swimmer-at-oxford-cambridge-boat-raceMost people while tucking in to some tea and scones to watch the yearly Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race on the Thames were expecting another normal ten minutes of Britains brightest paddling up the river ending in one lot winning by a snobby nose.

Though 2012 was not to be a normal year.

At about the half way point of the race, when Oxford were ever so slightly ahead, the Umpires assistant Sir Matthew Pinsent spotted some kind of debris blocking the boats path.

As it turned out, it was not debris, but a crazed swimmer making a foolish attempt at a pointless protest.

Narrowly avoiding a beheading, the rotter was pulled out of the water and the race stopped.

The protester, Trenton Oldfield, was taken away and revealed that his motive was simply anti-elitist, while it took about half an hour for the rowers to get into a position to restart the race from a less wavy part of the river.

Umpire John Garrett (an ex-Cambridge boy and quite possibly biased) ruled that the boats should start level and Oxford would lose its minor lead.

Finally the race recommenced but mere moments after it restarted, the two rowboats collided apparently due to Oxford being off course, all the while the guy from the Fenton dog video shouting ‘Oxford Oxford! Jesus Christ! Oxfooord!’.
The collision left Oxford rower Hanno Weinhausen with one broken oar (or blade) and unable to continue effectively.

Cambridge old boy Umpire allowed the race to continue while Oxford were missing their limb, with the inevitable conclusion that the Cambridge rowers soared ahead and won by several boat lengths.

The Oxford lot bravely fought on despite their hopeless position and the commentator saying they would be better off giving up and going into the history books as having not finished. At least that way it would be obvious that something had gone wrong and not look as though they were just rubbish.

Finally once Oxford had eventually crossed the finish line, their rower at the bow Alexander Woods collapsed, presumably from exhaustion and overexcitement.

The race has rightly been called the most dramatic Oxford/Cambridge boat race of all time.

See the drama for yourself below.

By Lewis Roe


More Oxbridge Stories?
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