amazing experience and the most amazing achievement. We have been balancing so much with academic work and work on the water. This is what you can do when you believe in yourself and believe in your team.’
The Oxford joy would extend far beyond the Women’s Boat Race, though, with victories to celebrate in both the men’s lightweight race and the women’s lightweight race, while Oxford’s reserve crew, Osiris, also came out on top against their Cambridge counterparts, Blondie.
Victory in all four races means an Oxford 4-0 whitewash in the Henley Races for the first time since 2004, and the dark blues picked up the Francombe Cup as Victor Ludorum as a reward for their dominance.
But as today’s Cambridge crews shiver with the disappointment of defeat, the heat is now on the men next week to gain revenge in the 159th Boat Race.
The 2013 Men’s Boat Race takes place on Sunday, March 31st at 4.30pm.
You can follow this year’s race LIVE with Tab Sport – and we’ll also be FIRST with all the reaction and fallout to this hotly-anticipated clash.
(All images courtesy of CamFM)