THERE was joy and temporary disappointment for former Abingdon School pupil Ollie Cook on Sunday, writes John Wiggins.

Ollie and his brother Jamie helped Oxford University to a narrow victory in the 163rd Cancer Research Boat Race, but after the delight of that, he lost his medal in the post-presentation celebrations.

As the Dark Blues’ cox, Sam Collier, played his traditional part by being thrown into the river, Ollie took a dive in after him.

Emerging from the water, he was clutching hat, sunglasses and medal, but only held tight to two of these.

Photographer Hamish Roots (formerly of St Edward’s School and, like Cook, a University of London old boy) inadvertently captured the instant the medal dropped as the brothers shared the moment together in the water.

The elder Cook brother realised he had lost it, but with the incoming tide and demands for his presence on land, had to abandon his search.

Roots, a good friend of Cook since they rowed together up the Zambezi River in aid of the charity Village Water, took time on Monday morning to revisit the site in front of the Quintin Boathouse to see what might be located.

“I was amazed to see the ribbon floating and, under only a few inches of murky water a glint of the medal,” said Roots.

“And it was close enough to simply pick it up without even getting my feet wet.”

Later that day, he delivered the medal to the family home in Windsor where brother Jamie was delighted to see it returned.

Ollie was already back out training with the GB rowing squad.

On Sunday,, both last year’s Boat Race results were overturned – much to the joy of Oxford’s men but to despair for the women.

Cambridge were the strong favourites to win the women’s race.

Any doubts about the outcome were soon quashed as unfortunate Oxford rower Rebecca Esselstein marginally over-squared her blade on the start and immediately found the oar-handle over her head and the oar dragging in the water while the rest of the crew tried to get the boat moving.

Cambridge grabbed a two-length lead and went on to win by half a minute in 18 min 34 sec – a new women’s course record.

The men’s reserve crew, Isis, beat Cambridge’s Goldie by two and a half lengths – their seventh consecutive victory under coach Andy Nelder.

The main men’s race saw marginal favourites Oxford capture a half-length lead in the first minute, vital to defending the outside of the first bend around Fulham FC’s Craven Cottage stadium.

This they did but with a reduced lead as the dark and light blue blades interwove three minutes into the race.

As Cambridge steered away, Oxford, whose stroke was a third Abingdon School pupil in Vassilis Ragoussis, made one of their many timely pushes to extend the lead.

This lead extended a little but Cambridge showed great tenacity to press Oxford, who won by only four seconds in a time of 16.59.

The Dark Blues now have 80 wins to Cambridge’s 82 with coach Sean Bowden leading them to their 12th victory in his 20 years with the club.

On Saturday, the Veteran’s race went to Cambridge by disqualification.