This year the annual University Boat Race will take place at 4.10pm on Sunday 27th March and it will be the 162nd time that the event has been held. The Boat Race is a coxed eight rowing competition between the University of Oxford (Dark Blues) and the University of Cambridge (Light Blues). Oxford will go into the race as champions, having won the 2015 race by a margin of six lengths. However, Cambridge lead overall with 81 victories to Oxford’s 79 and with one dead heat in 1877. The rivalry is a major point of honour between the two universities.
The first race took place in 1829 at Henley-on-Thames following a challenge between old school friends. Since the second race in 1836 the contest has taken place in London. This famous annual event takes place around Easter each year in south-west London, where the River Thames is still tidal. The Championship Course is 4.2-mile (6.8 km) long and runs between Putney and Mortlake with the finish line just before Chiswick Bridge. Cambridge hold the course record of 16 minutes 19 seconds set in 1998, which was an average speed of 24.9 kilometres per hour (15.5 mph).
The Boat Race is one of the oldest sporting events in the world and can be seen from many vantage points along the riverbank such as Putney, Hammersmith, Barnes or Chiswick. The event is also broadcast live on BBC Television. Over the years the race has not been without incident. As examples the Oxford boat sank in 1951, the Cambridge boat sank in 1978, the race was stopped after one minute in 2001 following a clash of oars and most recently the race was halted in 2012 by a protester swimming between the boats.
The 2016 Boat Races will be known as The Cancer Research UK Boat Races for the purpose of sponsorship and this year will be the first time in the history of The Boat Race that all four senior races, the men’s, the women’s, the men’s reserve crew and women’s reserve crew are to be held on the same day and on the same course along the Tideway. Prior to 2015 the women’s race, which first took place in 1927, was usually held on the River Thames at Henley over a 2,000-metre (2,200 yd) course.
For more information go to http://theboatraces.org/
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