What is The Boat Race?
The Boat Race is the side-by-side annual contest between two rowing crews from Oxford and Cambridge universities. It takes place on the River Thames between Putney and Mortlake in West London and this year it will be held on 2nd April.
The first men’s Boat Race took place in 1829, borne out of a challenge between old school friends. Women had to wait until 1927 to have their own Boat Race. However, it only became permanent in the mid 1960’s and they faced the hostility of those who thought women should not be allowed to row or race.
How are the teams and the Championship Course?
Each university team is formed of eight rowers and a cox who sits in the stern of the boat (which is the only person who faces in the direction they are moving). The Oxford crew wears dark blue and the Cambridge team wears light blue.
The Boat Race course, also known as the Championship Course, is 4 miles and 374 yards long. The record time set by Cambridge in 1998 (16 minutes 19 seconds) is still unbeaten.
Where to watch The Boat Race?
The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is one of the biggest free sporting events in the world. In the UK, the Races are shown live on BBC1 but there is nothing better than seeing them in London from one of the many vantage points along the riverbank such as Putney, Hammersmith, Barnes or Chiswick. Big screens, stalls and bars are located in several places of the city to follow the race as well.
Attending such an exciting and traditional occasion will give you a great insight into the old-fashioned famous rivalry between the two prestigious universities and a special chance to experience British culture.
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