Oxford win the 163rd varsity boat race

The course, which stretches over four miles from Putney Bridge to Chiswick Bridge, will likely be swept now as a precaution but it's a worrying time for all involved.

Sunday's Boat Race which will see Oxford and Cambridge Universities thrash out their 163rd annual Boat Race is expected to go ahead.

"The start didn't go as we'd planned but I think we got it together really well and I am really proud of the girls and the effort we put in".

Although Cambridge stayed in the hunt for the majority of the contest, Oxford never slackened their grip on the lead and were always in control over the Putney to Mortlake course.

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 had earlier set a new record in the 72nd edition of the women's race - another win posted largely thanks to making the stronger start.

Cambridge bow Ashton Brown was understandably jubilant after the race.

Victory, which extended their overall lead to 42-30, had begun to appear a formality long before they reached Barnes Bridge and effectively the final straight.

Oxford's American president Michael DiSanto said: "It feels so good". You're in a really hard position when you're winning - the pressure is more on you.

The win, by one-and-a-quarter lengths, came in a time of 16 minutes 59 seconds.

Athletes including Helen Glover and George Nash lent a hand in the race, which will air during the Boat Race broadcast which starts at 4pm on BBC1 on Sunday 2nd April.

"We're a very vocal crew and there was a lot of chat down the boat about making it a big margin, keeping up speed and it not being enough". Oxford finished in 19 minutes, five seconds. Oxford had gone into the race the lighter crew by 26kg.

  • Leroy Wright