Men carrying boat
The first Boat Race took place in 1829 on the Thames at Henley.

Credit: OUImages / Rob Judges

Oxford men power to Boat Race victory as women miss out

Oxford's men cruised to victory after the University's women succumbed to an early mistake in the 2017 Cancer Research UK Boat Races.

On a glorious day in London, the men's crew took an early lead over their Cambridge counterparts that they never looked like relinquishing. The win was Oxford's 80th in the event's history – just two behind their rivals in light blue.

The Dark Blues won the toss and chose the Surrey station, surging into an early lead against the river bend that gave them the ideal platform for victory in front of an estimated 200,000 spectators lining the banks of the Thames.

Early difficulties, however, meant the women's boat was always playing catch-up against a Cambridge crew that posted a record time since the women's race began taking place over the same course three years ago.

Following their win in the 163rd Boat Race, Oxford men's president Michael DiSanto – who competed in the Rio Olympics – said: 'There's nothing like this. Hats off to Cambridge, they were a good boat, but we were just better on the day, and that's what it's about.'

Oxford women's captain Harriet Austin said she was proud of the way her team recovered from their difficult start.

She said: 'The start didn't go as we'd planned but I think we got it together really well and I am really proud of the girls and the effort we put in.

'It was a good race but today was Cambridge's day.'

In the reserve races, Oxford's men and Cambridge's women triumphed to leave honours even overall between the two institutions.

Watch our new video series looking at the 'unseen' 2017 Boat Race. Part 1: The Start (two further videos are available on the Boat Race playlist on Oxford's YouTube channel).