The Boat Race 2009

Dark Blues make it four wins in five years

Oxford won the 155th Boat Race sponsored by Xchanging by 3 ½ lengths with a power surge in the second half of the Race reminiscent of last year. Cambridge won the toss and chose Surrey, something perhaps indicating that they would go hard off the start. They did this and were just in the lead after one minute and had stretched this to a third of a length after another minute. Oxford though drew back by the Mile and led by half a second in a time which was only three seconds outside the record.

Effort and counter effort up to Hammersmith Bridge saw the two crews virtually level, the official time giving the Light Blues just a 0.7 second advantage. Umpire Boris Rankov was giving warnings, first to Cambridge and then to Oxford as the crews approached Chiswick Eyot, and there was some clashing of blades.

Along the Eyot, Oxford produced a huge push, reminiscent of their 2008 tactics, and passed Chiswick Steps two seconds in the lead with their favourable Middlesex section of the Race ahead of them. They took full advantage of their station and drew away quickly having a two length lead at the Bandstand, nearly three lengths at Barnes Bridge and an official 3 ½ lengths at the Finish in a time of exactly 17 minutes.

This was the Dark Blues’ fourth win in five years and brought their total tally to 75 to Cambridge’s 79. Oxford President and 2-seat Colin Smith said: "We made a couple of really good decisions and stuck to a strong, aggressive strategy. The difference between the two crews was our power, aggression and stickability. All the way along I knew we had good strength and it would take a lot to break us, and that really showed today." Henry Pelly, the defeated Cambridge President, added: "As President I am really proud of the guys. They did a great job in terms of competing with Oxford who are such a strong crew. We can learn from this and move on."

Next year’s Boat Race sponsored by Xchanging will take place on Easter Saturday 3 April 2010 at 16:30.

Race Times:

The Mile. Oxford 3m.34s. Cambridge 3m. 34 ½ s.

Hammersmith Bridge. Cambridge 6m.28.2s. Oxford 6m.28.9s.

Chiswick Steps. Oxford 10m. 17s. Cambridge 10m.19s.

Barnes Bridge. Oxford 14m. 01s. Cambridge 14m. 09s.

Finish. Oxford 17m.00s. Cambridge 17m.12s.

The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race
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