Exonian Lauren Kedar (2013, Earth Sciences) powers Oxford to Boat Race victory
Congratulations to Lauren Kedar (2013, Earth Sciences) and all of Oxford’s women rowers who powered to victory in the 2016 Women’s Boat Race on Sunday.
Ms Kedar was rowing in her third Boat Race and this year rowed at stroke. She helped drive Oxford to their fourth consecutive victory – a hat-trick for Ms Kedar – in the 71st Women’s Boat Race.
Oxford had a poor start to the race, falling behind in the early stages as they were slow to pull away from the start line. But they settled into a steady rhythm which inched them ahead towards Craven Cottage.
The race remained tense, with Oxford repeatedly trying to pull away and Cambridge consistently fighting back. Choppy conditions made rowing difficult for both teams, and Oxford lost some of their lead when around Chiswick Reach cox Morgan Baynham-Williams steered into an especially turbulent patch of water and had to steer back.
The two boats narrowly avoided clashing as Oxford steered back into the Surrey station but, back in calmer waters, Oxford pulled away to lead by two or three lengths.
Towards Barnes Bridge Ms Baynham-Williams again steered Oxford off the traditional course, this time into calm shallow waters. They lost the current and it looked like Cambridge would have the opportunity to fight back, but it proved an inspired and brave decision as Oxford profited from the calm waters and Cambridge, in the more traditional but less sheltered racing position, began to take on water.
As the pumps in the Cambridge boat struggled to cope, Oxford pulled further and further away, eventually winning by over a minute.
It was a credit to the Cambridge crew that they managed to stay afloat and finish the race and avoided the embarrassment of being the first ever women’s crew to sink.
In the men’s race Cambridge took revenge for three consecutive defeats by winning by two and a half lengths.