ROWING: Dark Blues romp to biggest win for 41 years

Bicester Advertiser: Oxford are jubilant after retaining the BNY Mellon Trophy Oxford are jubilant after retaining the BNY Mellon Trophy

Oxford University beat Cambridge by 11 lengths in the biggest victory since 1973 to win the 160th University Boat Race, extending their dominance with their fifth triumph in seven years.

The hot favourites won the toss and opted to start from the Surrey Station, the south side of the Thames.

The toss once again proved decisive, with the race won by the crew taking the south bank for the fourth year in succession.

Cambridge’s Luke Juckett lost at least five strokes when the two crews clashed near the Harrods Depositary, in the race’s decisive moment.

The Light Blues protested against the result, but umpire Richard Phelps threw out the complaint from cox Ian Middleton.

Oxford’s superior experience paid off, their four returning Blues and four Olympic medallists driving coach Steve Bowden to a tenth win in 15 years with the Dark Blues.

Constantine Louloudis can now leave Oxford without tasting Boat Race defeat after claiming his third victory.

The Trinity College classics student missed Oxford’s 2012 defeat as he instead claimed bronze for Team GB in the men’s eight at the London Olympics.

Oxford cut Cambridge's overall lead to 81-78 in the series between the two famous rivals, with just the one tied affair still in the overall standings.

Just after the start, the crews almost clashed as they battled for the deepest and, therefore, fastest water.

Both crews were warned by umpire Phelps as Cambridge set a fast pace to sneak a slender lead as they passed Fulham’s Craven Cottage ground.

Oxford knew their Surrey Station start would pay dividends in the middle section of the S-bend course though, and so it proved.

The Dark Blues were already making their toss advantage count when a clash between the crews caused American Juckett, a Boat Race debutant, to miss at least five strokes in the Cambridge two seat.

Juckett came off his seat in fact in the race’s pivotal moment, as the crews came up on the Harrods Depositary.

Umpire Phelps had already warned Cambridge in the lead-up to the clash.

Oxford were then able to pull away and win the event at little more than a canter, eventually crossing the line in at a time of 18mins 36secs.

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