The 158th Boat Race between Cambridge and Oxford was interrupted Saturday afternoon when a man in a wet suit enjoying a leisurely swim came into oncoming traffic. Both teams were neck and neck after ten minutes, when suddenly the Cambridge boat stopped.
The umpire told the BBC he originally thought the man was a piece of debris until someone pointed out that it was, in fact, a human in the water. "I wasn't sure if he was going to get out of the way in time, it was quite clear he was waiting for the boats to come across him, so I just had to stop the race," he said.
The trend over the last couple years, when disrupting sporting events, is to do it naked with an advertisement for a website scrawled on your back. We're looking at you, Golden Palace streakers [some images NSFW]. This man was merely clad in a black wetsuit with no advertisement in sight. Sometimes you just really need to go for a swim. He was picked up by a police boat and later arrested.
After the restart Cambridge went on to defeat Oxford, bringing their overall record against their rivals to 81-76. Here's a short video from Youtube of the swimmer, but the BBC has a longer, more complete version with their story. The BBC video is worth checking out, if only for the announcer's shocked and appalled reactions when the race stops because they were about to incapacitate someone in the way.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.