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Boat race court case underway

The swimmer who allegedly interrupted the Oxford - Cambridge boat race after he was spotted in the water in the boats' path has appeared in court.

The competition was suspended for about half an hour after Trenton Oldfield, aged 35, was seen in the River Thames.

Today he spoke softly to confirm his name, date of birth and address at Feltham Magistrates' Court in Middlesex.

He showed no emotion as the charge against him was read out and he was told:

"You are charged, on April 7 of this year, in the River Thames near Chiswick Eyot, with causing a public nuisance by swimming into the path of the University Boat Race and causing it to stop,"

Michael Schwarz, defending said that Mr Oldfield would not enter a plea. The case was committed to Isleworth Crown Court for a hearing on Wednesday May 28 at 10am.

Court for boat race swimmer

A swimmer disrupts the Oxford-Cambridge boat race Credit: PA

The swimmer arrested after bringing the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race to a dramatic halt will appear in court today. The annual contest on the River Thames was interrupted after the man was spotted in the vessels' path and the competition had to be restarted almost half an hour later.

Trenton Oldfield, aged 35, is due before Feltham Magistrates' Court charged with a public order offence. He says he was making a stand against elitism.

Oxford at the end of the boat race Credit: PA

The drama of the race continued after his arrest when the blade of an Oxford oar broke and the crew's bowman Alex Woods collapsed at the end and required hospital treatment.

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Umpire thanks Sir Matthew Pinsent

Umpire John Garrett has thanked veteran Olympic rower Sir Matthew Pinsent for spotting the swimming in the River Thames.

I'm grateful to Matthew for having spotted the swimmer. He basically said, 'There's something in the water, there's something in the water', he thought it was some debris and then we realised that it was actually a swimmer.

We weren't sure what was going to happen, whether he was going to get out of the way in time and then it was quite clear he was just waiting for the boats to come across him so I had to stop the race and restart.

– Umpire John Garrett
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