The 160th Boat Race between the men’s crews from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge will be taking place this Sunday, 6 April at 5.55pm on the River Thames in London. The women’s competition took place this previous weekend, with the Oxford team winning by 4 lengths. The boat race is one of the oldest sporting events in the world, dating back to Henley 1829!
The Championship Course is 4 miles, 374 yards or 6.8 km long. It begins downstream from Putney Bridge, passing underneath the Hammersmith and Barnes bridges and ending just before the Chiswick Bridge.
According to the official website, the crew who wins the coin toss before the race chooses which side (or station) they will race on. “The stations are known as Middlesex and Surrey, with advantages and disadvantages for each side because of the bends in the river.”
Did You Know?
- The record time for the course is 16 minutes 19 seconds and was set by Cambridge in 1998
- Currently, Oxford have 77 wins and Cambridge have 81
- The first race on 10 June 1829 took place because of a challenge between old school friends, Charles Wordsworth of Oxford and Charles Merrivale of Cambridge
- Since the second race in 1836, the contest has taken place in London
- From 1856 onwards, the race became an annual event, apart from the breaks during the two world wars
- The teams compete in eight oared rowing boats, and each boat is steered by a cox who sits in the stern or back of the boat. The cox is the only crew member who faces in the direction they are going.
- Both universities have a reserve crew who race 1/2 hour prior to the main race; Oxford’s reserve boat is called Isis, Cambridge’s is called Goldie.
Where to Watch
Spectators can watch the race from viewing spots all along the river bank, stretching from Putney to Chiswick. The site recommends the following areas of note: “Putney Embankment and Bishops Park (at the start); Hammersmith and Barnes (mid-course); Dukes Meadows and Chiswick Bridge (at the finish)”.
There are also two boat race parks, Bishop’s Park in Fulham and Furnivall Gardens in Hammersmith. These will be open from 12pm to 7pm, and are free to visit. They both offer great vantage points of the river, along with big screens so that you can follow the rest of the action after the boats have passed by.
Stay Warm on the Sidelines
The weather forecast looks quite mild for Sunday, but as we all know, the British weather has a mind of its own.
We hope you’ll be wearing one of our Dickies bodywarmers while you cheer on the rowers – they’re not as heavy as your traditional winter jackets, but these lightweight garments still keep your torso warm in the case of a chilly wind or light drizzle.
We’ve also got some great fleeces to keep you cosy out in the fresh air – stylish, lightweight and durable, Dickies fleeces are great for layering.
Also on offer are our selection of Waterproofs to keep you dry from any splash’s and the rain if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Finally, your boat-race-watching-outfit is not complete without some warm headgear – make sure you’re wearing a Dickies beanie to keep your ears and head warm on a cool English evening!
If you’ll be at the BNY Mellon Boat Race this Sunday, do send us some pics.