Byline: Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — Royal Marines were stationed in inflatable boats on the River Thames on March 31 in a bid to prevent the 159th annual Boat Race between English universities Oxford and Cambridge from being disrupted by a protester in the water.
Last year’s race in southwest London was brought to a halt when a man protesting against elitism and inequality jumped into the water and narrowly avoided being struck by the oars of both crews. Trenton Oldfield served seven weeks in jail for causing a public nuisance.
An estimated 250,000 spectators typically line the river bank from Putney to Mortlake for one of England’s oldest and most prestigious sporting events. London police recently contacted Oldfield to establish whether he was planning any further action this year, saying they were “keen to facilitate any peaceful protest.”
However, Oldfield said he would not be anywhere near the race. “In spite of the Metropolitan Police’s kind offer, I’ll probably have a ramble across the Cotswolds instead,” Oldfield wrote in The Spectator magazine.