Oxford winners of Boat Race


A team of rowers from the University of Oxford have beaten Cambridge in Britains annual Boat Race on the River Thames. Oxford have won the contest on the River Thames 73 times compared to 78 for Cambridge.

It was a hard slog in choppy water but Oxford took the lead from the start. The Cambridge boat took in a lot of water which slowed it down. Unlike Oxford, Cambridge were not carrying a pump to get rid of the extra weight.

Cambridge were tipped as favourites but the Oxford crew rowed faster throughout the race. By the time Oxford crossed the finish line, Cambridge were lagging far behind.

The University Boat Race is a uniquely British institution but it has taken on a distinctly international character. It dates back to 1829 and is now broadcast on television in more than a hundred countries. And of the sixteen rowers in the two boats, only five were British this year. It was the first time a French rower had taken part for at least a century. There were also four Americans, three Germans, two Canadians and an Australian.

Critics have accused the Boat Race of abandoning its traditions and becoming commercial. But the universities and the rowers themselves have countered that the presence of world-class international oarsmen has made the race more popular.


Part A. Reading Comprehension.

I. Answer the following questions using your own words but taking into account the information in the text. (2 points: 1 point each)

1.- Why was the Cambridge boat slower?

2.- What have critics accused the Boat Race of?


II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Identify the part of the text that supports your answer. (1.5 points: 0.5 each)

1.-  Oxford have won the race more often than Cambridge.

2.-  Foreign oarsmen are not allowed to row because it is a uniquely British institution.

3.-  A French oarsman had never rowed before in this race.


III. Find a synonym for each of the four words below from these six options (1 point: 0.25 each)

crew         lagging           commercial         countered       tipped hard       slog

1.- tiring job

2.- expected to win

3.- team

4.- not as fast as


IV. Choose a, b, or c after each statement below. Only one choice is correct. (1.5 points: 0.5 each)

1.- The race was broadcast

a) for the first time in 1829.

b) for the first time in France.

c) in many countries.


2.- Oxford won the race

a) because they rowed faster throughout the race.

b) even though Cambridge took the lead.

c) because there was a lot of water in the river.


3.- This year the rowers

a) were French for the first time in at least a century.

b) belonged to different countries.

c) were very popular.


Part B. Composition (130-150 words approximately). Choose one of the following topics. (4 points)


1.- What can we do to make young people play some type of sport?

2.- What is your opinion about doing sport?

3.- What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing sport?