The Boat Races 2024: Cambridge do the double over Oxford, again – as it happened

Key events

Luke McLaughlin’s piece from Mortlake has dropped, read the report here:

I’ll drop the full report in when it goes live, but that is it for the live coverage today. Thanks for following along with me.

Now it’s the turn of the Cambridge men. We’re unlikely to see the traditional cox dunk due to the pollution levels, so that will that be that for the boat race.

The presentations now taking place on the riverbank, first the Cambridge women collect their trophy and Jenna Armstrong is drinking the ‘British sparking wine’ out of the cup!

Oxford men’s boat reaction

Lenny Jenkins, Oxford seven seat, tells the BBC: “I don’t really have any words. We had a really clear plan of what we wanted to do and we had a really good setup for that – the last couple of days have been amazing. The boys have taken another step on and then for some reason it just didn’t come together on the day. That’s really diappointing.

“It’s been a great battle with the guys, everybody’s put everything into it and I couldn’t be prouder of them. It’s a shame the results didn’t show that, but Cambridge showed their class, they’re a top group of athletes. They did to us what we wanted to do to them.

“I really didn’t expect it to be such a big difference [between the two teams]. I will also say – and this is in no way to take away from Cambridge – that we’ve had a few guys go down pretty badly with E coli strain. This morning I was throwing up and I wasn’t sure if there was going to be chance of me being in the boat, but I ultimately kept that quiet and that’s on my shoulders. I’m not sure if that was the right choice as I really didn’t have much to give. It would have been taking one of the top guys out of Isis [the Oxford reserve boat] and ruining their chances. It would have been ideal to not have so much poo in the water.

“That’s not to take away from Cambridge. They are a talented crew and I don’t know if we would have had a chance to get them even if we were on form. So it’s in no way to make excuses.”

Cambridge men’s boat reaction

Cambridge University Boat Club president, Seb Benzecry, tells the BBC: “That was my last race with the club, it’s been four unbelievable years. Going into it, this was the biggest challenge we’ve had, that Oxford crew is a really, really classy unit – really good guys – so we knew we had to put a lot into and push ourselves to a place where we very rarely go. That was just the most unbelievable feeling. I’m so proud of the guys.

“Credit to Matt [Edge] to go that deep. I’m sure a lot of that margin we took early in the race was him. He was putting down such a dynamic rhythm and that takes a lot out of you in the stroke seat. So proud of him.”

Matt Edge is carried out of the boat, he left it all out there.

So that’s another double for Cambridge, a repeat of last year’s results. What have Oxford got to do to end the light blue dominance?

Doesn’t look like the Oxford cox Will Denegri will appeal, so the result will be officially confirmed shortly.

Cambridge win the men’s Boat Race!

They effectively finished with seven rowers but the light blues still won by several lengths.

Cambridge celebrate victory just after the finishing line. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Observer

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When I think there is not much left to say about this race the ambridge stroke seat Matt Edge begins really struggling, so the light blue boat is effectively rowing with seven crew. Oxford are too far behind at this stage to make that count.

This is over, we’re headed for a fifth Cambridge win in the last six races.

The gap is now over 10 seconds for Cambridge.

We could be on for another upset here. Oxford, if anything, are now falling further behind. Cambridge are rowing away.

Cambridge now have clear water to the Oxford boat and are moving across the line of their rivals.

Cambridge still have the lead going under the Hammersmith Bridge, the light blues lead by about a second and a half. Oxford struggling to make use of the bend advantage.

Oxford have come back a bit but Cambridge have a good lead going into the Surrey bend.

Cambridge have pulled ahead in the early running and umpire Pinsent has been busy with the white warning flag with oars nearly clashing.

A good view from the bus Photograph: Maja Smiejkowska/Reuters

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Men’s race crews

Oxford: Jelmer Bennema (Exeter), Harry Glenister (Keble), Saxon Stacey (St John’s), James Doran (Oriel), Elias Kun (Green Templeton), Frederick Roper (Somerville), Leonard Jenkins (Mansfield), Elliot Kemp (Oriel)

Cox: William Denegri (Oriel)

Cambridge: Sebastian Benzecry (Jesus) Noam Mouelle (Hughes Hall), Thomas Marsh (Wolfson), Augustus John (Wolfson), Kenneth Coplan (Hughes Hall), Thomas Lynch (Hughes Hall), Luca Ferraro (King’s), Matt Edge (St Catharine’s

Cox: Ed Bracey (Wolfson)

We’re underway in the men’s Boat Race!

Matthew Pinsent sets the teams off.

The teams are on the start line.

Boats in the water, not long now until the men’s race.

We’ve had the coin toss for the men’s race, which was won by Oxford who chose the Surrey side of the river – the winning side for Cambridge women’s winning crew.

Oxford women’s boat reaction

Oxford cox Joe Gellett: “In my mind [the bump] happened just after Cambridge had been warned and I don’t think they had moved back. Therefore it was happening in our water. Obviously that is might point of view in the heat of the moment. It will be something we look back at somepoint, probably not soon, but having discussed with the unpire and looked at past few years’ races it was a potential move that could lead to disqualification if it had happened with Cambridge in our water. Unfortunately after Richard [Phelps], the umpire conferred again with the rest of the umpires, it didn’t happen in our water. So the race stands.”

Cambridge women’s boat reaction

Cambridge cox Hannah Murphy on the collision: “Seeing them [getting] closer and closer, I knew we were on our station. I had even moved slightly off our station, but I was really confident that I was in the right there and I wanted to get right back on our rhythm as soon as possible. You can see there [on the replay], that we immediately take off.”

Jenna Armstrong adds: “I trust Hannah 100%, that’s why she was selected to be the cox for this race. In the four seat my job is to trust and to go. So I just put my head down, listened to what she said and did it – we all did it. That was incredible.”

Cambridge rowers lift cox Hannah Murphy rather than the traditional dunking in the drink! Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters

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The result stands, Cambridge confirmed as winners!

Cambridge Women come ashore after winning the 78th Women’s Gemini Boat Race. Photograph: John Walton/PA

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Still no final decision, but the replay appears to show Oxford moved over.

Phelps and Gellett are still arguing this out. The umpire does not seem minded to change his mind, saying Oxford moved into Cambridge’s station to bump the other boat.

We have a red flag

The Oxford cox, Joe Gellett has raised his hand in appeal. Richard Phelps, the race umpire has gone over to the dark blue boat and is reminding Gellett of the pre-race briefing regarding being in station.

Cambridge win seven in a row in the women’s Boat Race!

Incredible performance from the light blues to come back and overhaul their rivals.

Joy and relief for the victorious Cambridge crew. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

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Oxford now trail by nearly 15 seconds. This race all turned on that incident.


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Cambridge have almost certainly won this now, as they power away towards Barnes Bridge.

That has really cost Oxford, who are now well behind Cambridge, at least a full boat’s length. Oxford look like they were playing to try and get Cambridge disqualified but it massively backfired. Big error from Oxford cox Joe Gellett.

Big drama! Cambridge move in front of the Oxford boat and there’s nearly a collision as the dark blues move right up behind them.


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This is high quality stuff, Cambridge almost back on terms and they nudging in front? The light blues have rowed this bend so well and look to have got in front.

Cambridge continue to claw back the deficit as they go under the Hammersmith Bridge. Now at half a length.

There is a little bit of overlap between the two boats with two thirds of race left. Cambridge not out of it yet, but have a lot to do.

Nice day for it on the Thames. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

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Oxford were heavy favourites going into the race and we’re seeing why now. The bend is about to come into Cambridge’s favour as we near Hammersmith Bridge.

The teams are coming past Craven Cottage and Oxford look like they are pulling away again and almost breaking clear water.

Cambridge have recovered after that big early dark blue push and are sticking gamely to the task.

We’re away!

And Oxford have got off well, nearly half a length up already

A lot of international interest in the Boat Race this year – the New York Times, Fox News, ABC, CNN and numerous other international media have run stories in the buildup – but not for the reasons you might want.

River Action said testing showed E. coli levels up to 10 times higher than the level the country’s Environment Agency considers to be ‘poor’, the bottom of four categories it has for rating bathing water areas.

Right then, the boats are coming out on to the water. The race gets underway in 10 minutes.

The Cambridge crew get into the drink. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

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Women’s race crews

Oxford: Lucy Edmunds (Pembroke), Ella Stadler (Exeter), Tessa Haining (Balliol), Claire Aitken (Oriel), Sarah Marshall (Jesus), Annie Sharp (St Antony’s), Julia Lindsay (St Cross), Annie Anezakis (Pembroke)

Cox: Joe Gellett (St Peter’s)

Cambridge: Gemma King (St John’s), Joanna Matthews (St John’s), Iris Powell (Churchill), Jenna Armstrong (Jesus), Carina Graf (Emmanuel), Carys Earl (Gonville and Caius), Clare Hole (St Catharine’s), Megan Lee (Lucy Cavendish)

Cox: Hannah Murphy (Girton)

So today’s order of business is the 78th running of the women’s race begins at 2.46pm, while the 169th men’s race gets underway an hour later at 3.46pm (both GMT).

Guardian photographer Tom Jenkins has been spending time with the Cambridge University Boat Club over the past few months as they prepare for 2024’s races. His photo essay is well worth checking out for an insider look at the hard work and dedication that goes into taking on Oxford.


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Will Thames Water’s failures know no bounds? The latest calamity of the UK privatised water industry is that the Boat Races – one of the most British of fascinations – will not feature the winners’ traditional post-race cox dunk into the river. Alas, decades of neglect and sewage dumping by the local water company have led to race organisers issuing tough new safety guidelines to combat the dangerously high levels of E coli in the Thames. At least the rowers are smart enough to know better than ignore them.

Welcome to the annual battle of the boats between Cambridge v Oxford, this year with added excrement excitement.

Cambridge won both the women’s and men’s race last year, continuing Oxford’s win-less run in the women’s race that dates back to 2016. It is a similar story of light blue dominance in the men’s race, with Cambridge having taken victory in four of the past five men’s races. In the all-time standings, Cambridge’s men lead their series 86-81, with one recorded dead heat, and have a 47-30 advantage in the women’s series.

However, the bookmakers have Oxford are favourites in both events this year. The dark blue men’s crew, which features GB rowers Harry Glenister and Lenny Jenkins, has enjoyed positive results so far this year, albeit Cambridge boasts more experience on the Championship Course.

Oxford are banking on experience in the women’s race, with six of the crew having previously featured before. Cambridge, on the otherhand, count just two rowers – Jenna Armstrong and Carina Graf – among their crew from last year’s triumph.

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