OXFORD University head coach Sean Bowden was pleased with the performance of both boats in their trial eights race, which saw ‘Persistent’ pip ‘Stubborn’.

Normally held before Christmas, this year’s contest was postponed due to illness.

And when it got under way, Bowden broke with tradition by starting the race at Wandsworth Pier with the finish at Chiswick Steps, due to a slack and late turning tide.

‘Persistent’, containing president Malcolm Howard and a stern pair plus cox from last year’s successful Isis crew, won by 1½ lengths from ‘Stubborn’, who were stroked by Olympic bronze medallist Constantine Louloudis.

Praising the close nature of the contest, Bowden said: “It shows the value of power, having strong people racing well.

“Given how difficult conditions have been with the flooding since training camp, I think we had a good performance as a team.”