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Protests and swearing: controversy at the Boat Race 

There were two emphatic victories on the Thames – one by each university

Having been cancelled in 2020 and moved to the Great Ouse in Ely in 2021, the Boat Race finally returned to its traditional home last Sunday, said John Aizlewood in The Times. And the “200,000 hardy souls” who lined the Thames witnessed two emphatic victories – one by each university. 

Oxford were favourites in the men’s race: though they hadn’t won since 2017, their crew featured some superlative rowers – including Angus Groom, an Olympic silver medallist for Great Britain in Tokyo. And they put in a performance “as ruthless as it was perfect”. The Cambridge crew stroked “long and languidly”, but Oxford’s superior physicality made the difference and they won comfortably. 

In the women’s race, Cambridge maintained a dominance that now “stretches to five successive wins”, said Luke McLaughlin in The Guardian. With Grace Prendergast of New Zealand – the No. 1 female rower in the world – on board, it was no great surprise that Cambridge clocked 18min 22sec, breaking the record set in 2017 by 11 seconds. 

The race proved controversial, however, said Ben Rumsby in The Daily Telegraph. Cambridge’s cox, Jasper Parish, was repeatedly warned for moving to the “Surrey side” – cutting, that is, in front of Oxford – and this led to the Oxford crew unsuccessfully protesting that the result be overturned. Cameras also picked up Parish using the “F-word” as he urged his team – leading to an apology by the BBC.

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