We've said all the way through the campaign to expect the unexpected, but we didn't expect this
April 9, 2012 12:18 PM Subscribe
posted by James Scott-Brown (68 comments total)
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The 158th Boat Race
between Oxford University Boat Club
& Cambridge University Boat Club
last Saturday was perhaps the most eventful in the event's 183 year history
. The race was stopped after a protestor, Trenton Oldfield, swam out out the course and was narrowly missed by Oxford's blades. After a 20 minute delay, the race was restarted. Thirty-five seconds in, the Oxford cox was warned for steering into Cambridge's line, and then initiated a blade-clash that broke one of Oxford's blades. Cambridge rowed on to win by four and a quarter lengths (Official race report
). After finishing the race, Oxford's bowman collapsed, and was taken to hospital; the traditional presentation ceremony was abandoned. The OUBC medical officer stated
: "The sudden and premature stopping of the Race when concentration and exertion were at their peak was bad enough, but when the Race had lost its equal footing for having lost an oar, the psychological response was to try even harder. Oxford drove themselves to the limit to try to contain the damage. Alex Woods rowing at Bow reached the finishing line and found he had expended all reserves of energy; in my view he had rendered himself hypoxic, and this was the cause of his collapse"
. He has returned home to recover.
On a blog entitled Elitism is Tyranny
, Trenton Oldfield posted a rambling manifesto "proposing the return of surprise tactics". He also called for others to "employ civil disobedience and guerrilla tactics . . . match the personal and the political" ("If you work in a restaurant where elitists eat, can you serve the food once it is cold or cook the wrong food?"). Commentators
quickly pointed out that, despite his anti-elitist statements, Trenton was educated at the Sydney Church of England Grammar School
in Australia, attended the London School of Economics
, and claimed
to be a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was arrested for a Section 5 public order offence.
William Zeng, who rowed at 2 in Oxford's boat, tweeted
: "When I missed your head with my blade I knew only that you were a swimmer, and if you say you are a protester then, no matter what you say your cause may be, your action speaks too loudly for me to hear you. I know, with immediate emotion, exactly what you you were protesting. You were protesting the right of seventeen young men and one woman to compete fairly and honorably, to demonstrate their hard work and desire in a proud tradition. You were protesting their right to devote years of their lives, their friendships, and their souls to the fair pursuit of the joys and the hardships of sport. You, who would make a mockery of their dedication and their courage, are a mockery of a man."