Cambridge beat Oxford in the 166th Boat Race by less than a length in a contest moved to Cambridgeshire because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Both the men’s and women’s race were moved from the usual course, along the Thames in London, to the Great Ouse.

For the first time in the event’s history, the men’s race had a female umpire, Sarah Winckless.

Earlier, Cambridge won the women’s race, also by less than a length, to earn a fourth successive win.

In the men’s race, Cambridge took a bold approach as they hit the front early on and stayed out in front of Oxford, who kept the disadvantage to less than a length without being able to reel in their rivals.

Winckless was kept busy as on several occasions she warned Cambridge cox Charlie Marcus to alter his crew’s line.

In the women’s race, Oxford were also repeatedly warned by the umpire for encroaching on their rivals’ line in a tight race.

But Cambridge held their nerve, having taken a slender lead after halfway.

Dylan Whitaker, the winning cox, was full of praise for his opposite number Costi Levy.

“Massive, massive props to Costi because she steered like an absolute champ. That was close but we knew what our plan was, we kept it calm and loose and it worked,” he said on BBC One.

Sarah Tisdall, one of the Cambridge rowers, added: “Awesome race, massive congrats to Oxford. That’s the closest boat race the females have had. Awesome day for women’s sport and really proud of this team. It’s been awesome.”

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