Boat Race changes rules

A rule change has been introduced to the Boat Race in light of last year’s interruption.

A dramatic rule change has been introduced ahead of the 159th Boat Race on Sunday.

In light of last year’s disruption – which involved protestor Trenton Oldfield swimming into the crew’s paths – the 184-year-old race has introduced a new rule.

Trenton Oldfield disrupting last year’s race

According to the rule, if the crews encounter an obstruction – or a boat-stopping clash of oars – the umpire will halt them, move the boats around the obstacle, align them straight and restart the race.

This rule replaces the previous protocol of the umpire circling them around to restart exactly where they had stopped before encountering the obstruction.

But the new rule has faced criticism for being unfair, with students speculating that while the umpire adjusts their relative positions to the restart margin he thinks is fair, the boats will be drifiting rapidly towards the finish line. This could disadvantage the crew on the inside of a bend.

However, proponents of the new rule have hit back, insisting that preventing rowers from sitting still in freezing cold weather conditions is worse than any other inequality.

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