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Boat Race to return to River Thames in 2022

Matilda Gettins reports.

The Boat Race will return to London this year, taking place on the traditional Championship Course on Sunday 3rd April 2022.

Due to COVID-19 related restriction, the 2021 race was moved to Ely, Cambridgeshire and took place in a ‘closed’ format. Spectators were asked to stay at home and watch the race on television.

Next year’s race will be back on London’s Championship Course, which stretches over 4.25 miles of the Thames. The Women’s Boat Race will start at 14:23 and the Men’s Boat Race will begin at 15:23. 

Spectators are welcomed to watch directly from the riverbank. The event will also be broadcast television and on The Boat Race’s social media channels. The Boat Race is regularly attended by over 250,000 spectators according to organisers, and viewed by more than 5 million on television.  

The 2022 race will be the 76th Women’s and the 167th Men’s Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge University. The rowers are all students and sporting ‘amateurs’. University rowing is a big sport at both Cambridge and Oxford, with many students following rigorous training programmes. Boat Race have rowed for Team GB in the Olympics in the past. 

Last year’s race between Oxford and Cambridge saw Oxford’s Men and Women’s Team lose the competition by “a single boat length”. Cambridge have a historic edge over Oxford, having won 84 vs 80 of the men’s competitions, and 44 vs 30 of the women’s competitions.

Oxford University Men’s Boat Club’s President, Martin Barasko, said: “It is extremely exciting that The Boat Race is returning to London after two long years. Oxford is very much looking forward to racing again on the Championship Course. Both the Women and Men have had a strong start to the season and have established a solid foundation on which to build on over the next six months. Thank you to the BRCL for their tireless work in organising what is shaping up to be a thrilling contest on the Tideway.’’ 

Cambridge University Boat Club’s Women’s President, Bronya Sykes said: “I’m hugely excited for The Boat Races’ return to the Tideway in 2022. The Ely Boat Races were the perfect place for the 2021 Races in the COVID-19 pandemic and both Women’s and Men’s Races were great contests. But the Tideway is the home of The Boat Races, and we’re looking forward to the atmosphere and challenge of racing that you can only get racing against Oxford from Putney to Mortlake. We’re truly grateful for BRCL’s work in getting The Race back to the Tideway, and to being part of one of the UK’s great traditional contests.”

Image: Pointilist/CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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