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Cambridge at the Double in The Boat Race

With a duplicate of last years’ results, Cambridge University won both the men’s and women’s races in the 2024 Gemini Boat Race in front of a crowd of over 250,000 lined across the River Thames.

It was a clear victory for the Cambridge women despite being underdogs ahead of the day. Oxford started out the blocks quickly and had taken a slim advantage in the opening 20 strokes as they approached Fulham’s Craven Cottage.

Cambridge, in light blue, clawed back the lead to half a stroke as they reached Hammersmith Bridge.

With Cambridge slightly ahead, Oxford cox Joe Gellett took a risk by steering the boat towards Cambridge.

The move failed to pay off as they lost more ground on Cambridge, with the light blues reaching Chiswick Bridge seven lengths ahead of Oxford.

The result was delayed by over five minutes as Joe Gellett lodged a complaint about the incident earlier on in the race, but Umpire Richard Phelps waved away the protests.

It meant Cambridge Women were victorious for a seventh successive year. All eyes turned to the men’s race for the 169th time.

Both teams started well with Umpire Matthew Pinsent forced to wave his flag several times as oars were close to clashing.

Cambridge led by one-and-a-half seconds leading up to Hammersmith Bridge, with Oxford failing to make a comeback despite having the bend advantage.

There was more drama in the Boat Race as Cambridge’s Matt Edge was on the verge of collapsing less than a kilometre from the finish line, but the light blue’s held on, effectively finished the race with seven rowers and yet managed to sustain over a ten-second lead. It was a fifth win in seven races for the Cambridge men, as for the second year in a row Cambridge University completed the double.

The traditional celebrations were cancelled due to high levels of E.Coli in the River Thames, meaning no Cox was thrown into the river this year.

Cambridge University Boat Club President, Seb Benzecry, spoke after the race, “Going into it, this was the biggest challenge we’ve had; the Oxford crew are real class so we knew we had to put a lot into it and push ourselves.”

“I’m so proud of the guys, and credit to Matt (Edge) to go that deep at the start.”

“I’m sure a lot of that margin at the start was down to him; he was putting down such a dynamic rhythm and that takes a lot out of you in the stroke seat; we are very proud of him.”

With several crew members on both teams suffering from illness ahead of the race, Cambridge coach, Rob Baker added, “We’d obviously like cleaner waterways; we don’t want to have to put our athletes at risk.”


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