FORMER Abingdon School pupils Oliver and Jamie Cook could not contain their excitement after helping Oxford University to a narrow victory in the 163rd Boat Race.

Oliver Cook said: “It’s huge, there’s a huge crowd, there’s a couple of helicopters – it’s like nothing I’ve experienced before.”

Younger brother Jamie acknowledged that having his sibling present made it particularly enjoyable.

“It’s very special – there’s a deeper bond,” he said.

“First of all, thanks to Cambridge. They put in a tremendous effort and I was terrified the whole way.

“We did a good job. We were clinical. This race, we were so well prepared.”

The Cooks rowed alongside former schoolmate Vassilis Ragoussis as the Dark Blues recorded their fourth win in the past five years.

Michael di Santo, who competed for the United States at the Rio Olympics last year, added: “There is nothing like it.

“Of my three Boat Race successes, this is my favourite. The harder it is, the more you can savour it.”

The margin of victory was one and a quarter lengths.

It was an advantage they established in the first half of the race.

Victory, which follows last year’s defeat, was also Oxford’s seventh from 10, and reduces their overall deficit to 82-80.

But earlier there was joy for Cambridge, who won the women’s Boat Race in a record time.

The Light Blues, who recorded only their second victory in the past ten years, took advantage of Oxford’s uncertain start to extend their overall lead in the series to 42-30.

They secured victory in 18mins, 34 secs and with an 11-length advantage over the Dark Blues.