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The Boat Race 1992

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138th Boat Race
Date 4 April 1992
Winner Oxford
Margin of victory 1 and 1/4 lengths
Winning time 17 minutes 44 seconds
Overall record
(Cambridge–Oxford)
69–68
Umpire Roger Stephens
(Cambridge)
Other races
Reserve winner Goldie
Women's winner Cambridge

The 138th Boat Race took place on 4 April 1992. Held annually, the Boat Race is a side-by-side rowing race between crews from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge along the River Thames. Oxford's cox Andrew Probert was the oldest competitor in Boat Race history at the age of 38 years and 86 days. Oxford won by one-and-a-quarter lengths, the closest margin of victory for twenty years. The race also featured the first German competitor in the history of the event in Dirk Bangert. Umpired by former Cambridge rower Roger Stephens, Mike Rosewell writing in The Times described the race as "one of the greatest races since 1829".

In the reserve race, Cambridge's Goldie defeated Oxford's Isis, while Cambridge won the Women's Boat Race.

Background

The Boat Race is a side-by-side rowing competition between the University of Oxford (sometimes referred to as the "Dark Blues")[1] and the University of Cambridge (sometimes referred to as the "Light Blues").[1] First held in 1829, the race takes place on the 4.2-mile (6.8 km) Championship Course on the River Thames in southwest London.[2] The rivalry is a "hotly contested point of honour" between the two universities, followed throughout the United Kingdom, and broadcast on several international television networks.[3][4] Oxford went into the race as reigning champions, having won the 1991 race by four-and-a-quarter lengths,[5] with Cambridge leading overall with 69 victories to Oxford's 67 (excluding the "dead heat" of 1877).[6]

The first Women's Boat Race took place in 1927, but did not become an annual fixture until the 1960s. Up until 2014, the contest was conducted as part of the Henley Boat Races, but as of the 2015 race, it is held on the River Thames, on the same day as the men's main and reserve races.[7] The reserve race, contested between Oxford's Isis boat and Cambridge's Goldie boat has been held since 1965. It usually takes place on the Tideway, prior to the main Boat Race.[5]

President of the Cambridge University Boat Club, Max Justicz, said of the previous year's race: "We were burned on that day. Badly burned. It was worse than other defeats because we thought we could win ... Oxford just rowed through us; with every stroke they took they destroyed our belief in ourselves."[8] His crew mate, Nick Clarry, focused on the approach to this year's race: "This year it's heads down and get on with the job. We know that if we don't cross the line first on the day, nobody could care less who we are."[8]

Beefeater Gin sponsored the event; prior to this year's race they had announced a £1 million deal to continue their close involvement for a further three years.[9]

Crews

Aged 38 years and 3 months, Cambridge's cox, Andrew Probert, was the oldest competitor in the history of the Boat Race.[10] Oxford's crew featured four returning Blues and two former Isis crew members, while Cambridge saw three old Blues participate.[11] The Oxford boat was made up from five Britons, an Australian, an American and a Yugoslav; Cambridge was represented by seven Britons, an American and Dirk Bangert, the first German to participate in the event.[11] Oxford's crew were coached by Steve Royle and Patrick Sweeney, and assisted by the former East Germany Olympic coach Jürgen Gröbler,[12] while Cambridge were guided Oxford's successful coach of 1991,[8] John Wilson.[11] Watermen Bert Green and Jim Cobb provided advice to the Oxford and Cambridge coxes respectively.[11]

Seat Oxford
Oxford-University-Circlet.svg
Cambridge
University of Cambridge coat of arms.svg
Name College Weight Name College Weight
Bow Kingsley Poole St John's 13 st 4 lb Max Justicz (P) Sidney Sussex 13 st 6.5 lb
2 Joseph Michels (P) University 13 st 2.5 lb Nicholas Clarry Jesus 13 st 1 lb
3 Boris Mavra Jesus 14 st 8 lb James Behrens Downing 13 st 2.5 lb
4 Hamish Hume Pembroke 13 st 2.5 lb Daniel Justicz Downing 13 st 3 lb
5 Peter Bridge Oriel 13 st 13.5 lb Donald Fawcett Magdalene 15 st 4 lb
6 Calman Maclennan Keble 14 st 6.5 lb David Gillard St Cathareine's 14 st 7.5 lb
7 Simon Davy Worcester 12 st 6 lb Stephen Fowler Robinson 13 st 4 lb
Stroke Ian Gardiner St Peter's 13 st 1 lb Dirk Bangert Fitzwilliam 12 st 10.5 lb
Cox Elizabeth Chick Christ Church 7 st 11.5 lb Andrew Probert Magdalene 7 st 11 lb
Source:[11]
(P) – boat club president

Race

The Championship Course along which the Boat Race is contested

The race commenced at 2.35 pm.[11] Oxford won the toss and elected to start from the Middlesex station.[13][14] The boats raced side-by-side for the first three-and-a-half miles of the race, for fourteen minutes neither crew held a lead of more than half-a-length over the other,[13] and umpire Roger Stephens was forced to issue warnings to both coxes for steering too close to one another.[14] The Dark Blues held a slight early advantage but Cambridge pulled ahead at Hammersmith Bridge.[13] Oxford edged ahead at Barnes Bridge,[12] and passed the finishing post in a time of 17 minutes 44 seconds, one-and-a-quarter lengths ahead of Cambridge, the closest finish in the last 20 years.[5][13] Oxford's Yugoslav rower Boris Mavra had to be lifted from the boat at the end of the race.[12] The Beefeater Gin Trophy was presented to the winning boat club president by Raymond Seitz.[11]

In the reserve race, Cambridge's Goldie won by three-and-a-quarter lengths over Isis, their fifth victory in six years.[5] Cambridge won the 47th Women's Boat Race by one-third-of-a-length in a time of 6 minutes and 20 seconds, their third victory in four years.[5]

Reaction

Mike Rosewell, writing in The Times complimented all of the race participants: "the 18 individuals involved produced one of the greatest races since 1829."[12] Former Oxford coach Daniel Topolski, writing for The Observer, described the Oxford's win as "scintillating" and noted that the crews were "locked in combat for fully three and a half miles."[14] Christopher Dodd, writing in The Guardian suggested that "the promise was delivered; a rare race".[15]

Oxford's number five and Great Britain international Peter Bridge noted Gröbler's impact: "We really felt the strength that we had built up over six months under Jürgen's methods."[12] He continued: "[Cambridge] were slower off the start than we expected which was nice."[14] Referring to Cambridge's lead at Hammersmith Bridge, their number seven Steve Fowler said "we were feeling good but we should have closed the door there and then. We should have killed them on the bend."[14] Cambridge cox Probert conceded to his counterpart Liz Chick: "she steered very well."[15] Oxford coach Gröbler stated: "It was wonderful. Both crews ... were very good — and so disciplined. I like these university students."[14] Cambridge coach Wilson lamented: "we failed to capitalise at Hammersmith and they grew in confidence thereafter."[15]

References

  1. ^ a b "Dark Blues aim to punch above their weight". The Observer. 6 April 2003. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Smith, Oliver (25 March 2014). "University Boat Race 2014: spectators' guide". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Former Winnipegger in winning Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race crew". CBC News. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "TV and radio". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Boat Race – Results". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Classic moments – the 1877 dead heat". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "A brief history of the Women's Boat Race". The Boat Race Company Limited. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Woodhead, Michael (4 April 1992). "Can Cambridge ever win the boat race?". The Times (64298). p. 18. 
  9. ^ Dodd, Christopher (25 March 1992). "Boys in blue arrest intense Boat Race rivalry". The Guardian. p. 19. 
  10. ^ "University Boat Race – Oldest Participant". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Rosewell, Mike (4 April 1992). "Oxford have the edge in a conflict of styles". The Times (64298). p. 34. 
  12. ^ a b c d e Rosewell, Mike (6 April 1992). "Oxford stamina tells at close". The Times (64299). p. 26. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Anniversary action". BBC Sport. 15 March 2002. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f Topolski, Daniel (5 April 1992). "Barnes-storming Oxford". The Observer. p. 46. 
  15. ^ a b c Dodd, Christopher (6 April 1992). "A bridge too far for brave Cambridge". The Guardian. p. 23. 

External links

  • Official website
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