Cambridge end Oxford's winning streak in men's boat race

Oxford (right) and Cambridge in action. Credit: PA

Cambridge University have beaten Oxford to win the 162nd edition of the Boat Race and end their rivals' recent dominance.

The victory was their first in four years, and came after a run of six wins from eight for Oxford, whose women had won the women's edition earlier on Sunday afternoon.

Race favourites Cambridge had won the toss, and chose to start on the Surrey station on the same south side of London's river Thames as Oxford's women.

In rough conditions on the Tideway course, the teams began competitively but with the more experienced Cambridge slightly edging ahead while rowing more tidily.

Much of the reason they were favoured came in the fact they were 11.8 kilograms heavier overall, 1.5 centimetres taller per man, and had added Great Britain oarsman Lance Tredell to their team.

Approaching the first bend they were were building a promising lead, but at a time when they would have hoped to extend that - approaching the second, by Hammersmith bridge - Oxford impressed by remaining more than in contention just behind them.

The second was where the water, owing to strong wind, was at its choppiest, and where Cambridge's women were at risk of sinking, but Cambridge built on their advantage in the unfavourable conditions and by the time they reached the Chiswick steps were set up for victory.

Thereafter, both teams - perhaps reacting to the struggles earlier witnessed in the women's race - headed for the Middlesex bank where the water was at its kindest, and as they did, Cambridge retained their lead which had built to two-and-a-half-lengths.

Heading into the final straight having already overcome the biggest challenges, the light blues remained relaxed to end any unlikely hope Oxford had of recovering.

Their convincing victory was eventually secured in a time of 18 minutes and 38 seconds, and by two-and-a-half lengths.

Its nature meant there were no clashes between the two boats, and that the race's umpire was never needed.

It also vindicated the decision of head coach Steve Trapmore, a 2000 Olympic gold medallist for Great Britain, to transform their preparations in the hope of ending a run of three straight defeats. He had also overseen a win in 2012, which some observers felt may have been fortuitous.