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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 March, 2004, 20:41 GMT 21:41 UK
Kennelly angry after defeat
By Martin Gough
at the Boat Race

Cambridge on their way to victory
The collision left Oxford trailing in Cambridge's wake
Oxford's Chris Kennelly believes his crew were robbed by an umpiring decision in favour of Cambridge in the 150th Boat Race.

The American, rowing in the bow position at the front of the boat, fell off his seat after a clash four minutes into the race.

"I'm 100 per cent confident that if what happened didn't happen we would have won," he told BBC Sport.

"Our base speed was faster that theirs. We just didn't get a chance to show what we had."

Kennelly explained that his seat wheels came off the metal runners below them.

"I recovered and put the seat back but it wasn't fully on so the seat wouldn't move," he said.

The umpire was very good and told me to hold me line, so I knew I was exactly where I needed to be
Cambridge cox Kenholm Richardson

"I rowed without a seat for 300 metres and then made a decision I had to take the seat off and put it back correctly."

The incident badly affected the Dark Blues and allowed Cambridge to take a decisive lead.

After the race, umpire James Behrens turned down an appeal from Oxford cox Acer Nethercott.

"I turned down the appeal on the basis that I was warning Oxford at the time of the clash because they were out of their water," he said.

However, Nethercott was in no doubt the umpire made the wrong decision.

"It was a foul. They came across too hard and too fast," he told BBC Sport.

"My rudder was on hard and he came across even harder so it was his fault.

"The umpire told us no matter where we are on the river if one crew comes over too hard in a close situation and crashes into the other is the one at fault.

Cambridge celebrate victory
The Light Blues now lead the series 78-71

"He has made a decision in the heat of the moment and who would envy him that. If a disqualification is the right decision it's the one that should be called.

"But as things stand at the moment Cambridge won the 150th Boat Race.

"We've just got to hold our heads high, congratulate them as much as that pains us and deal with it in the most dignified manner possible."

Cambridge cox Kenholm Richardson claimed the umpire had told him the Light Blues were in the right.

"The umpire was very good and told me to hold me line, so I knew I was exactly where I needed to be," he said.

"It's amazing. I'm on cloud nine. To come here and win the 150th Boat Race is absolutely fantastic."



Links to more Boat Race 2004 stories


 

WATCH AND LISTEN
Cambridge cox Kenelm Richardson
"We had been practising clashing"


Oxford cox Acer Nethercott
"It was a foul in every sense"


Referee James Behrens
"It's a shame that it happened"



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