Thrilling race leads to narrow victory for Isis.
Isis won the toss and chose the Surrey station.
Goldie went into today’s race as the second heaviest crew in its history with a weight advantage of 13.5Kg per man over their Isis rivals. Isis in contrast boated their lightest crew since 1991 with an average weight of 81.2Kg per man.
Both crews had members who had raced in last year’s memorable Blue Boat Race, William Zeng and Dr Alexander Woods – who memorably collapsed at the end of the 2012 Race – for Isis and Alex Ross, Jack Lindeman and Mike Thorp in the Goldie Boat.
Goldie hit a rate of 47 strokes a minute off the start but Isis at 48 took a very small lead passing the Putney boathouses, a lead they had extended to ¼ length passing Barn Elms. But Goldie with a good rhythm at 35 held on and used the advantage of the Middlesex bend to stay on terms and then go into the lead. At the Mile Post Goldie had an advantage of 2/3 length which they had extended to 1 length by Harrods Depository.
Isis were tenacious though and kept the Light Blues in their sights at all time and were clever enough to use the inside of the Surrey bend under Hammersmith Bridge to get back on terms and pull out a ½ length lead of their own at St. Paul’s.
This time Goldie crept back so that it was only ¼ length to Isis at Chiswick Eyot. Goldie at 35 were looking very confident and now looked to make their decisive move, but Isis held on to Chiswick Steps despite being warned by umpire Boris Rankov.
Along Corney Reach Goldie did make their move and spurted to 36 strokes a minute passing Isis with ease so that by Barnes Bridge their lead was ¾ length. This should have been the end of the race but the lighter men from Oxford were made of sterner stuff. Holding on to Goldie’s coat tails, who were being warned repeatedly, Isis didn’t let them get away and as the two crews approached the Brewery Goldie only had a ½ length lead.
Goldie looked to have the race won but with just 20 strokes to go Isis sprinted and Goldie were unable to respond in kind. Stroke by stroke Isis got back on terms and then with just two strokes to go took the lead, winning one of the most exciting Isis/Goldie encounters, in the end by 1/3 length, in a time of 17 minutes 51 seconds.