the boat race

Rowing

The Boat Race 2022

🚣‍♀️🚣‍♂️ Oxford v Cambridge, eight rival crews and 250,000 spectators lining the banks of the River Thames.  The stage is set for the 76th Women’s Boat Race and 167th Men’s Boat Race with racing underway shortly before 2.25pm in the shadow of Putney Bridge.  Spectating is free on the route.

CONGRATULATIONS to the WINNERS of the 2022 BOAT RACE which returned to the River Thames for the first time since 2019 on Sunday 3 April.  In the women’s race, Cambridge extended their winning streak to five years beating Oxford in a record time of 18 minutes 22 seconds.  Their 46th victory.  Meanwhile, Oxford won the men’s Boat Race for the first time since 2017 with a classy performance that saw them take the initiative from the start to finish to run out comfortable victors in a time of 16 minutes 47 seconds. 

Stay tuned here for news of the 2023 races as soon as published.

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An iconic date on the UK sporting calendar the Gemini Boat Race is an annual contest between rowing crews from Oxford and Cambridge Universities on the ‘Championship Course’ (see below for route, race timings and our ‘ones to watch’).  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 and for women’s race it’s 18 minutes 33 seconds set by Cambridge in 2017.

the boat race
Photo: The Boat Race

The race makes a welcome return to the River Thames for the first time since 2019.  The 2020 race was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 race was held on The River Great Ouse and closed to the public due to restrictions in place.  In a series of epic battles last year the crews were only separated by a length at the end, with Cambridge winning both the women’s and men’s races.  That followed a similar clean sweep for the Light Blues in 2019.  Rest assured the Dark Blue crews of Oxford will be itching to get their revenge on the River Thames this afternoon. 

🕑🚣‍♀️🚣‍♀️ Women’s Race: Starts at 2.23pm at Putney Bridge and will reach the finish at Chiswick Bridge on or shortly after 2.40pm. 

🕒🚣‍♂️🚣‍♂️ Men’s Race: Starts at 3.23pm at Putney Bridge and is expected to finish at Chiswick Bridge just before 3.40pm 

In between the main races the Women’s Reserve Race (Osiris v Blondie) and in the Men’s Reserve Boat Race (Isis v Goldie) will start at 2.43pm and 3.03pm respectively. 

🧐 Spotting the crews: Both Cambridge crews (CUBC/CUWBC) wear light blue, whilst 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).

🚣‍♀️🚣‍♀️ Ones to watch: The Boat Race this year features a stellar international line-up. 

In the women’s crews two-time Olympian Ruby Tew from New Zealand is Seat 4 for Cambridge, while Christine Cavallo – former USA World Rowing Indoor Champion and veteran of sweep and sculling boats at Junior, U23 and Senior World Championships – is Seat 3 for Oxford.  Two Kiwis face-off in Seat 7, Grace Prendergast for Cambridge and Erin Reelick Seat for Oxford. 

The women’s crews are captained by returning Blues Bronya Sykes (Seat 5 for Cambridge) and Amelia Standing (Seat 2 for Oxford).  Anastasia Posner (Seat 5 for Oxford) has already won four Boat Races with the Dark Blues and has represented Great Britain at the World Rowing Championships at Junior, U23 and Senior levels.

The men’s crews contain three Swiss Olympians, Barnabé Delarze and Roman Röösli (Seat 3 and 5 respectively for Oxford) who finished 5th in the Men’s Double Sculls in Tokyo, and Simon Schürch (Seat 4 for Cambridge) a 2016 Olympic gold medallist.  

Also in action are Team GB Tokyo Olympians Angus Groom (Seat 7 for Oxford) Charlie Elses (Seat 6 for Oxford), Tom George (Seat 6 Cambridge) and Ollie Wynne-Griffith (Seat 5 Cambridge), all members of the Olympic bronze medal-winning British eight.

Both men’s crews have British international medalists at Stroke – Tobias Schroeder (Stroke for Oxford), the 2021 World Rowing U23 Champion and Oliver Parish (Stroke for Cambridge), a gold and silver medallist at the World Junior Rowing Championships in 2018/2019 respectively.

🎟️ Spectating is free on the route.  See below for a map of the course and recommended places to watch the races unfold. 

🧐 Best viewing spots: Putney Bridge will be buzzing at the start as the crews gather for the start with the bridge itself and nearby banks of the River Thames an ideal place to take in the build-up and start of the race.  En route Hammersmith Bridge is a favourite vantage point with huge sweep of the river to view and the race reaching a critical stage as the Surrey bend comes into play – 80% of crews ahead at Hammersmith Bridge go on to win. The race finishes just before Chiswick Bridge marked by the University Boat Race Stone adjacent to The Ship pub in Mortlake. 

🚊🚗 Travel tips: Once you’ve decided where to watch the race use Transport for London to plan your journey.

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