The 160th Annual Boat Race 2014 (Oxford vs Cambridge) – Sunday April 6th, 2014. (11:55a CST/ 5:55pm GMT)
This weekend holds an event that continues a long-standing tradition in British rowing and goes to the very heart of what this sport is all about. On Sunday, the 160th annual Oxford vs Cambridge boat race will take place between Putney and Chiswick on the Tideway Thames in London, UK. Two eights will battle it out over 4 and a 1/4 miles to see who will be victorious. This event is, in my opinion, far more grueling both physically and mentally than any challenge a 2000m Olympic course presents to an athlete. These athletes represent the very model of amateur athletes as they are full time academic scholars in their chosen field and balance this with 3-4 hours of daily training in preparation for the 20 minute effort at rates on or above 34 strokes per minute. Coxswains are vitally important as the stretch of the Thames that the crews row on is tidal and requires a great deal of knowledge to navigate to keep the crews in the stream. It is not uncommon for the oars of both boats to overlap and sometimes tangle up as coxswains fight for their crews water and the best line for racing!
Facts and History
The boat race is one of the largest sporting televised event in the UK after the FA Cup final (soccer i.e. like the Super Bowl for English Folk) and The Grand National (Horse Racing i.e. Kentucky Derby).
A brief history of the race can be found at the following link: http://theboatrace.org/men/origins
Cambridge currently lead the series since 1829 by 81-77. Oxford won the 2013 Race.
How Can I Watch The Race Live This Sunday?
The event will be televised live between 11:30am-1:30pm Sunday on Channel 282 (Cox Cable) which is the Universal channel. We had to add the channel for the month and it cost $10 with other sports channels included for the month (if you can afford this cost I am quite certain it is worth it, just set yourself a reminder to call cox in a month and get it removed so you are not charged for subsequent months!) Set your DVRs now!
Is There A Boat Race For Female Crews?
Yes absolutely! Interestingly, the women’s boat race between the two universities has been scheduled to be moved to the Tideway in London for the first time next year! Up to this year the women’s boat race has taken place in Henley since the 1970s (when it became a permanent fixture). For the history of the women’s boat race, click the following link: http://theboatrace.org/women/history. The women’s boat race is not currently televised (to the best of my knowledge). However, this will change next year as it moves to the same course and day as the mens event for the first time.
I will be updating our Facebook page with some videos and press coverage over the weekend for those that are interested. If anyone has any questions, please let me know.
Coach Neil Bergenroth