Having eased ahead on the Tideway course, their victory was nearly never in doubt as they clocked in at 18 minutes 34 seconds with a commanding 11-length lead.
The eventual verdict was a win to Oxford by a length and a quarter in 16 minutes 59 seconds.
The victory, by 11 boat-lengths was Cambridge's first for five years, dating to before the event moved to the same course as the men in 2015.
Austin, 28, who captained Oxford in her boat race debut, said she was proud of the way her crew recovered from their setback.
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Jamie and Ollie embraced each other in the Oxford boat as they reflected on a tough race in which the Light Blue crew took them all the way.
Through Hammersmith Bridge the Cambridge boat looked sublime, pushing their crew to get a fast time and stake their respective claims on positions in Team GB's Olympic squad.
British police say the hotly contested annual Oxford-Cambridge boat race is likely to proceed as planned despite the discovery of what police suspect is an unexploded World War II-era bomb near the start of the race on the River Thames.
Cambridge's women set a course record time during their emphatic win to end a run of four successive defeats to their bitter rivals.
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The 163rd boat race got off to a scintillating start, the boats on level terms before Oxford opened up a lead of nearly a boat length at around two minutes.
Oxford's president Michael DiSanto rowed for Team USA at the Rio Olympics, but when asked how the Boat Race compared he said "there's nothing like it".
"Of my three Boat Race successes, this is my favourite".
"We'll go back, break the whole programme down again, look at everything that worked, the things that didn't and see where we can find those extra margins for next year". Cambridge had come out second best in the battle for territory, and soon they were to come out second best in the race.
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