A MEMBER of the Cambridge rowing team has spoken of his experiences of taking part in one of the most dramatic university boat races of all time.

Edward Bosson, 19, of Seer Green, who is the cox of the Cambridge team, was stunned along with the other rowers when the race was stopped after protestor Trenton Oldfield swam in front of the boats.

He later claimed he was making a stand against elitism but his actions caused the race to be halted for 30 minutes.

Edward, who attended primary school in Farnham Common, said: "It was a surreal experience. I didn't see him until we were really close to him and by the time everyone had realised what was going on, we had gone past him.

"I thought we might just carry on because he was out of danger but they called a stop to the race. We had no idea at the time why he was in the river."

Following the stoppage, even more drama unfolded when the Oxford team clashed oars with Cambridge, leading to one of their oars breaking.

Edward said: "The Oxford cox had been warned several times before that their boat was getting to close to ours. It kept happening and I knew they were in the wrong so I just held my line and the clash happened.

"I saw one of their oars had broken and we went past them, and it was quite comfortable for us after that. I didn't tell my team that their oar had broken until afterwards though because I didn't want them to relax."

After the race, Cambridge's celebrations were cut short after Oxford rower Alex Woods collapsed with exhaustion.

Edward said: "We were all concerned and didn't know what was going on. Eventually we heard from the hospital that he was OK, which was a relief. It was a manic day really, we were pleased to win but there were so many incidents that we never could have planned for."