On Easter Sunday, alumni and current boat club members gathered to watch the Boat Race from Furnivall Gardens near Hammersmith Bridge. After enjoying a drink at The Dove, we headed out to watch the Isis vs Goldie reserves race from Furnivall Gardens. As the crews came past, Isis had a lead of about half a length. The lead had changed hands once already and Goldie went ahead again at Chiswick Pier. By Barnes Bridge, Goldie were 3/4 length ahead, but Isis managed to overturn a record weight deficit in a thrilling sprint finish to win by 1/3 length. This was a fitting end for two of the crew, Alex Woods and Will Zeng, who had been so unfortunate as part of the Oxford boat in the main race last year. LMH rower James Mountain, who had competed for Oxford in the spare pairs race a couple of days before, watched the race from one of the following launches and said that “Goldie had a good lead at Barnes but weren’t able to respond to Isis’ sprint round the outside of the final bend – it was a great win for Isis”.
Shortly after, the main race got under way. Watching on the big screen in Furnivall Gardens, we saw the very strong Oxford crew with two London Olympic medallists on board, Malcolm Howard and Constantine Louloudis, take an early lead. By the time the crews passed us, Oxford had extended the lead to 3/4 length and looked to have the race under control. However, Cambridge, who also boasted two Olympians, doggedly hung on and it wasn’t until Chiswick that Oxford managed to get clear water and move in front. In the end, Oxford held onto the lead to win by 1 1/3 lengths. This completed a clean sweep of victories for Oxford in this year’s varsity races (Men’s Lightweights, Women’s Lightweights, Women’s Reserves, and the Women’s Boat Race, in which LMH rower, Jo Lee, won for Oxford). Having thoroughly enjoyed watching the Oxford crews win, we retired to The Dove to toast their success!
If you weren’t able to come this year, please come and help cheer on Oxford to more wins next year!