Cambridge defeats Oxford in the Boat Race 2021

This year’s races on the River Great Ouse in Ely were both won by the Cambridge teams

Cambridge was victorious in this year’s Boat Race with both the women’s and men’s teams defeating their Oxford opponents. This was the fourth win in a row for the Cambridge women’s team.

The women’s race came first and was tight throughout. Despite taking a slight lead at the start, the Cambridge team had fallen behind Oxford by the halfway point. However, Cambridge quickly recovered and crossed the finish line ahead of their opponents.

On the Cambridge women’s team was Adriana Perez Rotondo (Newnham), Sarah Portsmouth (Newnham), Abba Parker (Emmanuel), Caoimhe Dempsey (Newnham), Anouschka Fenley (Lucy Cavendish), Sophie Paine (Girton), Bronya Sykes (Gonville & Caius), Sarah Tisdall (Lucy Cavendish), and Dylan Whitaker (King’s).

The Cambridge men’s team defeated their Oxford opponents (Credit: The Boat Race via Twitter)

After the race, Sarah Portsmouth told the BBC: “I’m really proud of this team.” She added: “I’d say [it’s] the closest race that the females have had.”

Dylan Whitaker, the cox, said: “That was close, but we knew what our plan was. We kept it calm, we kept it loose, and it worked.”

The men’s race came second and Cambridge made a good start. Although they appeared to be clawing back at points, the Oxford team failed to catch up. This makes this year’s the race the Cambridge men’s team’s third win in a row.

On the Cambridge men’s team was Theo Weinberger (St John’s), Ben Dyer (Gonville & Caius), Seb Benzecry (Jesus), Quinten Richardson (Fitzwilliam), Garth Holden (St Edmund’s), Ollie Parish (Peterhouse), Callum Sullivan (Peterhouse), Drew Tayler (Clare), and Charlie Marcus (Trinity).

This year’s race took place on the Great Ouse in Ely (Image Credit: Mick Lobb, Geograph, Creative Commons License)

Callum told the BBC: “The first half of the middle was really tough. We just had to keep reasserting our focus, make sure we were rowing really well every stroke of the way… It was perfect. I enjoyed the race so much.”

Asked when he thought that victory for Cambridge was secure, Charlie Marcus, the cox, replied: “About three strokes before the finish.”

Due to the pandemic, the teams were only able to fully train for four weeks after receiving special dispensation to form an elite bio-bubble.

Traditionally on the Thames, this year’s Boat Race was moved to a stretch of the River Great Ouse in Ely because of the pandemic and safety concerns over Hammersmith Bridge. This is the first time that this has happened since the Second World War.

Feature image credit: The Boat Race via Twitter