In perfect conditions Oxford and Cambridge lined up ready for the hugely anticipated race now in its third year on the Tideway. Cambridge; led by Ashton Brown drew the Surrey station leaving Oxford to take the Middlesex station.
The start proved to be very dramatic and shaped the whole race with Oxford catching a crab on the first stroke leading to a very slow, unbalanced start. This unfortunate start meant that Oxford cox, Eleanor Shearer had to call for the boat to start again allowing Cambridge to quickly get away. Cambridge continued to gather up momentum and increase their lead and it became clear that Oxford would struggle to get back to the light blue boat.
Upon reaching the mile post Cambridge had a 10 second lead over Oxford and that advance never ceased to grow. Oxford stuck in there with Eleanor Shearer making calls to move the boat but Cambridge proved to be too strong and every call their cox; Matthew Holland made allowed them to go a little bit faster giving them a larger advantage.
Cambridge were the favourites going into this race, and it was clear they were a very strong crew from the start with an ever increasing gap and constantly managing to push away from the dark blues. Oxford didn’t give up and continued to put in pushes but to no avail, as the light blues stormed ahead.
As Cambridge reached Hammersmith Bridge they had a 15 second lead over Oxford and it became obvious that Cambridge would win the race. The light blues continued to look strong and were able to separate the gap between the two crews further. Cambridge at this point looked as though they were on track for a Women’s course record.
Cambridge went on to win the race with a lead of 11 lengths having left Oxford trailing behind. They managed to get a strong course record of 18.33. Oxford’s winning streak was ended by this strong Cambridge crew as they went on to win the 2017 Cancer Research UK Women’s Boat Race.
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