The Boat Race 2004

The 150th Boat Race took place on 28 March 2004. Cambridge won by six lengths after a race with several clashes of oars. Oxford's appeal for a re-row upon the conclusion of the race was rejected by umpire James Behrens. The event was sponsored for the final time by Aberdeen Asset Management and broadcast in the United Kingdom by the BBC.

150th Boat Race
Date28 March 2004 (2004-03-28)
Margin of victory6 lengths
Winning time18 minutes 47 seconds
Overall record
UmpireJames Behrens
Other races
Reserve winnerIsis
Women's winnerOxford

In the reserve race Isis beat Goldie; Oxford also won the Women's Boat Race.


The Boat Race is a side-by-side rowing competition between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. First held in 1829, the competition is a 4.2-mile (6.8 km) race along the Championship Course on the River Thames in southwest London.[1] The rivalry is a major point of honour between the two universities and followed throughout the United Kingdom and worldwide.[2] Oxford went into the race as reigning champions, having won the 2003 race by 1 foot (0.30 m),[3] with Cambridge leading overall with 77 victories to Oxford's 71 (excluding the "dead heat" of 1877).[4][5] The race was sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management for the fifth and final time.[6] It was also the BBC's 50th anniversary of live broadcast of the event.[7]

The first Women's Boat Race took place in 1927, but did not become an annual fixture until the 1960s. Until 2014, the contest was conducted as part of the Henley Boat Races, but as of the 2015 race, it is held on the River Thames, on the same day as the men's main and reserve races.[8] The reserve race, contested between Oxford's Isis boat and Cambridge's Goldie boat has been held since 1965. It usually takes place on the Tideway, prior to the main Boat Race.[3]


The Championship Course along which the crews row during the Boat Race

The Cambridge crew (sometimes referred to as the "Light Blues")[9] weighed an average of 1 pound (0.45 kg) per rower more than their opponents,[10] and had an average age of 24 while Oxford's crew (sometimes referred to as the "Dark Blues")[9] averaged 23. The Oxford crew featured seven Britons and two Americans, while the Cambridge crew consisted of three Britons, a British/American, a German/French, a German, an American and an Australian.[11][12]

Seat Cambridge
Name Nationality Age Name Nationality Age
Bow Christopher Le Neve Foster British 22 Chris Kennelly American 23
2 Kris Coventry Australian 26 Basil Dixon British 22
3 Hugo Mallinson British/American 24 Andrew Stubbs British 23
4 Sebastian Mayer German/French 29 Joel Scrogin American 26
5 Andrew Shannon British 24 Peter Reed British 22
6 Steffen Buschbacher German 26 David Livingston British 20
7 Wayne Pommen Canadian 24 Henry Morris British 21
Stroke Nate Kirk American 23 Colin Smith British 20
Cox Kenelm Richardson British 19 Acer Nethercott British 26

Race descriptionEdit

The flotilla following the two University crews towards Chiswick Bridge

Oxford were considered to be pre-race favourites by many.[13] Cambridge won the coin toss and elected to start from the northern bank (the "Middlesex side") of the Thames. Conditions were described as "fairly calm".[13] Oxford made the better start, pulling away to a lead of half a length, but following a number of oar clashes, the Oxford bowman lost his seating, causing his boat to slow.[4] Cambridge took the lead and with clear water behind them, pulled away to win. Cambridge finished with a time of 18 minutes, 47 seconds, Oxford finishing six lengths behind.[3][13] It was Cambridge's first victory since 2001 and brought the overall result to 78–71 in Cambridge's favour.[3] Oxford's cox Nethercott made an appeal to the umpire but the result stood.[13] At the finish, following tradition, the Cambridge crew threw their cox, Kenelm Richardson, into the water in celebration.[14]

In the reserve race, Oxford's Isis beat Cambridge's Goldie. Earlier at Henley, Oxford won the 59th Women's Boat Race by four lengths.[3]


Oxford cox Acer Nethercott said "Our bowman came off his seat and could not continue properly – it was race over after that."[4] Regarding the rejected appeal, he claimed that the umpire "had laid down to both coxes before the race that there was a way he wanted to conduct the race. And then he did something completely different in the race."[15] Kennelly, the bowman, claimed he was "100 per cent confident that if what happened didn't happen we would have won" while Cambridge cox Kenelm Richardson stated "The umpire was very good and told me to hold my line, so I knew I was exactly where I needed to be".[16]


  1. ^ Smith, Oliver (25 March 2014). "University Boat Race 2014: spectators' guide". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 1 July 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  2. ^ "Former Winnipegger in winning Oxford–Cambridge Boat Race crew". CBC News. 6 April 2014. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Boat Race – Results". The Boat Race Company Ltd. Archived from the original on 12 July 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Cambridge win Boat Race". BBC Sport. 28 March 2004. Archived from the original on 27 April 2006. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Classic moments – the 1877 dead heat". The Boat Race Company Ltd. Archived from the original on 26 October 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  6. ^ Gough, Martin (23 March 2005). "Boat Race enters new era". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 7 February 2006. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  7. ^ McGavin, Harvey (29 March 2004). "Rowing: Row, row, and another row as boat race ends in acrimony". The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  8. ^ "A brief history of the Women's Boat Race". The Boat Race Company Limited. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Dark Blues aim to punch above their weight". The Observer. 6 April 2003. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Cambridge hold weight edge". BBC Sport. 23 March 2004. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  11. ^ "Meet the Oxford University team". BBC Sport. 19 March 2004. Archived from the original on 22 September 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Meet the Cambridge University team". BBC Sport. 19 March 2004. Archived from the original on 19 May 2006. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  13. ^ a b c d "Boat Race as it happened". BBC Sport. 28 March 2004. Archived from the original on 28 June 2004. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  14. ^ "150th Boat Race photos". BBC Sport. 28 March 2004. Archived from the original on 29 May 2006. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Boat Race cox maintains innocence". BBC Sport. 25 March 2005. Archived from the original on 7 November 2006. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  16. ^ Gough, Martin (28 March 2004). "Kennelly angry after defeat". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 20 December 2006. Retrieved 16 April 2014.

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