Cambridge win the Boat Race for three years running.Cambridge University Boat Club/Twitter

Cambridge take the win for the third year in a row in the 166th Men's Boat Race. 

Oxford and Cambridge went head to head today in uncharted waters, with the Boat Race moved from its traditional route along the River Thames in London to the Great Ouse. The new course is considerably shorter: measuring only 4.89km from its start at the Queen Adelaide bridge to the finish line at Victoria Street bridge, compared to the 6.8km of the London course.

The route’s length is not the only difference from previous years. The event, which usually draws huge crowds lining the banks of the Thames, was spectator-less today, with rowers forced to race without the encouraging cheers of onlookers. This is not, however, the first time the Men's Boats have raced at this location. In 1944, while the country was still in the grip of World War II, the race was relocated to Ely and Oxford took the win by three-quarters of a length. 


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It’s a small sacrifice, however, for the chance to compete - last year’s race was cancelled for first time in 75 years in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. This year’s crews have trained over the past few months under the strictures of lockdown, rowing on machines in college bedrooms or at home, and only infrequently practising on water. There were a lot of new faces in the Cambridge boat this year but their bond pushed them to a great performance. 

There was a great start from both crews with Oxford having the advantageous shelter from the west side of the river. The Cambridge crew attained a half-length lead early on and held on to it for the rest of the race despite Oxford's continued determination. With 1000 metres to go, Littleport Bridge was in sight and Cambridge held on to their lead at an average of 13.1mph and Oxford at 12.8mph. Cambridge take the victory for the second time today by around a length, in similar fashion to the Cambridge Women's win an hour ago.