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Cambridge University Boat Club enjoy a Gemini Boat Race double over great rivals Oxford University Boat Club on the River Thames





Cambridge University Boat Club channelled the spirit of the underdog to win both Gemini Boat Races in London this afternoon.

In the build up, the general consensus was that Oxford University Boat Club were the favourites to exact some revenge after being on the receiving end of a memorable clean sweep 12 months ago.

But Cambridge were in no mood to loosen their grip on the two trophies and it was they that were spraying the champagne around in celebration come the presentations.

CUBC Women celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell
CUBC Women celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell
CUBC Women celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell
CUBC Women celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell

There was no shortage of drama in both races, with the women’s contest subject to a lengthy appeal from Oxford cox Joe Gellett, who believed that Cambridge had crossed his boat’s path during a moment that proved to be defining. However, after an extended discussion with umpire Richard Phelps, Cambridge’s victory was confirmed.

The win was all the more impressive given that Oxford almost broke clear water on a couple of occasions after a good start, but Cambridge had cut that lead to half a length by Hammersmith Bridge and soon after they opened up an unassailable advantage of seven lengths – much to Gellett’s ire.

The result of the Women’s race was subject to an appeal from Oxford. Picture: Keith Heppell
The result of the Women’s race was subject to an appeal from Oxford. Picture: Keith Heppell
CUBC Women celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell
CUBC Women celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell

Speaking about the point of controversy, Cambridge cox Hannah Murphy said: “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 (on the replay) that we immediately take off.”

Meanwhile, in the men’s contest Oxford were unable to make the most of their Surrey Bend advantage – and instead it was Cambridge that powered into a lead of around 10 seconds.

Yet that gap was closing all the time as the finish line approached due to Matt Edge in the stroke seat struggling with exhaustion. Unable to get his blade into the water to make any significant impact, Luca Ferraro in the seven seat took on the responsibility to see Cambridge home.

The CUBC men celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell
The CUBC men celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell
The CUBC women celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell
The CUBC women celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell
The CUBC women celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell
The CUBC women celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell

Men’s president Seb Benzecry, who was appearing on Boat Race day for the fourth and final time, said of his stricken crew-mate: “Credit to Matt 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.”

And on the victory, he added: “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.”

For the women, today’s victory continued their recent domination as they racked up a seventh straight triumph. As for the men, it is back-to-back wins and victories in five of the last six match ups with their great rivals.

CUBC presidents Jenna Armstrong and Seb Benzecry celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Races. Picture: Keith Heppell
CUBC presidents Jenna Armstrong and Seb Benzecry celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Races. Picture: Keith Heppell
The CUBC men and women celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell
The CUBC men and women celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell
The CUBC men, women and Goldie celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell
The CUBC men, women and Goldie celebrate winning the 2024 Boat Race. Picture: Keith Heppell

Between the two wins, the reverse races took place and while the men – Goldie – got their better of their Oxford counterparts, the women – Blondie – were unable follow suit.



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