James Cracknell becomes oldest Boat Race winner at 46
LONDON (AP) — James Cracknell became the oldest winner of the Boat Race at age 46 on Sunday when Cambridge beat Oxford by one length in the 165th edition on the River Thames.
The double Olympic gold medalist — a Peterhouse College masters student — is eight years older than the previous record holder, 1992 Cambridge cox Andy Prober.
“On the start I thought, ‘I’ve missed this,’” Cracknell told the BBC. “The first few minutes were great, but they just didn’t drop. To be honest the endurance wasn’t a problem. If I had any doubt it would have been my sprinting. I just made sure I stuck it in and hopefully we had enough in the bank.”
Cracknell has recovered after suffering a traumatic brain injury when he fractured his skull in a cycling accident in Arizona in 2010.
“In the history of the Boat Race, no one will ever do that again — absolutely no way,” said Cracknell’s former Olympics crew mate Matthew Pinsent. “In that hospital in Phoenix, if you’d said he would win the Boat Race, at that point he was doing well to walk again.”
Before the Cambridge men won for the third time in four years, the university’s women’s team beat Oxford for a third year in a row.
“There’s nothing like this,” said Cambridge stroke Lily Lindsay, who has competed for the United States. “Training alongside my teammates has been unbelievable. It’s been a pleasure.”