The Boat Race

Photo: The Boat Race Co Ltd & Ben Tufnell@Row360


The Boat Race 2025

🚣‍♀️🚣‍♂️ Oxford v Cambridge, eight rival crews and upwards of 200,00 spectators lining the banks of the River Thames.  The stage is set for the 79th Women’s Boat Race and 170th Men’s Boat Race which takes place over the famous Championship Course stretching over 4.25 miles in west London.  

Two sporting institutions are set to go oar-to-oar once again in the most famous rowing race in the world. The Boat Race returns on Sunday 13 April with Oxford looking for a change in fortunes against their Cambridge rivals.  Racing gets underway just after 1.20pm in the shadow of Putney Bridge. 

Cambridge secured a memorable double at the 2024 Boat Race.  There was drama in the 78th Women’s Race after the boats nearly collided in the first half of the race.  Cambridge appeared to cut across the Oxford crew, which prompted the Dark Blues to bump into their rivals.  After a tense delay at the finish, while the umpires discussed the incident, Oxford were found to be at fault and Cambridge were declared the winners.  The margin of victory was 7 lengths which was appropriate as it brought up a magnificent seven wins in a row for the Light Blues women. 

Later on a beautiful sunny afternoon on the River Thames, attention turned to the 169th Men’s RaceCambridge again took the spoils, despite starting the men’s race as underdogs.  The Light Blues fought off a spirited Oxford crew to win by 3 1/2 lengths.

The records currently stand at 87-81 in favour of Cambridge Men and 48-30 in favour of Cambridge Women.  What will the 2025 races bring?  All paths lead to the banks of the River Thames to find out!


🎟️ Spectating is free on the route.  Check out the Fulham Fan Zone (near the start of the race by Fulham FC’s Riverside Stand adjacent to Bishops Park) guide here.  And the Hammersmith Fan Zone (midway through the race) guide is here.  Both open at 11am tbc

👀 See below for a map of the course including a view from the Fulham Fan Zone, followed by our introduction to the Boat Race.  Plus 🕠 timings for the day and 📽️ exclusive interviews with members of the 2023 Oxford and Cambridge crews 👇

The Boat Race



An iconic date on the UK sporting calendar the Boat Race is an annual contest between rowing crews from Oxford and Cambridge Universities.  It takes place on the ‘Championship Course’.  At 4 miles, 374 yards (6.8 km) long the course starts downstream of Putney Bridge before passing under Hammersmith Bridge and Barnes Bridge before finishing just before Chiswick Bridge.

The first Men’s Boat Race took place in 1829 in Henley on Thames moving to London after 1836.  The first Women’s Boat Race took place in 1927 and moved to the Championship Course in 2015.  The teams compete in eight-oared rowing boats.  Each steered by a cox who sits in the stern or back of the boat.  The record time over the course in the men’s race is 16 minutes 19 seconds, set by Cambridge in 1998.  For the women’s race it’s 18 minutes 33 seconds, set by Cambridge in 2017.

The Boat Race
The Boat Race Crew Announcement 2023


– Fan parks open at 11am tbc. 

– 79th WOMEN’S RACE: Starts 1.21pm at Putney Bridge and will reach the finish at Chiswick Bridge shortly after 1.35pm. 

– Osiris v Blondie (Women’s Reserve Race): Starts 1.35pm tbc at Putney Bridge and will reach the finish shortly after tbc. 

–  Osiris v Blondie (Men’s Reserve Race): Starts 1.50pm tbc at Putney Bridge and will reach the finish at Chiswick Bridge shortly after tbc. 

169th MEN’S RACE: Starts 2.21pm at Putney Bridge and will reach the finish shortly after 2.35pm. 



Both Cambridge crews (CUBC/CUWBC) wear light blue.  Oxford crews (OUBC / OUWBC) wear dark blue.  All four Clubs train and select the rowers and cox for their university’s crew who are all students.  The four crews are known as the Blue Boats after the award their universities give them for competing in the Race.  Both universities have reserve crews.  The men’s reserve boats are called Isis (Oxford) and Goldie (Cambridge) and the women’s reserve boats are called Osiris (Oxford) and Blondie (Cambridge).


Putney Bridge will be buzzing at the start as the crews gather in readiness for racing.  The bridge itself and nearby banks of the River Thames offer viewing spots to watch the build-up and start of the race.

Fulham Fan Park (at Fulham FC’s Riverside Stand adjacent to Bishops Park) is near the start.  It’s a perfect spot to soak up all the action with no less than 14 screens showing live action, live music, bars, delicious street food and Chapel Down (the Official Boat Race Celebration Partner) serving English sparkling wine.

En route Hammersmith Bridge is a favourite vantage point.  This features a huge sweep of the river to view and the race reaching a critical stage as the Surrey bend comes into play.  Hammersmith Fan Park in Furnival Gardens is ideal for viewing.  

The race finishes finishes just before Chiswick Bridge.  The University Boat Race Stone adjacent to The Ship pub in Mortlake marks the finish line.


Once you’ve decided where to watch the race use Transport for London to plan your journey.


The annual build-up to the race gets underway at November’s Presidents’ Challenge.  By tradition, the President of the previous year’s losing crews challenge their winning counterpart to an eight-oared race over The Championship Course.  The final crews are formally named at the Crew Announcement in early March.  Challenges are accepted and crews confirmed, the Boat Race is all set for the River Thames!

In November 2022 we spoke to Caoimhe Dempsey, President of Cambridge Women’s University Boat Club, and Tassilo von Mueller, President of Oxford University Boat Club, at the Presidents’ Challenge.  They gave us an insight into their roles and what lay ahead for the respective squads in the lead up to the race.  At the Crew Announcement in March 2023 Oxford Women’s Alison Carrington described what it’s like to be selected for the race having only discovered rowing at university.  We also caught up with Team GB star Tom George who rowed for Cambridge in the 2022, on what it’s like to take part in the most famous boat race in the world. 

👀 LOVE LIVE SPORT?  Visit our ‘What’s On’ page here for the No. 1 guide to spectator experiences coming up in LONDON.  And to ensure you don’t miss a moment of the action subscribe here to our free newsletter!