Kiwi Powers Oxford to Biggest Victory in 40 Years
One of Southland’s finest, world champion and Olympic medallist Storm Uru, has played a critical role in continuing Oxford University’s domination of Cambridge University in their hotly contested annual boat race this month. Oxford won in controversial circumstances, following a clash of oars on the River Thames.
Uru, who grew up in Murihiku, south of Invercargill, won the gold medal with Peter Taylor in the lightweight double sculls at the 2009 World Rowing Championships and placed third in the same event at the London Olympics.
A distinguished academic with degrees in business studies, business management, international business and chemistry, Uru is in Oxford to complete an MBA with the assistance of a Woolf Fischer Trust scholarship.
Oxford were defending champions and favourites despite entering the 160th University Boat Race with a lighter and shorter crew than Cambridge, which had a 7cm a man height and five kilograms per rower advantage.
History does favour the heavier crew but the Oxford eight were packed with stars, including the 11st 6lbs Uru and British gold medallist Malcolm Howard, who won with the eight at Beijing.
Five minutes into the contest a clash of oars nearly sent Cambridge number two, Luke Jucket, into the Thames. The Light Blues protested but the Dark Blues were adjudged to be in the correct station.
The Cambridge crew missed four or five strokes and Oxford powered home its advantage to win by 11 lengths, the greatest margin of victory since 1973. It was Oxford’s fifth victory in seven years but Cambridge still lead the never-ending series by 82-77. There was a controversial dead heat in 1877.