BOAT RACE: FORMER King's School Chester schoolboys suffered the agony of defeat in Sunday's Boat Race on the Thames.
Tom James and cox Peter Rudge were in the Cambridge University boat beaten by six seconds by Oxford University.
It was the second time GB Olympian James had been beaten in the event - he was in the losing boat in 2003 - while Rudge was making his debut.
Experts predicted a fierce battle between Rudge, also a GB international, and Boat Race veteran Acer Nethercott. But he spent the second half of the course trying to inspire his men who had lost sight of Oxford. 'They managed to make some really effective moves and we couldn't really answer them in the end,' he said.
'We fluffed the first few strokes of the start. We managed to come back after about 25 strokes and we got a bit of an advantage, but we never really got enough that we could relax and impose ourselves on the race. We were always fighting - responding rather than attacking.'
Boat Race umpire Boris Rankov praised the efforts of both coxes. 'Both Acer Nethercott and Peter Rudge did a beautiful job. They responded well to my warnings,' he said.
'We had talked about things at length beforehand and I was determined to be proactive in umpiring the race.'
James, who lives in Coedpoeth, accepted criticism for missing his stroke at the start of the race, but added: 'It wasn't the reason we lost the race. Oxford beat us fair and square.
'It is hard being a loser twice, but I am going to take a break until October and I will still be around next year when maybe I can make it third time lucky.'