Cambridge win Boat Race to end Oxford’s two-year streak

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
boat race 2010 Cambridge produced a valiant rowing display as the light blues ended Oxford’s two-year winning streak

Despite the odds being stacked against them, Cambridge produced a valiant rowing display as the light blues ended Oxford’s two-year winning streak and secured their 80th victory in the history of the boat race.

An early blow came when the dark blues won the toss and elected to pick the favourable Surrey station thus ensuring the benefit of a lengthy Hammersmith bend. But this supposed advantage proved inconsequential as the race unfolded.

Cambridge rallied from behind in the race as for the majority of the four-mile course Oxford set the pace maintaining a half-a-length lead. They strove off a resurgent light blue boat who continued to reduce the gap around Corney Reach.

By the Chiswick Steps the difference between the two crews was less than a second. Oxford had failed to capitalise on the preferred Surrey station. The resilient Cambridge oarsmen had delved deep into their energy reserves despite facing the daunting prospect of the outside line.

And their exertion paid dividends as the Middlesex bend worked in their favour and they put in an almighty push. A despondent Oxford crew were unable to match the work-rate of their counterparts. By Barnes Bridge the light blue boat led by two seconds.

Cambridge’s superior technique began to show as Oxford’s strokes became short and choppy. They streaked clear as the finishing line emerged on the horizon, extending their winning margin to a comprehensive length-and-a-quarter.

The win marked an outstanding comeback which has already been baptised as one of the biggest upsets in the prestigious history of the Boat Race. It certainly overshadowed recent years with the drama being maintained throughout the race due to the close proximity of both crews, Cambridge only breaking clear in the last minute.

The winning time was 17 minutes and 35 seconds.

Referring to the coin toss the Cambridge president Deaglan MacEachern remarked: “Our plan was to choose Surrey so it was probably better that we lost the toss. We proved that we were a tough crew out there.”

When asked about their pre-race title of underdogs, MacEachern was quick to dismiss any difference between the two sets of oarsmen.

“Nobody thought we were going to do it in terms of where they put their money but I didn’t take heed of the fact we weren’t favourites. I knew we were even crews going in,” he added.

The defeated Oxford president Sjoerd Hamburger praised his crew despite their defeat. “We had an opportunity, with just a canvas overlap, but we couldn’t finish it off and we slowly ran into trouble,” he said.

The Dutch Olympian added: “We kept on fighting and I’m extremely proud of the boys but it wasn’t enough today.”

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