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Saturday, 30 March, 2002, 14:37 GMT
Oxford clinch Boat Race
Oxford celebrate after crossing the line ahead of Cambridge
Oxford celebrate after crossing the line first
  Click here to watch the race  

Oxford have beaten pre-race favourites Cambridge to win the 148th University Boat Race in one of the closest duels in the event's history.

It was an amazing victory for the Dark Blues, who have now won only twice in the last 10 races on the 4-mile (6.8km) stretch on the Thames.

It was neck and neck, but I had absolute belief we could it

Pete Hackworth
Oxford cox
Oxford finished in 16 minutes 54 seconds with Cambridge trailing by two seconds, and became the first crew in half a century to row round their opponents on the final bend.

It was also one of the three closest finishes in the last 50 years - the other two coming in 1952 in an Oxford win with Cambridge taking the other in 1886.

Dark Blues cox Pete Hackworth was naturally delighted with the dramatic win, especially after his crew had trailed during the race.

"It was neck and neck, but I had absolute belief we could do it," he said afterwards.

"It's a situation you don't want to be in, but we had tremendous belief and came through."

Boat Race time check
Mile Post
Oxford - 3 mins 38 secs
Cambridge - 3:37

Hammersmith Bridge
Oxford - 6:23.50
Cambridge - 6:23

Chiswick Steps
Oxford - 10:12
Cambridge - 10:11

Barnes Bridge
Oxford - 13:57.50
Cambridge - 13:57

Finish
Oxford - 16:54
Cambridge - 16:56
Fellow crew member Matt Smith was also pleased the Oxford's performance and his own display: "It's the best I've ever done."

Despite the result, the Light Blues still lead the series 77-70 in a race that was first run in 1829.

But it was a disappointing day for Cambridge, who had a disastrous start when they were left trailing after a mistake by bowman and president Tom Stallard.

The tenacious Oxford crew pushed forward to establish a three-quarters-of-a-length lead going into the first bend before Cambridge put on a fast spurt to move ahead.

It then looked as though the Light Blues would successfully defend the title they won last year as they maintained their lead on the outside line of the long Hammersmith bend.

But Oxford refused to let up, making a magnificent push to see them hold their opponents before rowing round the outside of the final bend for a stunning victory.


Oxford: Andrew Dunn, Bas Dixon, Gerritjan Eggenkamp, Dan Perkins, Luke McGee, Ben Burch (President), Robin Bourne-Taylor, Matt Smith, Pete Hackworth.

  • Click here for the Oxford crew details

    Cambridge: Tom Stallard (President), Sam Brooks, James Livingston, Sebastien Mayer, Josh West, Lukas Hirst, Stu Welch, Rick Dunn, Eleanor Griggs.

  • Click here for the Cambridge crew details
  •  WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    BBC Sport's Nick Mullins
    "A truly memorable race"
    Oxford President Ben Burch
    "It's just incredible"
    Cambridge President Tom Stallard
    "The wheels didn't quite stay on"
    BBC Sport Online's University Boat Race site

    Boat Race in-depth

    Video links

    Sports Talk

    Internet link
    See also:

    30 Mar 02 | Boat Race 2002
    Links to more Boat Race 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.


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