Protester arrested after 'most dramatic Race in history'

The 158th Boat Race was halted to avoid the crews' razor-sharp oars harming a protester in the river. Credit: REUTERS/Paul Hackett
  • Boat Race stopped by swimmer in river

  • Oxford lose oar after restart, handing Cambridge easy victory

  • Oxford rower hospitalised after collapsing in boat at finish

A swimmer who brought today's Boat Race to a temporary halt has been charged on suspicion of a public order offence, Scotland Yard said.

The annual Oxford-Cambridge competition was restarted after the wetsuit-clad man appeared close to the boats in the River Thames in London, narrowly avoiding the blade of an Oxford oar.

Cambridge powered to victory but celebrations were muted while Oxford rower Alexander Woods was taken to Charing Cross Hospital after collapsing in the boat.

Sources named the swimmer who stopped the race for the first time since 2001 as Trenton Oldfield.

Police said he was released on bail late last night charged with asection 5 public order offence - namely behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He will appear at Feltham Magistrates' Court on Monday April 23.

In this video, shared by YouTube user Dave Melkman, Oldfield is seen being booed by crowds as police escorted him from the scene.

Oldfield posted a blog entitled 'Elitism leads to Tyranny' before the race.

He wrote:

The post hints at a degree of planning:

Oldfield, who studied contemporary urbanism at the London School of Economics, is also joint co-ordinator of a not-for-profit organisation called This Is Not A Gateway, which "creates platforms for critical projects and ideas related to cities".

According to its website, he has worked for more than a decade in non-governmental organisations specialising in urban renewal, cultural and environmental programmes.

Karl Hudspith, president of the Oxford University Boat Club, blamed Oldfield for ruining his crew's big day:

He also said Mr Woods was conscious and "will hopefully be ok", offering thanks for the many messages of support the rower had received.

Assistant race umpire Sir Matthew Pinsent explains why the race was stopped by Oldfield's actions:

It was almost half an hour after the unprecedented disruption that the race was later restarted.

The drama continued when a clash of oars led to Oxford crew member Hanno Wienhausen breaking his blade, allowing Cambridge to pull clear.

The contest ended in no presentation ceremony and the Boat Race Company labelled it "possibly the most dramatic in Boat Race history".