Boat Race: Triumph and disaster strike for Oxford
Men's crew see off Cambridge, but women blow their chances with early mistake from Rebecca Esselstein
Oxford won the 163rd university men's Boat Race, holding off Cambridge in an exciting battle that capped a day of drama on the Thames.
It was a fourth win in five years for the dark blues, "but not for a moment across the 4.2 mile course did victory look assured, even for a crew who began the race as the favourites with the bookmakers", says the Daily Telegraph.
"This was a gruelling, relentless haul, with Cambridge showing extraordinary resilience as they refused to be cowed, refused whatever Oxford did to be thrown off their dogged pursuit, refused to give up. But stronger, cleaner, smoother in their execution, it was the Oxford crew who ultimately prevailed."
It meant victory for brothers Jamie and Ollie Cook and the divisive figure of William Warr, who was accused of treachery after moving to Oxford after rowing for Cambridge in 2015.
Hundreds of thousands of people lined the banks of the Thames for what The Guardian calls "a sporting spectacle retains a curious appeal among millions with no particular interest in rowing or either university involved...
"Not all of them bray annoyingly, wear red trousers or sit on the Tory front bench," adds the paper.
However, things did not go according to plan, with an unexploded World War II bomb discovered near Putney Bridge having to be removed before racing could get underway.
And although Oxford won the men's race, disaster struck the crew in the women's race as Rebecca Esselstein missed her stroke and almost lost her oar at the start.
"Seven months of pain and preparation evaporated in five embarrassing seconds at the start of the women's Boat Race when Oxford's hopes of a third consecutive victory since their race moved to the Tideway were blown to smithereens," says The Times.
"At the finish, a disconsolate Esselstein slumped downwards, her hands gripping the side of her head and tears flowing. It was an unfortunate accident, one made more humiliating because it occurred in front of a television audience of several million."