It all ended much more amiably than one might have expected. Yesterday, Oxford won in the Oxford versus Cambridge Alumni Boat Race on the Potomac. Oxford, whose team members are an average of nine years older than their competitors, won by a length and a half with a winning time of 5 minutes 31 seconds. The race would have been closer if the Cambridge team, which led for most of the time, hadn't been slowed down when the Rev. Dana English "caught a crab," which means her oar got caught in the water.
When it was over British Rear Adm. N.R.D. King presented each of the winning eight with pewter tankards, and per tradition, the coxswain of each team and the "stroke" of the winning team were tossed into the river. Hugh O'Neill, the Navy's general counsel and No. 4 on the Cambridge team, said that, earlier, Cambridge alumni had made an amendment to a sign on the boat club, which said "Go Oxford." He lamented that the amendment, which was simply the word "Pukes," was torn down. But Secretary of the Navy John Lehman was a little more charitable today. "It was nip and tuck the body of the race," he said. "They came on stronger at the end. There were no prisoners taken." And he added with a smile that the attack submarine he had stationed nearby hadn't done what it was supposed to. A rematch is planned for April.