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Oxford - Cambridge boat race has everything riding on it

By lauracfell  |  Posted: April 06, 2014

The Oxford and Cambridge boat race takes place today

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ONE winner, one loser. The Boat Race is an event that captures the world’s imagination.

It is a fierce rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge, two of the most historic universities, played out in front of a worldwide audience of millions.

And it is never short of drama and emotion, with sinkings, mutinies and swimmers all blighting past races, as sixteen men and two coxes physically and emotionally empty themselves over 6.8km on the River Thames through the heart of London.

We can all remember the 2012 Boat Race and the dramatic events that unfolded live on national television.

Just over halfway into the race, Trenton Oldfield swam into the pathway of the oncoming boats, risking life and limb to protest against elitism.

After the restart the Oxford cox Zoe de Toledo was unable to steer her crew clear of Cambridge and as the boat clashed oars, the blade of Oxford rower Hanno Weinhausen snapped in half.

Cambridge stormed ahead to their 81st victory before Oxford bowman Alex Woods collapsed at the finish line through sheer exhaustion and was taken to hospital.

Oxford avenged defeat last year recording their 77th victory and are favourites to take the crown this year too, weighing in five kilograms a man heavier than their light blue rivals.

The 2014 race will be rowed today (Sunday) at 5.55pm.

And rowing continues to thrive in the county too.

Gloucester Olympian Beth Rodford recently recorded a victory in the Women’s Head of the River and is now preparing for the GB Rowing team senior trials before the international racing season begins.

The ongoing Boathouse project has seen a massive boost in recent weeks as Sport England awarded the club a £500,000 improvement grant. This vital cash injection has given Gloucester the go ahead to start building a new elite facility for rowing & canoeing at Hempsted.

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