Cambridge stormed to victory on the Championship Course earlier this afternoon (3/4) in the 76th Women’s Boat Race, setting a record-breaking time of 18:22.8.
This year’s race returned to the Tideway after a three-year hiatus due to Covid restrictions, which saw the 2020 clash cancelled and Cambridge’s 2021 victory take place on the River Great Ouse.
Electing to row on Surrey side after Cambridge lost the coin toss, Oxford got off to a fast start, but the Light Blues managed to pull it back to neck and neck almost instantaneously.
Some bold steering from Cambridge cox Jasper Parish saw the two boats switch stations going round the opening Middlesex bend, getting the Light Blues into clear water and sending puddles down to the trailing Oxford boat.
At just over halfway, Cambridge edged a 1.7-length lead, as the boats once again switched stations approaching Chiswick Pier. By this point, the Light Blue lead looked insurmountable.
Cambridge’s advantage remained healthy at Barnes Bridge, as Parish urged his crew on for a record-breaking time.
With gritted teeth, Cambridge stroke Imogen Grant and seven-seat Grace Prendergast blitzed it towards the finish line.
Although Oxford rowed superbly, they were simply outgunned by smart coxing from Parish and stellar work in the Light Blue engine room.
Cambridge’s crew erupted in jubilation as they crossed the line, smashing the 2017 record by just over ten seconds and making it five Boat Race wins in a row.
Speaking to Varsity after the race, Kiwi Olympian and four-seat Ruby Tew praised the coxing of Parish, affectionately describing him as “a little legend”, while also emphasised that her crew “just went out there and did exactly what [they] planned to do.”
The Women’s Boat Race record now stands at 46-30 in favour of Cambridge.
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