The Oxford and Cambridge University rowing teams were no match for South Africa and Friends of Zimbabwe teams during the Livingstone International Regatta held in Zambia at the weekend.
Normally used to the smoother waters of the River Thames in England, the British boys found the crocodile-infested waters of the Zambezi River an altogether different environment.
Held over 2000m, the main race had to be restarted because boats nearly collided only 500m after the starter's gun went off.
Despite getting a good start, Brown University from the United States were quickly hauled in by South Africa and Zimbabwe by the 700m mark.
With temperatures hitting the mid-30 degree mark and the waters slightly choppy, it was the strength and stamina of Zimbabwe that eventually saw their team win by a boat-length over the more fancied South Africans.
"It was a tough race, but to be honest we are quite happy with second place," said South African rower Lawrence Ndlovu shortly after the race.
"A number of us have recently competed in the world champs in Munich and have only just got back together as a team.
"The conditions were also pretty tough but it was nice to come home ahead of our overseas rivals."
Placings: 1. Zimbabwe; 2. South Africa; 3 Brown University (US); 4. Cambridge University (UK); 5. Oxford University (UK).
lTo view a video of the race log on to www.sowetan.co.za