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Last Updated: Monday, 20 June, 2005, 14:07 GMT 15:07 UK
Cambridge wins Channel challenge
Cambridge rowers in training off Kent
The race was across one of the world's busiest shipping lanes
The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race took to the sea on Monday in a 21-mile cross-Channel contest in one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

Three crews from Cambridge and two from Oxford left Dover to row to Cape Griz Nez, near Calais, in France.

A crew from St John's College, Cambridge won with a time of 3hr 37min.

"We thought it would take between three and four hours but we had optimal wind conditions so we had quite fast times," said race organiser Naomi Longworth.

Extensive training

The organisers said that before Monday's race, only 20 successful rowing attempts had been made across the Channel since the 1960s.

Crews undertook extensive training to tackle the demands of ocean rowing.

A four-week window was earmarked to allow for ideal weather conditions and the race date was then set.

Ms Longworth said special arrangements were made to cope with the dangers posed by cargo ships and cross-Channel ferries.

"We have been liaising with the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation and each crew had a pilot's boat with them to make sure they could keep us safe," she said.

Crews ready for Channel challenge
17 Jun 05 |  Cambridgeshire
Channel race gauntlet for rowers
09 Mar 05 |  Cambridgeshire


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