The protester who disrupted the University Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge earlier this year was found guilty of causing a public nuisance on Wednesday.
At London’s Isleworth Magistrates Court Judge Anne Molyneux said all options were open to the court, including jail when he is sentenced next month.
36-year-old Australian Trenton Oldfield swam into the path of the competing boats during the annual varsity race on the River Thames in April and later claimed he did it in protest at government spending cuts.
Speaking outside the court Oldfield said: “As inequalities increase across Britain and much of the world so does the criminalisation of protest. My solidarity is with everyone working towards a more equitable society everywhere,”
It was the first time in the history of the 158-year event that it had been disrupted by a swimming saboteur.
Although it was his first offence Oldfield, who moved to the UK in 2001, could now face time in jail when he is sentenced on October 19.