The Boat Races
COVID-19 and the 2020 Boat Race
The 2020 Boat Race was cancelled due to COVID-19, the first time since World War II that the race has not run. We are working with all of our stakeholders to ensure that we stage the Boat Race in the spring of 2021 when the crews from Oxford and Cambridge Universities renew the oldest rivalry in sport.
This famous race is in fact two races, featuring the men’s and women’s Blue Boats of Oxford and Cambridge. The Blue Boat is the name given to the top crew from each university, whose members win the coveted Light Blue colours of Cambridge or Dark Blue of Oxford.
The openweight reserve crews are raced between the Boat Races (after the women’s race and before the men’s). The men’s reserve crews are Isis, for Oxford, and Goldie, for Cambridge. The women’s reserve crews are Osiris, for Oxford, and Blondie, for Cambridge.
The 2021 Gemini Boat Race was held on Sunday 4th April 2021 with the Women’s Race at 15:50 and the Men’s Race at 16:50. Due to COVID this year the race took place on the River Great Ouse at Ely.
The Championship Course
Putney to Mortlake
The Boat Race course, known as The Championship Course is 4 miles, 374 yards or 6.8 km long.
It stretches between Putney and Mortlake on the River Thames in south west London. This course was first used for The Boat Race in 1845 and has been used for every Race since; apart from 1846, 1856 and 1863 when the race was held in the opposite direction between Mortlake and Putney.
The Fulham/Chiswick side of the course is known as the Middlesex side. The Putney/Barnes side of the course is known as the Surrey side.
The Boat Race is rowed upstream, but is timed to start on the incoming “flood” tide.
The Men’s Boat Race is an hour and a half before high tide, with The Women’s Boat Race a further hour before so that the crews are rowing with the fastest possible current.
Want to row for Cambridge?
Rowing for Cambridge is a unique combination of academic and sporting excellence. We welcome athletes of all abilities from a range of backgrounds in the trialling process, starting each season in September.
Get in touch with us today so we can provide you with more information, key dates and support.