The 2012 Boat Race will go down in history as one of the more difficult meetings to umpire. John Garrett (Rt 1976-81), pictured L, umpiring the race for the 3rd time, is unlikely to forget this particular race. With the aid of the eagle eyes of Sir Matthew Pinsent John was forced to call a halt when a protestor was spotted in the water close to the Oxford boat.
The race was eventually restarted at the halfway point and more controversy ensued following a clash of oars between the two crews, leaving Oxford with a broken oar. Cambridge went on to win the race comfortably. Afterwards John told the BBC “There was something in the water. We thought it was debris, then we realised it was a swimmer. It was clear he was waiting for the boats, so I had to stop the race."
Another Old Salopian involved in this year’s race was Jonathan Legard (O 1974-79), a sports reporter, who shared the coverage with the BBC’s Dan Topolski (a former Oxford rowing coach).