Predicted to be a close race, the 78th Women’s Boat Race saw Oxford fail to turn the tide on Cambridge with the light blues securing a commanding victory of 7 lengths.

Racing in benign conditions, Oxford on the Middlesex station came out of the blocks fierce.

At Barn Elm Boat Club, the Dark Blue women inched ahead with their stroke Annie Anezakis leading her crew with a long, powerful, and relentless rhythm.

Umpire, Richard Phelps was kept busy with warnings being given at Harrods depositary for Cambridge who looked to take advantage of their bend early.

Cambridge knew it was their time to shine under Hammersmith, as they looked confident heading into their Surrey bend advantage.

At St. Pauls Boat Club and around 10 minutes into the race Cambridge dug in and closed the gap with cox Hannah Murphy and stroke Megan Lee pulling their crew back even.

The race was not without its drama, as after Cambridge had established a one-length lead, the Oxford cox Joe Gellett called for a bump which could have led to disqualification had Cambridge been in Oxford’s water.

Yet Oxford came off significantly worse from the incursion and Cambridge looking calm and collected stretched out their lead through Barnes Bridge and across the finish line.

After a lengthy discussion with the Oxford cox, the umpire adjudicated that Cambridge had been fully on their own station before and when the boats made contact. Cambridge were declared the winners by a convincing margin of seven lengths earning the light blues their seventh consecutive win.

Cambridge President Jenna Armstrong said: “That was incredible, each year it gets better and better. That race was epic.

“I’m happy that we established our rhythm. Regarding the bump, in four seat, I knew we were in the right place, I was confident in Hannah and the crew.”

WORDS: Olivia Bothamley-Dakin
IMAGES: Benedict Tufnell/Row360