The Dark Blues’ victory over the favoured Cambridge ladies came a day after Oxford’s men’s crew had also overcome their underdog status to triumph on Saturday.
Coached by former men and women’s Team GBR chief coach Mike Genchi, the squad included several junior international rowers, as well as 19-year old Natalie Redgrave, daughter of five-times Olympic gold medallist, Sir Steve Redgrave.
The women’s victory of one length was all the more special for the fact that the Oxford crew had lost heavily to Cambridge in a 3km race in mid-February.
Redgrave Jr said: “It feels fantastic to have won. I will definitely be coming back to race again next year.”
Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, was on hand to watch the girls power to victory, as was Sir Steve and Natalie’s godfather, Sir Matthew Pinsent.
McClure Fisher said: “After suffering such a heavy defeat a month ago, the girls really picked themselves up and worked hard. This victory, in the most famous boat race in the world, is their reward and we are so proud to have supported them.”
OUWBC chair, Rachel Quarrell, said: “The entire club is very proud of both its crews, and I am especially proud of this year’s Blue Boat athletes and coaches. To overcome a difficult year and the recent intense media interest, and to produce a race like that, shows the courage and determination of Oxford’s oarswomen. We are delighted that Duncan and Rory Buckley from Warranty Direct were at Henley to see such a spectacular and well-deserved victory, after their support has done a lot to make this year’s success possible.”
Warranty Direct’s backing in the 2011 Henley Boat Races is the second consecutive year that the Reading-based automotive warranty specialist has supported OUWBC.