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The Boat Race

Amid tremendous excitement the Oxford and Cambridge crews, rowing side by side, are just about to shoot Hammersmith Bridge.

This is the memorable race of 1952.

It is a bitterly cold day with a dull grey sky, and snow lying on the roof-tops. The keen wind that is blowing is whipping the surface of the River Thames into small waves.

In spite of these most unfavourable conditions you see the two crews rowing magnificently. Cambridge are ,on the left, and at the moment they seem to be a little in front.

Following the crews comes a small fleet of launches. Away on the left is the B.B.C. television barge. Umpires, commentators, journalists and spectators all crowd into the boats that follow closely this most exciting race.

From Hammersmith the crews have still over three miles to go to Mortlake and the finishing post. They fight it out stroke by stroke, and yard by yard. First Oxford is slightly ahead and then Cambridge.

At last, in a most dramatic and intensely exciting finish, after a race of nearly four and a half miles, Oxford wins by a few feet.

Both teams spent many months training for this great event. A glorious finish like this one makes all their work seem well worth while.

(A Bridge to English by A. F. Scott and Kathleen Box)

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