The flotilla of following boats are ready as well... Starter says two minutes before we're off. Waters of the Thames increasingly undulating. A few umbrellas going up, suggesting persistent drizzle
And the waiting is over, the two boats are on the move and 17 minutes(ish) of hell awaits our 16 oarsmen...
Oxford already have an initial lead, half a meter or so
Two boats are perilously close, the umpire warning both boats...
Cambridge have responded to the early Oxford surge and are back on level terms
Two minutes gone and it's neck and neck
Interesting, Cambridge edging out in front now...
Big question is can Cambridge sustain this level of effort? Oars of both boats still worryingly close and the umpire is becoming increasingly agitated.
It's a rollercoaster. Oxford respond and are marginally in front and with the upcoming Hammersmith bend coming up, it's advantage the Dark Blues
Disaster for Cambridge, one of the rowers loses his oar and the boat loses huge amount of ground. It's Luke Juckett who's dropped a massive clanger. There's clear water between the two boats.
It's akin to a middle distance runner falling over and then getting back up and continuing the race. The damage has been done it will take a miracle for Cambridge to recover.
Juckett's oar hit a patch of choppy water. He lost his grip on the oar, was unseated and by the time he had it back under control, Oxford were streaking ahead...
I know, in the interest of drama and excitement, I shouldn't say this but unless Oxford sink, this is an ex-race.
Oh hang on, TV replays show that Juckett lost control after hitting an Oxford oar. Appeal time?
Saying that, Cambridge and not Oxford had just been warned about their racing line by the umpire so it could all still be in vain...
There's still no doubt Oxford will finish first but it has suddenly become something of a moot contest in light of the earlier incident.
Cambridge eight understandably looking very tired and dejected. Oxford powering on relentlessly...
Oxford perhaps 10 lengths in front. It is an absolute hammering.
I suspect the Cambridge crew would actually welcome an impromptu sinking right now.
Not long now as Oxford push hard to the finishing line
And that's that. Oxford, pending an appeal by the Light Blues, are the winner of the 2014 Boat Race
The umpire raises a red flag, confirming he's going to 'have a chat' with Cambridge about the earier incident...
He rules the coming together was Cambridge's fault because they were out of their water and the result stands. OXFORD ARE CHAMPIONS.
That was a massive win for Oxford although perhaps they would have prefered to beat Cambridge without the clash of oars that ended the race as a contest so early on.
So that's that folks. In truth, Oxford were far superior and the only remaining question is whether Cambridge's pride or muscles are hurting more right now? There will no doubt be much merriment by the banks of the Thames for the rest of the evening but you suspect the Cambridge boys will be in no mood for a party. We hope you enjoyed today's MSN coverage.