Hafner celebrates Oxford's win in the Xchanging Boat Race (photo courtesy Richard Heathcote/Getty Images).
PUTNEY, England--Former Harvard lightweight oarsman Moritz Hafner ’09 helped Oxford defeat Cambridge in the 157th Boat Race Saturday on the River Thames.
Rowing from the bow seat, Hafner was the first man to cross the finish line as Oxford’s Dark Blues finished four lengths ahead of the Light Blues in 17:32. Cambridge completed the course from Putney to Mortlake in 17:44. Despite being considered the underdog entering the race, Oxford pulled away from Cambridge near the midway point of the four-mile course and won for the fifth time in the last seven years.
Hafner, who raced in last year’s Isis-Goldie reserve race, became the first Harvard lightweight to race to victory in the Boat Race since Michael Christian ’60 stroked the Light Blues to victory in 1961.
The event dates back to an Oxford win in 1829, with Cambridge having won 80 races to Oxford’s 76, with one dead heat. On March 12, 1829, Cambridge sent a challenge to Oxford, and the tradition has continued with the loser of the previous year’s race challenging the opposition to a rematch. On Race Day up to 250,000 spectators crowd the banks of the Thames, and the race is broadcast internationally by the BBC.