In their final opportunity to race on the Championship Course before The Cancer Research UK Men’s Boat Race, CUBC faced Oxford Brookes University over two pieces. Cambridge won the toss and chose the Surrey station, ahead of two pieces; the first from the start to Chiswick Steps, the second from the beginning of Chiswick Eyot to the end of the course.
Both crews began strongly, and through the start they remained level, with Cambridge taking a lead of two seats as the crews passed the boathouses. As the race passed Fulham Football Club, Cambridge had extended their lead to half a length, but Brookes maintained their speed and CUBC were unable to extend their lead. As Hammersmith Bridge came into view, the advantage passed to the Light Blue crew on the Surrey side. Passing Chiswick Eyot, Brookes moved ahead of the Light Blue crew, crossing the line with an advantage of one length.
For the second piece, in slightly choppy waters, both crews got off to another good start and Cambridge again gained a lead of around half a length, making the most of the end of the Surrey bend. As the course straightened out Brookes started to come back on the Light Blues. Approaching the Band Stand, the race had moved too far to the Middlesex station and both crews were being warned going into this section. A tightly fought contest, the blades from both crews were sufficiently overlapped that the end of the spoons were near to coming into contact with the boat hull. As the crews rounded the Barnes bend Cambridge began to close the deficit.
Under Barnes Bridge, Brookes pulled out to a length advantage and held their lead through the finish.
After some very good racing in their final fixture before Race day, Cambridge now have three weeks in which to prepare to face Oxford on March 24th.
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