4 men rowing

The Boat Race

[The Boat Race] is the most traditional, idiosyncratic and curiously popular event in the British sporting calendar.

The Guardian

Catch our drift

Spanning almost 200 years of rivalry between the country’s leading universities, the annual Boat Race sees Oxford and Cambridge battle it out over 4.25 miles of tidal Thames. Cheered on by thousands of spectators lining the banks, this spring marks the 78th Women’s Race and 169th Men’s Race for the 2024 Gemini Boat Race.

Steeped in history

This iconic amateur sporting event first made a splash in 1829, when Oxford beat Cambridge along a stretch of the river at Henley-on-Thames. The men’s race moved to London in 1836, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that the women’s teams began to race more regularly. Since then, trophies have passed back and forth between the rivals – with Cambridge just pipping Oxford to the post in total wins so far.

A course for champions

Today’s Championship Course has followed the river from Putney to Mortlake since 1845. Facing off upstream, and timed to begin with the fastest current, it makes for a gruelling 20 or so minutes. Spectators can take in the action anywhere along the river, but there are official fan parks at the start line in Fulham and mid-way through, by Hammersmith Bridge. The finishing line falls just before Chiswick Bridge – with The Ship pub perfectly placed nearby for a celebratory drink, or two.

Find out more 


30 March 2024