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The BBC's Nick Mullins
"The Dark Blues pushed away seven years of pain"
 real 28k

The BBC's Nick Robinson
"It's been a really hard year"
 real 28k

Saturday, 25 March, 2000, 17:19 GMT
Oxford win thrilling Boat Race

Oxford have finally got their hands back on the trophy
Oxford won their first Boat Race for eight years in an exciting contest on a rain-swept River Thames.

The dark-blues triumphed against their old rivals along the four-and-a-half-mile course on the River Thames between Putney and Mortlake.

Oxford, who had collected six wins on the trot before the light-blues hit back with seven consecutive victories, have now won 69 races overall with Cambridge on 76.

The dark-blues had been underdogs going into the race but they edged ahead at the mile marker.

But the lead switched back and forth between the two teams throughout the early stages.

Cambridge - who included the tallest ever competitor in race history, 6ft 9in American Joshua West - battled on. But they could not match Oxford's team, who were able to pull away and claim victory.

Oxford's Matthew Smith, 18, is the youngest ever member of a winning boat race team.

Boat Race umpire Simon Harris had warned Oxford and Cambridge to "keep it clean or else" after oars clashed last year.

But this year, although the boats were dangerously close near the start, both coxes managed to keep things under control.

Cool victory

After the race Oxford Cox Kajsa McLaren, from King's Canterbury, said they had won a fast race, in really rough water.

This is the last year for Oxford crew President Nick Robinson. He said he had been waiting four years for victory.

"We kept going, stayed on them and picked it up in the rough water, an incredible race," he said.

Boat Race crews and weights (GB unless stated):

The dark blues of Oxford...
Oxford: AGG Dunn (Lincoln) age: 19, height: 6ft 4in, weight 13st 6lb; NJ Robinson (Lincoln) 21, 6ft 5in, 14st 6.5lb; BJ Burch (Pembroke) 20, 6ft 5in, 14st 8.5lb, MJ Smith (St Catherine's) 18, 6ft 1.5in, 12st; DR Snow (Balliol) 21, 6ft 6.5in, 15st 9.5lb; TH Ayer, (USA, Worcester) 24, 6ft 5in, 15st 12.5lb; EB Lilledahl (Nor, Nuffield) 25, 6ft 4in, 14st 13lb; A Reid (USA, Lincoln) 23, 6ft 4in, 14st 5lb. Cox: K McLaren (Pembroke) 19, 4ft 10.5in, 7st 1lb.

...And Cambridge's light blues.
Cambridge: RP Cantwell (Peterhouse) 20, 6ft 3in, 12st 9lb; JJ O'Loghlen (NZ, Emmanuel) 26, 6ft 3in, 13st 4lb; RA Ehlers (RSA, St John's) 25, 6ft 5.5in, 14st 5lb; HNF Martin (Trinity College) 27, 6ft 4.5in, 13st 10.5lb; AJ West (USA, Gonville & Caius) 22, 6ft 9.5in, 15st 4lb; TA Stallard (Jesus) 21, 6ft 3.75in, 13st 2.5lb; DJ Tweddie (Trinity Hall) 22, 6ft 5in, 13st 4lb; RP Stokes (Trinity College) 21, 6ft 1in, 13st 2lb. Cox: GJ Glassman (Trinity Hall) 22, 5ft 7in, 7st 5lb.

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