The Boat Race is an renowned rowing race that takes place every year and sees the Oxford University Boat Club compete against the Cambridge University Boat Club
What to expect at The Boat Race
The Boat Race is a high profile event that takes place every year. Oxford and Cambridge battle it out on the water over a 4 mile course, which stretches between Putney and Mortlake on the River Thames. The race starts in Putney. The Women’s Boat Race takes place about an hour before the Men’s Boat Race.
The BBC provide live coverage of The Boat Race and you will likely see famous rowers such as Matthew Pinsent and Steve Redgrave. It is just down the road from Chelsea so you will likely spot some of the MIC cast cheering from the bridges.
Event hotspots and hospitality
The paths along the river are packed for this event. Popular places include the riverside pubs in Putney as well as the drinking holes that have a view of the river near Hammersmith. The bridges provide a great view of the action. Fan zones in Bishops Park, Fulham and Furnivall Gardens, Hammersmith feature big screens plus merchandising stalls and bars.
Did you know
The race came about because two friends from Harrow School, Charles Wordsworth (nephew of the poet William Wordsworth), of Christ Church College, Oxford, and Charles Merrivale of St. John’s, Cambridge, met during the vacation in Cambridge, where Wordsworth’s father was master of Trinity. Wordsworth went rowing on the Cam, and the two school fellows decided to set up a challenge.
The Boat Race is always umpired by an ‘old Blue’, with an ex-Oxford umpire alternating year-on-year with an ex-Cambridge umpire.
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Wrap up warm. Even on a bright spring day you are likely to feel a chill in the air. It may be damp under foot on some of the river paths so we recommend wellies. It is a casual event so jeans, jumpers, mac and bobble hats are all acceptable.
You can drive to Putney to be at the start line, but the traffic can be bad. Putney is easily accessible by tube and features on the District Line. You can also travel to Hammersmith Tube Station and walk to the river in about 5-10 minutes to watch the action further down the river. Mortlake is another place to head and this is serviced by the overground.