President's daughter rows to Henley victory


President Mary McAleese and her husband, Dr Martin McAleese, watched their daughter row to victory in the Oxford versus Cambridge lightweight women's boat race on Saturday.

The President was in London in a private capacity to cheer on her daughter. Sara McAleese, who is a second-year biochemistry student at Oriel College, Oxford, was one of a team who won the 2,000 metre race at Henley by half-a-length.

She rowed in the number two seat for the "dark blues" to beat "light blue" Cambridge in one of five races between the two universities on Saturday. The lightweight race - for competitors who meet the international weight restrictions for rowing - has been part of the Henley boat races since 1984. Oxford won four of Saturday's, but Cambridge scooped a win in the day's main event, the women's boat race.

Crowds of between 10,000 and 12,000 people turned up at Henley to enjoy the spring sunshine and the old rivalry.

The traditional men's boat race between the two universities on the Thames river in London yesterday was won by Oxford. - (PA)