LIVE text updates of the 159th Varsity Boat Race – GDBO!

BNY mellon boat race Cambridge george nash john bardsley oxfordc Rowing Varsity Boat Race will pithers

Hello and welcome to The Tab‘s LIVE coverage of the 2013 BNY Mellon Varsity Boat Race. Over the next couple of hours, the dangerous duo that brought you The Tab‘s (in)famous Jailbreak 2013 blog – “the best live blog ever” – will guide you through this year’s Varsity clash. Former Cambridge Blues rower Hardy Cubasch will also be on hand with some (genuinely) informative analysis.

As ever, we want YOU, our faithful Tab readers, to get involved. Send your photos and thoughts to [email protected] or tweet us @TabSport or @TabCambridge. Or, if you prefer, send us some good old-fashioned abuse in the comments below. The world’s your oyster.


17.15 So that’s it from us here at the finish line – we need to get out of here before the dark blue mist descends. Thanks for joining us, we hope you hated it as much as we did.

PS. They’re just thrown the Oxford cox into the river. “It’s fucking cold!” he squeals. Yeah, you dick.

17.10 And the Oxford crew follow them, as this big fella holds the trophy aloft:

17.08 A dejected Cam crew go up to receive their medals.

17.03 Remember what’s important, Cantabs…

17.00 Snap of the light blues bringing their boat off the river in dejected fashion, courtesy of Bardsley:

16.57 George Nash talks to the BBC now: “Oxford put together a really fantastic place…they asked enough questions and we just weren’t able to come up with the goods.” He goes on to say that this is his final Boat Race. He looks devastated.

16.53 Constantine Louloudis to Balding: “one hell of a race…that was tough.” The cox has jumped in now. I really don’t like this fella. Louloudis coming across brilliantly, though. Fair play.

16.49 It’s over. Oxford win the 159th Varsity Boat Race. The Cambridge efforts are not to be underestimated, although, as the pundit points out, “that’s all that rowing is: a winning crew, a losing crew, nothing else.”

16.47 We’re into the final event here. BBC commentator going on about Oxf*rd “making amends” for last year. It’s painful. The Oxford cox counts down as the dark blues cross the line a length or so ahead of our boys.

16.46 Final bend approaching. Our crew are still battling hard, but it may be a case of too little, too late.

16.44 The Other Place are opening the gap on us. Check out our Twitter @TabSport if you’re keen to see some Oxford-bashing of the highest order.

16.43 Looks like his shouting’s working though. Oxford pull clear of the light blues and we line up directly behind them. This could be slipping away from Cambridge.

16.42 “That’s fucking sick!” says the Oxford cox. On live TV. Told ya.

16.41 The Chiswick bend is the last point at which Oxford have an advantage. Unless they pull away here, Cambridge will be in good stead to make a late charge.

16.40 Serious case of little man syndrome going from the Oxford cox. Will he just pipe down for a second? Cambridge rowing impressively; we are very much not out of this, as they approach the half way point.

16.39 Three quarters of a length between the two boats, still.

16.38 Huge push from Cambridge keeps us in contention as they pass under the Hammersmith Bridge. “Huge 20m push,” TV commentator says. Hang in there, boys.

16.37 Coming up to the 2000m mark. Nearly a third of the way through this race as we approach Hammersmith Bridge.

16.36 Oxford are pushing – they’ve gone up to 36 strokes a minute – and they know they need to make their initial advantage count if they’re to win this race.

16.35 Oxford still have the inevitable advantage, but the Cambridge crew are helped by the bend late on. We’re hanging on there – half a length off, right this moment.

16.34 Cambridge cox doing a bloody good job here – keeping Oxford from moving too far across. They look uncomfortable – we held it well.

16.33 Oxford move across a little early – blades of the two boats are perilously close together. Umpire could have some work here. BLADES HAVE CLASHED. Pinsent shouts at both crews to sort themselves out.

Oxford move out.

16.32 Impressive start from the dark blues, I won’t lie. The big Canadian is leading the Oxford crew masterfully. Lead stretches to half a length, but the first turn should help us out a bit. Coming up to the bend now.

16.31 Crowds are roaring. Love the fact that these coxes are on speakers. Oxford start the stronger; they’re a quarter of a length ahead.

16.30 Pinsent checking the crews are ready. AND THEY’RE OFF!

16.29 Henry Fieldman (Cambridge Cox) looking positively regal at the start line. I’m told he grew up just a stone’s throw away from the river – and those in the know reckon his brilliant knowledge of the river could be crucial. Time will tell.

We’re all set.

16.27 Tweet of the day:

16.25 Setting off in five minutes. And you may notice from the photo below that the sun’s come out! Heralding a Cambridge win?

16.20 Worth pointing out that Cambridge lead Oxford 81 wins to 76 since the Boat Race’s introduction all those years ago. You’ll still be behind us even if you win today, Oxons. Remember that!

16.19 Isis and Goldie crews just coming in to finish in front of us. There’s a wall of photographers. Looks like Isis have got this one, by a third of a length: first blood, Oxford. Here’s our lot crossing the line – tight finish, but not quite enough in the end from the Goldie boys.

16.15 Congrats to @gchater1, who’s won our illustrious song suggestion competition. Rock The Boat – The Hues Corporation:

16.14 Reserve boats, Isis and Goldie, are out racing now. They’ll be coming in to view of the finishing line in a minute or so, we reckon. Will have photos for you when they do.

16.12 BBC are going through last year’s drama. Can’t believe the Oxford lot are still trying to kid themselves that they would have won it…pah.

16.11 More international followers…shout-out to you, Julia.

16.08 Cambridge’s newest rower? Let’s just hope he doesn’t duck up.

16.04 We’re makin’ waves on Twitter. Tweet us your ideas for boat-related songs. The best ones’ll make it here (incentiiiiiiive…)

16.03 Bardsley is thoroughly unimpressed with this mini golf bullshit on BBC. His verdict: “What is this? Looks like some sort of 1970s awkward date gone wrong.”

16.02 Had a few photos of painted nails in support of Cambridge. Take a look at these digits, belonging to @iamamiAMI. Now that’s pride:

16.00 By the way, those weather reports were absolute bollocks, weren’t they? It’s bloody freezing. Lucky I’ve got free hot chocolate.

15.57 If you can’t be arsed with that, stay tuned here. The banter is flowing. The rest of these media big shots are just giving us funny looks.

15.56 If you’re keen to find out more about the race, have a butchers at this morning’s preview piece, written by Hardy Cubasch – it’s a short, informative low-down on proceedings.

15.55 Shout-out to one of our Twitter followers, who’s reading our blog from Japan!

Remember, you can get in touch with us too. Tweet your photos @TabCambridge or comment below.

15.52 Top photo of the calm before the storm down by the finishing line. Race start in just under 40 minutes:

Credit: @AlexeiGreenski

15.49 Thoroughly unimpressed by the fact that Matthew Pinsent – former Oxford rower, no less – is umpiring this race. He may have friendly rosy cheeks and curly hair, but he went to the Other Place – which means he’s dead to me.

If Oxford win today, you know why.

15.47 Rumours of “USA!” “USA!” chants ringing out in support of the Cambridge crew are as yet unconfirmed.

15.44 Not gonna bother with the Oxford crew, actually. If you’re an Oxford student and you’re reading this, bog off.

15.43 Seems like as good a time as any to run you through the two crews:


Bow: Grant WILSON


3: Alexander FLEMING

4: Ty OTTO

5: George NASH

6: Stephen DUDEK

7: Alexander SHARP

Stroke: Niles GARRATT


15.39 All smiles from the Cambridge crew, Oxford look a bit grumpy as they bring their boat down to the river. Look like a bunch of arseholes if you ask us.

15.38 Shout-out to former Tab columnist Claudia Blunt, who’s repping Cambridge in the Eurostar lounge:

15.34 As the BBC ramble on about Boat Race history, we’re on a pun mission. This stuff is oarfully boring, you get me? Send your best to @TabCambridge or comment below.

15.31 It should be remembered that whilst The Tab takes its rowing very seriously, many students simply use today as an opportunity to enjoy a pint (or six) by the river. Exhibit A:

Snapchat is revolutionising this year’s Boat Race blog.

15.28 Top banter (not) from the good chaps at Varsity. I think they’ve got this the wrong way round.

15.23 Got Clare Balding’s face on the TV in front of me; just seen a tweet that reckons she’s dressed up as Henry VIII today. Harsh.

15.12 RE: Oxford winning the toss (see 14.54), in-house rowing expert Hardy Cubasch disagrees with Alex Davidson. “The bend around Hammersmith will give them a length and half advantage,” he says. “They’ll be hoping to get in front, and then cross over in front of Cambridge, negating our advantage on the final corner.” Hmm…

15.09 Snowfall in Putney, we’re told. Any early birds already there? Send us thy ocular proof: [email protected] or @TabCambridge.

15.05 We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty confident, despite what the bookies think. Take a look at this video of the Cambridge crew doing their final pre-race practice on Good Friday. They look majestic.

This is a UNIQUE vid, I’m told. Big thanks to Harry Hodges (Oxf*rd Tab Editor) for catching this.

15.03 The press centre’s just starting to fill up. Whether that’s because race time is drawing closer or because of the lure of free sandwiches, I’m not sure.

14.56 News coming in that Oxford have won the toss. They’ve chosen Surrey, which is the south side of the river, for those of you who don’t know. Not sure there’s much difference, though: OUBC President Alex Davidson reasons, “there’s not much in it but you’ve got to choose one.”

14.54 Pithers and Bardsley checking in from the Mortlake Media Centre. Full of journo-types. They’re showing Madagascar on the big screen. Can’t tell if it’s the first or second installment, though.