Goldie won the toss and chose the Surrey station, a pattern that would be echoed by Cambridge half an hour later.
This year’s reserve race, contested between Isis (Oxford) and Goldie (Cambridge) was a largely British affair, with fourteen domestic competitors. Of those competing twelve were either current undergraduates or graduates students who had completed their undergraduate degree at their respective university.
Race umpire Richard Phelps dropped his flag moments after 1.45pm and Goldie, rating 47 to Isis’ 45 took a slight lead along the moored boats, moving out to 1/4 of a length lead by the Town Buoy. Towards the end of the Fulham wall the crews began to settle onto their race rhythms, both rating 35. By Barn Elms Isis had reeled in Goldie, and held a slight advantage going into the first bend.
Around the inside of the Fulham bend Isis continued to apply pressure, taking first a 1/4 and then a half length by the Mile Post. At this point of the course the Northerly headwind was at its strongest, with Isis, rating 34 to Goldie’s 35 making stronger progress, grinding out a lead of 1 1/3 lengths by Hammersmith Bridge. With Umpire Richard Phelps warning Isis to remain on station Goldie fought hard around the inside of the Surrey bend, stalling Isis at 1/2 length of open water until the St. Paul’s Slipway, where Isis began to break free. Along the island and past the crossing Isis consolidated their strong working rhythm, Goldie’s early exertions showing as they lost contact.
Isis finished the course in a time of 16:41, a course record for the reserves race and equal to the third fastest time the course has been completed in the history of the race. Goldie came in 16 seconds down, a winning margin of 5 lengths.
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