8 Apr 2012

Swimmer disrupts Oxford and Cambridge boat race

6:07 am on 8 April 2012

One of the traditional showpiece of Britain's sporting calandar, the annual boat race between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, was forced to a dramatic halt by a lone swimmer.

The man was noticed in the water about ten minutes into the 158th Oxford and Cambridge University boat race along the River Thames, in west London, as the two boats were side by side.

An oar of one of the crew narrowly missed the man, forcing the boats to stop. It was decided the two boats would return to the halfway point to restart.

The race was eventually won by Cambridge after a clash between the boats, in which Oxford broke an oar.

The swimmer was picked up by a police boat and later arrested on suspicion of a public order offence, the BBC reports.

The race drama continued as Oxford bow man Alex Woods collapsed in the boat after they crossed the line and was transferred to the race launch for medical treatment, before being taken to hospital.

The traditional post-race presentation ceremony was abandoned.