The men set offBBC

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  • This is the 164th Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge.
  • Both Cambridge's Men's and Women's Blues victorious over Oxford
  • Reserve teams also win to complete a Cambridge clean sweep

  

6:20pm: What a fantastic day for Cambridge.  A big thank you to Harry Normanton, Tom Hinch and Marcus McCabe for their reports from the banks.  That's it from us for 2018, hopefully 2019 will be just as successful!

6:14pm: The official results are as follows: The Women won in 19 minutes 6 seconds by 7 lengths.  The Men's time was 17 minutes 51 seconds and they won by 3 lengths

6:11pm: And now the celebrations can begin

6:08pm: The victorious Cambridge crew are heading up to the podium to huge applause from the Light Blue supporters

6:06pm 

6:04pm: It is the first time that Cambridge have won all races since 1997 

6:00pm: Cambridge's James Letten pays tribute to coach Steve Trapmore and says that he is delighted that he could get the win for him today

5:59pm 

5:57pm: Cambridge now lead the Men's race 83-80

5:55pm Cambridge's early risk by going out hard clearly paid off as they won comprehensively in the end

5:51pm: Clean sweep! Cambridge have won!

5:50pm: Cambridge are about five lengths ahead now

5:49pm: Cambridge have just passed Barnes Bridge and are heading into the finish

5:49pm Cambridge's technique is much smoother than Oxford and support on the bank is growing for the Light Blues

5:46pm The conditions on the Thames are very flat but Cambridge have such a lead, it does not look like they will be caught.  Steve Trapmore, their coach, will be delighted

5:44pm Cambridge are just passing the island Chiswick Eyot 

5:42pm: Going round the Surrey bend Cambridge have extended their lead to 4 lengths

5:41pm: Cambridge have made a really strong start to the race as they approach Hammersmith bridge.  Flares are now going off in support of the protest

5:39pm:  A banner supporting a zero-carbon protest has been dropped facing east at Hammersmith Bridge

5:39pm: Cambridge are powering away and leaving a strong wake for Oxford to contend with

5:37pm: Cambridge are already a length clear but they are being warned to move as they have claimed water that they can't take

5:35pm: A very even start between the two crews.  Oxford have the advantage as they are in the Middlesex section, but Cambridge look like they are a couple of seats ahead

5:33pm: Off they go

5:32pm: The crews are all at the start line and ready to set off in a minute

5:31pm: A win would be huge for Cambridge coach Steve Trapmore.  This is his last race with the crew before he joins GB's Olympic rowing set up

5:29pm: Cambridge's crew are taller and heavier than their Oxford counterparts.  They have an average height of 6 foot 4 inches and an average weight of 14 stone 2 pounds.

5:27pm: In the Men's Blues race, the only returning rowers are Freddie Davidson, Hugo Ramambason and James Letten

5:24pm: Back in the Men's reserve race, Cambridge's crew Goldie have just won .  If the Men's Blues win it will be a Cambridge clean sweep.

5:18pm: Cambridge have won the event 82 times, Oxford 80 times.

5:14pm: Now attention turns to the Men's Boat Race. Cambridge are seeking revenge for their one and a quarter length defeat to Oxford.

5:10pm: In the Men's reserve race, Cambridge have just past Hammersmith Bridge.  Cambridge are ahead but it is much tighter

5:08pm: The Cambridge Women are going up now to  great applause 

5:06pm: The Women's presentation is just about to start

5:03pm: Oxford's President Katherine Erikson is very proud of what her crew managed to do but said that it was an honour to race Cambridge's excellent crew today

5:00pm: Cambridge cox Sophie Shapter is absolutely delighted and praises Rob Baker for getting today's strategy absolutely right.

4:58pm: The Reserve boats have great names, Isis for Oxford and Goldie for Cambridge.  Isis are named after the stretch of the River Thames that runs through Oxford locally known as River Isis.  Goldie is named after former Boathouse President John Goldie

4:55pm: The Reserves have just started racing and the Cambridge crew are well ahead in that race too

4:52pm: The Cambridge Women have won in 19 minutes 15 seconds to win for the second year in a row.

4:51pm: Cambridge were twenty seconds ahead at Barnes Bridge and this lead has been ever increasing.

4:50pm: Cambridge's 18 hours a week training and new boat house at Ely is clearly paying off as they begin to head towards Chiswick Bridge.

4:49pm: One of the very few rules of the Boat Race is that the crews must row through the middle channel, which Cambridge have successfully done.

4:48pm: Cambridge are making rapid progress towards Barnes Bridge. 

4:44pm: The Cambridge Women really are far ahead, it will be difficult to Oxford to get back into this, but they have changed their line in attempt to catch the Light Blues.

4:42pm: At Furnivall Park, crowds are flocking to the river to catch a glimpse of the crews. The Light Blues hold a massive lead at the halfway point to the joy of all Cambridge fans.

4:40pm: Cambridge have just passed under Hammersmith Bridge and still have a clear lead.  If they win, it will be the first time they have won twice in a row 

There are plenty of Morris Dancers to entertain the supporters surrounding the banks.

4:39pm: Cambridge have clear water between themselves and Oxford as they approach Hammersmith Bridge

4:36pm: Cambridge's international pedigree is paying off at the moment as they are almost a length ahead.

4:35pm:  Cambridge are gaining distance every single stroke, aiming to eliminate Oxford's advantage round the Craven Cottage bend.

4:34pm: Both teams have started strongly, but Cambridge have already pulled out to half a length.

4:32pm: The crews are off.

4:30pm: The boats are lining up for the start just in front of Putney Bridge.  Supporters line both banks and the bridge, leaning out over railings and craning their necks to get the best view

4:29pm: The weather is looking fair but race umpire Matthew Pincent is not expecting records today due to the high winds

4:23pm: The course is 4 miles long starting at Putney Bridge.  The crews will first row past Fulham Football Club, then under Hammersmith Bridge before they approach the main bend.  Continuing round the bend, the crews will pass Chiswick Steps and row under Barnes Bridge.  The race finishes at Chiswick Bridge.

4:18pm: Cambridge will be looking to win this race for the 43rd time, whereas if Oxford win, it will be their 31st victory 

4:15pm: Back to the racing.  Last year's Women's crew were very successful beating Oxford by 11 lengths and winning in a record time of 18:33

4:09pm: Meanwhile Harry Normanton is down Bishops Park Fan Park in Fulham, which is beginning to fill up with clusters of supporters, most clutching cans. At the end of the park is a big screen, and below it some small but deceptively loud speakers pumping out generic pop. Across the river a spray of pink and purple hoardings mark the start point of the race.

4:06pm: Tom Hinch has been talking to Hatem, Paul, Sean, Payton, Tom and Charlie from St Johns Boat Club are all backing Cambridge for a clean sweep. They say the bookies are rarely wrong. They’re sorting their boat club blazers and getting plenty of attention from the television cameras. 

The women's race is up first and Cambridge are the hot favourites after they won last year's race in record time.  Imogen Grant, Alice White and Miriam Goudet-Boukhatmi are the only returning rowers from Cambridge.

Both the Men's and Women's crews have won the toss and elected to row on the Surrey side.  This will mean that Cambridge will be on the preferred inside of certain bends in the course.

Hello and welcome to Varsity's coverage of the 2018 Cancer Research UK Boat Race.  I'm Vivi Way, Deputy Sports Editor and I'll be running the live blog this afternoon with live reaction from reporters Tom Hinch at Furnivall Gardens, Harry Normanton at Bishops Park, and Marcus McClinch at the finish.

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