LIVE BLOG: THE CANCER RESEARCH UK BOAT RACE 2017

Welcome to SCJ's live blog of the 2017 Cancer Research UK Boat Race 2017!

We will be publishing live updates throughout the afternoon and play-by-play action as the 163rd Boat Race and 72nd Women's Boat Race take place. 

The women's race will begin at 4:35pm and that will be followed an hour later by the men's event. 

The live blog is available below. For further updates, please refresh the page regularly. 
Logo credit: The Boat Race 2017

SCJ LIVE BLOG: THE CANCER RESEARCH UK BOAT RACE 2017

Results: Cambridge win the women's race after Oxford catch a crab on the first stroke. Oxford win a close men's race, beating Cambridge by just over a length.

18:07 - The presentation ceremony is set to follow for the men. Congratulations to both Cambridge Women and Oxford Men for their victories. Thank you to everyone for following SCJ's coverage! 

18:04 - Celebrations continue for the exhausted Oxford crew. Cambridge are already off the water and they look gutted, but there is a sense of pride around their efforts. 

18:00 - Not a massive contrast between the two crews. Oxford obviously celebrate as the winners, but both crews are exhausted. 

17:58 - And it's Oxford who win! 17 minutes the winning time, just over a length ahead of Cambridge, a valiant effort from the team in light blue. 

17:57 - The final run down to the finish line for these two crews, Oxford lead by a length and a half. 

17:56 - The crews are under Barnes bridge and Cambridge have one last big push, they are closing the gap feet by feet and Oxford are looking like the crew holding on. Two minutes to go. 

17:55 - This is an interesting situation, Oxford are clearly trying to wash down their opposition as you would expect. Several warnings from Pinsent, but Oxford are holding position. Cambridge still half a length of clear water behind. Big push going in again from the light blues. Oxford warned again. 

17:53 - Big attack from Cambridge and closed a few more feet. Oxford reacted and held station but the umpires are now starting to warn Oxford, so they don't have enough clearance. 

17:51 - Half a length of clear water, it's not quite enough for Oxford to really push across. Cambridge are digging deep, almost tucked in right behind the leaders. The Cambridge favour bend is starting to appear. 

17:50 - It's half a length of clear water but Cambridge are hanging on. Oxford might just be creating another of a lead to attack the Cambridge bend. It's not over yet though. 

17:48 - As the crews go under Hammersmith Bridge, Cambridge have it all to do. This is critical for the light blues and they are making a good fight of it. Oxford will need to work a little bit harder, they really need to break clear before the Cambridge favour bend. 

17:47 - A few clashes there, Oxford trying to push Cambridge out a little bit to get the fastest part of the water. Sir Matthew Pinsent warning both crews as the light blues touch the dark blue oars again. Hammersmith Bridge is appearing as Oxford pull out a length. 

17:45 - That's something we missed from the women's race, the blades getting very close as Oxford try to squeeze the Cambridge advantage. Oxford with roughly a quarter lead at the most, Cambridge are having a go at the favourites, but the next bend is in favour of Oxford. 

17:44 - The first bend is in favour of Cambridge who are 3/4 of a length behind, so the team in light blue will look to row back through and get level. 

17:42 - Oxford with the better start but both crews are away cleaner. Oxford are the lighter of the two crews and Cambridge were a little bit off course on the start, so it's the dark blues who hold a slender lead after the first 40 strokes. 

17:41 - An the 163rd Men's Boat Race is underway! 

17:36 - So the fiddly part of the race takes place again, as both Oxford and Cambridge start to set themselves up on the stake boats. 

17:31 - Under the bridge one last time for Oxford as the two crews get ready to take their place on the start line. 

17:28 - 10 minutes until the race start. 

17:25 - Oxford and Cambridge men are now making their final preparations ahead of the race, Oxford look a little nervous, a few more heads staring at their feet under the bridge. Cambridge have steely poker faces on, so it's difficult to really tell. 

17:20 - The men's race is likely to start just after 17:38 as the tide reaches it's peak. The two crews are on the water and are making their way down to the start line. 

17:16 - Here is a reminder of the men's crews: Oxford University Men: William Warr (Bow), Matthew O'Leary, Oliver Cook, Joshua Bugajski, Olivier Siegelaar, Michael DiSanto, James Cook, Vassilis Ragoussis (stroke), Sam Collier (Cox). 

Cambridge University Men: Ben Ruble (bow), Freddie Davidson, James Letten, Tim Tracey, Alexksander Malowany, Patrick Eble, Lance Tredell, Henry Meek (stroke), Hugo Ramambason (Cox).

17:12 - Cambridge go up to collect their winners medals and the president, bow lady, Ashton Brown is given her medal and the trophy. She lifts it high and Cambridge can begin to really enjoy their victory. 

17:10 - Presentation ceremony for the 72nd women's boat race is now underway, the light blue ribbons are on the trophy. An extremely dejected and gutted looking Oxford crew step up onto the podium. 

17:07 - The women prize giving is just being set up now on the podium as the men make their preparations to go afloat. 

17:02 - The men are due to get on the water fairly soon and you can bet that the men will have seen that crab and they will be trying very hard to forget about it. 

17:00 - The analysis of the incident will continue for several days but the focus is quite rightly on Cambridge and their celebrations now. The team in light blue and hugging and cheering with their coaches and support team on the beach. Oxford are yet to come off the water. 

16:57 - Massive celebrations from the winners Cambridge, Oxford left doubled over and dejected, sport can be so cruel at times. A record time for Cambridge, so it might have been too much for Oxford anyway. Rebecca Esselstein doesn't appear to have looked up yet, she must want to hide away and disappear right now. 

16:55 - It was never really in doubt from the second stroke but Cambridge are the winners of this years women's boat race! The winning time: 18 minutes, 33 seconds. 

16:53 - The team in light blue are now about to head under Barnes bridge and are heading down to the finish line. 

16:50 - Cambridge continuing to extend that lead as they start to enter the final mile of the race. Oxford are still fighting behind them, but they are barely able to keep the distance, let alone reduce it. 

16:48 - The only thing that could really change this race now is perhaps a similar disaster for Cambridge. They are under little pressure, but any slip up for these 8 could allow Oxford back into the race. 

16:46 - Cambridge were the favourites for this years race, but only an extra 5 seconds have been added to the distance. Perhaps this race might have been considerably closer if Oxford had gotten a clean start. Easy race for the umpires as well. 

16:45 - Cambridge can now sweep across the river and take the Oxford bend, the advantage completely gone for the team in dark blue. 

16:43 - Now it's the first big advantage bend in Cambridge's favour. Oxford are tucked in on the inside of the bend behind them, taking away some of the Cambridge advantage. Hammersmith Bridge is approaching. 

16:41 - Mentally, Oxford now need to focus on trying to claw back the Cambridge lead. There are just over 10 seconds between the two girls with nearly five minutes gone. The crew in light blue appear to be squeezing a bit more distance between the two crews. 

16:39 - Regular viewers of the boat race will now know how much of an uphill battle Oxford now face. It's not completely beyond them and Oxford appear to be holding that four length deficit. They really need to be cutting it down though. 

16:37 - Disaster for Oxford! A crab for Rebecca Esselstein has handed Cambridge a four length lead after just 20 seconds.

16:36 - And we are now underway in the women's race! 

16:33 - A fiddly moment for both crews here as they line up on the stake boats, but the weather looks like it is being kind on the crews. Less than two minutes until the race start. 

16:30 - Five minutes until the women's race begins. Can Cambridge secure their first victory on the championship course or will Oxford be victorious again? Cambridge president Ashton Brown won the coin toss and selected the Surrey bend, a big mental boost for the light blues. 

16:25 - It's now time for the final preparations on the water, the two coxswains giving the final pieces of advice or perhaps setting the mood in the boat. 10 minutes to go! 

16:20 - 15 minutes until the race start now, some nervous looking faces out there now, although the rowers themselves look focused. It's the supporters on the bank who are nervous. 

16:17 - Oxford and Cambridge women are now afloat and are on their way down to the start line. A big cheer goes up from the crowd as they come into view! 

16:15 - The women's crews are just starting to go afloat, the two eights are in the water and the ladies are making their final preparations before going afloat. 

16:07 - Having mentioned the history of the event, Oxford are going for a fifth win in a row during the women's race, Cambridge are yet to win on the championship course. 

16:03 - Just over half an hour until the women's race gets underway! 

16:01 - Here is a reminder of the two women's crews. Oxford Women: Alice Roberts (bow), Flo Pickles, Rebecca te Water Naude, Rebecca Esselstein, Chloe Laverack, Harriet Austin, Jenna Herbert, Emily Cameron (stroke), Eleanor Shearer (cox). 

Cambridge Women: Ashton Brown, Imogen Grant, Claire Lambe, Anna Dawson, Holly Hill, Alice White, Myriam Goudet, Melissa Wilson (stroke), Matthew Holland (cox).  
 
15:58 - The women's event, meanwhile, has been a more successful competition for Cambridge, they have won it 41 times compared to 30 wins for Oxford. 

15:56 - In it's history, the men's Boat Race has been won 79 times by Oxford and 81 times by Cambridge. 

15:51 - The expected live audience for the Boat Race at the championship course is around 300,000. That's the figure that has been published by several national media outlets. 

15:48 - As mentioned before, we'll be publishing live play-by-play updates of both the men's and the women's races. We'll also be publishing the crew lists again in a few minutes. 

15:44 - Now we would much rather you stayed with SCJ and followed our live blog, but if you want to watch the race live from your homes you can do! Coverage will get underway on BBC1 at 4pm! 

15:40 - First bit of major news regarding the men's race now. The coin toss has taken place and it was won by Oxford who, as you might expect, have selected to start on the Surrey side. 

15:35 - Weather conditions on the championship course are pretty good and with a nice bright sun out to really treat the spectators, although there are a few clouds overhead. If Lymington ARC are running their usual Boat Race afternoon, I wouldn't bet on either crew sinking this year (famous last words). 

15:32 - On the subject of Southampton based people, talented photographer Naomi Baker will be following the women's race later this afternoon. Check out more of her work on facebook (click here)

15:29 - The Cancer Research UK Boat Race has inspired plenty of similar races across the country, and the world. One such event takes place right here on the south coast. Local Southampton-based rivals Itchen and BTC race each other in a men's and women's race in December each year, named the Foad Memorial Race in honour of club stalwarts Les and Maria Foad. 

15:25 - For those who are just joining our coverage, the women's boat race is not scheduled to begin until 16:35 this afternoon. The men will follow an hour later. 

15:20 - Coin toss for the men's reserve race has taken place a little bit behind schedule, Isis (unfortunate name!) has chosen the Surrey bank. 

15:16 - However currently racing down the course is the women's reserve race and they are being treated to some decent weather and the early crowds. The men's reserve race is scheduled to get underway shortly. 

15:14 - As far as coverage is concerned, the boat race was once upon a time a one event programme. However, as many know the women's race is now broadcast live and takes place on the classic championship course. 

15:10 - Cambridge Women: Ashton Brown, Imogen Grant, Claire Lambe, Anna Dawson, Holly Hill, Alice White, Myriam Goudet, Melissa Wilson (stroke), Matthew Holland (cox).  

15:07 - Oxford Women: Alice Roberts (bow), Flo Pickles, Rebecca te Water Naude, Rebecca Esselstein, Chloe Laverack, Harriet Austin, Jenna Herbert, Emily Cameron (stroke), Eleanor Shearer (cox). 

15:04 - Have just been given the women's crew lists, give us a few minutes and we will have the two crews up. 

14:58 - Women's race squads coming up! Hopefully we'll have some crew news soon.

14:55 - One of the big complaints from online users is the lack of information regarding the women's crews ahead of the final. SCJ has been handed a full squad list for both Oxford and Cambridge, but no confirmation on which 8 ladies are racing. 

14:50 - There was a certain amount scepticism over the legitimacy over the bomb story as it was unfortunately released on the morning of April Fools Day. However, coverage of it continued late into the evening and today, so it's either true or a April Fools prank that has taken on a life of it's own. 

14:46 - The concern was apparently due to the the boats petrol engines and the wooden hull of the classic boats. It would appear that the boats have passed the safety checks. 

14:44 - The unexploded WWII bomb wasn't the only concern for the harbour authorities ahead of this race. There was a little bit of worry that the flotilla of classic boats that follow the famous race were a potential fire hazard. 

14:42 - Cambridge University Men: Ben Ruble (bow), Freddie Davidson, James Letten, Tim Tracey, Alexksander Malowany, Patrick Eble, Lance Tredell, Henry Meek (stroke), Hugo Ramambason (Cox).

14:36 - Oxford University Men: William Warr (Bow), Matthew O'Leary, Oliver Cook, Joshua Bugajski, Olivier Siegelaar, Michael DiSanto, James Cook, Vassilis Ragoussis (stroke), Sam Collier (Cox).  

14:33 - And in case anyone was wondering: Yes the race is going ahead as planned despite the discovery of a unexploded WWII bomb on the banks of the championship course. 

14:31 - Team news to follow in a few minutes!

14:20 - Welcome to our live blog! SCJ will be updating this page throughout the afternoon and there will be live play-by-play updates once racing commences this evening. To have your say or send in your pictures from the event, please use the hashtag #SCJLive and tag @SCJournalism on Twitter or South Coast Journalism on Facebook! You can also get in touch using the contact us page.