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Oxford beats Cambridge in historic boat races

The Oxford University Boat Team beat its counterparts from Cambridge University in both the men’s and women’s boat races on the River Thames in London, as both events were staged on the same day for the first time.

The Dark Blues, heavy favourites going into both races, were uncompromising on the water.

In the Women’s Boat Race, the crew crossed the line a full six-and-a-half lengths ahead of their Light Blue competitor. After just the first minute of the four-mile, 374-yard race down the capital’s river from the Putney to the Chiswick bridge, the crew had paddled to a half-length lead.

The president of Oxford Women’s Boat Team, Anastasia Chitty, said in an interview with BBC Sport:

“It’s a really special moment, something I’ve been working towards for three years.”

As momentous the moment was for women’s canoeing, the men’s result was also a surprise.

In an effort that anyone who has used a canoe hire will appreciate, the president of the Oxford team, Constantine Louloudis, was stewarding it to the crew’s six-length victory for the fourth time in five years. It was his fourth win, and he only missed 2012’s competition because he was training for the London Olympics, where he won gold in the men’s eight.

He said to the BBC:

“Going in the fourth time having not lost, I felt much more pressure especially as I was leading the guys.”

The day was also a clean sweep for Oxford over its Cambridge rivals. In the reserve fixture, the Oxford crew Isis defeated Cambridge’s Goldie team by three lengths at the finish.