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The Cambridge crew celebrate after beating Oxford to win the Varsity Boat Race on the Great Ouse river at Ely in Cambridgeshire, England, April 4, 2021.Neil Hall/The Associated Press

Cambridge won both the men’s and women’s Boat Race against historic rival Oxford on Sunday in an annual contest that was held on a different course this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The races are usually held on the River Thames in London, but took place over a shorter 4.8-kilometre stretch of the Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire, for the first time since World War Two.

In the men’s race, which was its 166th edition and had a female umpire for the first time in Sarah Winckless, Cambridge hit the front early and stayed there before crossing the line a length ahead.

It was Cambridge’s fourth win in the last five races.

Vancouver’s Quinten Richardson, who turned 29 Saturday, was part of the victorious Cambridge crew. The former member of Canada’s junior national team is studying for a Master’s in philosophy.

Vancouver’s Alex Bebb and Martin Barakso of Nanaimo, B.C., were part of Oxford’s crew.

The 23-year-old Bebb, who is pursuing a Master’s in mechanical engineering, is president of the Oxford University Boat Club. He represented Canada in the men’s eight at the under-23 world rowing championships in 2018.

Barasko, 26, has represented Canada at the world championships and Pan American Games. He’s currently studying for a master’s of science in Latin America Studies.

In the women’s race, Cambridge won for a fourth straight time, finishing less than a length ahead.

The teams could only train fully for four weeks after receiving special dispensation to form an elite sport bio-bubble.

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