The Boat Race 2020

The Boat Race 2020 will take place on 29 March 2020.[2] Held annually, The Boat Race is a side-by-side rowing race between crews from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge along a 4.2-mile (6.8 km) tidal stretch of the River Thames in south-west London. This will be the 75th women's race and the 166th men's race, and for the fifth time in the history of the event, the men's, women's and both reserves' races will all be held on the Tideway on the same day.

The Boat Race 2020
Date29 March 2020
UmpireSarah Winckless[1]
UmpireJudith Packer[1]

BackgroundEdit

 
The Championship Course along which the races are conducted

The Boat Race is a side-by-side rowing competition between the University of Oxford (sometimes referred to as the "Dark Blues")[3] and the University of Cambridge (sometimes referred to as the "Light Blues").[3] First held in 1829, the race takes place on the 4.2-mile (6.8 km) Championship Course, between Putney and Mortlake on the River Thames in south-west London.[4] The rivalry is a major point of honour between the two universities; the race is followed throughout the United Kingdom and broadcast worldwide.[5][6] Cambridge will go into the race as champions, having won the 2019 race by a margin of five lengths,[7] and lead overall with 84 victories to Oxford's 80 (excluding the 1877 race, a dead heat).[8][9]

The autumn reception, where the previous year's losing team challenges the winners to a rematch, was held at the Chapel Down Gin Works in London on 20 November 2019.[1] As Cambridge's women had won the previous year's race, it was Oxford's responsibility to offer the traditional challenge to the Cambridge University Women's Boat Club (CUWBC). To that end, Tina Christmann, President of Oxford University Women's Boat Club (OUWBC), laid down the gauntlet to Larkin Sayre, her Cambridge counterpart. Cambridge's victory in the men's race meant that Augustin Wambersie, President of Oxford University Boat Club (OUBC), challenged Freddie Davidson, President of Cambridge University Boat Club (CUBC).[1]

The 75th women's race will be umpired by Judith Packer, while the 166th men's race will be umpired by Sarah Winckless. It will be the first time in the history of the event that both senior races are umpired by women.[1]

CoachesEdit

The Cambridge men's crew coaching team is led by their chief coach, Rob Baker, who had previously coached CUWBC to victories in both the 2017 and 2018 races, and CUBC to a win in 2019. He is assisted by Jordan Stanley, a New Zealander who is the former Director of Rowing at the University of St Andrews. Donald Legget, who rowed for the Light Blues in the 1963 and 1964 races is a supporting coach, along with coxing coach Henry Fieldman (who steered Cambridge in the 2013 race) and the medical officer Simon Owens.[10] Sean Bowden is the chief coach for Oxford, having been responsible for the senior men's crew since 1997, winning 12 from 20 races. He is a former Great Britain Olympic coach and coached the Light Blues in the 1993 and 1994 Boat Races. His assistant coach is Brendan Gliddon, a South African who formerly coached under-23 and FISU teams for both South Africa and Great Britain. Alex Bowmer is OUBC's physical therapist.[11]

Cambridge women's chief coach is Robert Weber, who joined Cambridge University before the 2019 race from Hamilton College in New York, where he was Head Rowing Coach and Associate Professor of Physical Education. He is assisted by Paddy Ryan and Katy Knowles.[12] Oxford women's chief coach once again is Andy Nelder, who previously worked with Bowden and OUBC for eleven years. He is assisted by James Powell.[13]

TrialsEdit

Dates for the trials, where crews are able to simulate the race proper on the Championship Course, were announced on 5 December 2019.[14]

WomenEdit

OUWBC'S trial took place on the Championship Course at 11:00 a.m. on 11 December, between Morely and Brown, named after two of the Oxford crew who participated in and won the inaugural Women's Boat Race.[15] The race, umpired by Judith Packer, was took place in calm and cool conditions, with the crews making an even start. Morely, with the OUWBC president rowing at number seven, gradually took control of the race and sought to cross in front of Brown by Hammersmith Bridge. By Barnes Bridge, Morely was more than seven seconds ahead and held onto the lead to finish six seconds in front of Brown.[16]

Cambridge's women's trial race was held on the Championship Course at 2.45 p.m. on 16 December, between crews dominated by students of biology and medicine. As such the boats were named Actin and Myosin, the proteins which make the two muscle fibres that pull against each other in the human body.[17] The CUWBC president, Larkin Sayre, rowed in Myosin who lost the toss and were on the Middlesex side of the river. The race was conducted in overcast but smooth conditions and was umpired by Judith Packer. Actin took a slight lead by the Black Buoy which they extended to be several lengths up on Myosin by Hammersmith Bridge. Myosin fought back before Chiswick Bridge to reduce the deficit, but Actin won by around two lengths.[18]

MenEdit

 
The RNLI's Hurley Burly after which Oxford's trial boats were named

Oxford's men's trial race was held on the Championship Course at noon on 11 December, between Hurley and Burly, named after the RNLI's lifeboat Hurley Burly.[19] Umpired by Sarah Winckless, the race started evenly under scattered clouds and in calm water. Soon after, Hurley, stroked by the Oxford president Augustin Wambersie, took the lead and by Hammersmith Bridge had a clear water advantage. Burly were left in Hurley's wake as an uneventful race concluded.[20]

The CUBC trial race took place on the Championship Course on 16 December, between Electric and Boogaloo.[21] In order to practice in the same tide conditions as the main race day, the trial was conducted at 3.45 p.m. which necessitated the use of lights on each of the boats. The crews made an even start under the umpiring of Sarah Winckless, but by the Mile Post, Electric held a quarter-length lead despite multiple warnings about their steering. Further warnings, for both crews, followed and Boogaloo took advantage of the Surrey bend to hold a three-quarter-length lead at St Paul's. As the advantage changed more to the Middlesex side, Electric fought back but Boogaloo responded in kind to end the race around a length clear.[22]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Challenge accepted and 2020 umpires announced". The Boat Race Company Limited. 21 November 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  2. ^ "The Boat Race". The Boat Race Company Limited. Archived from the original on 8 November 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Dark Blues aim to punch above their weight". The Observer. 6 April 2003. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  4. ^ Smith, Oliver (25 March 2014). "University Boat Race 2014: spectators' guide". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 1 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Former Winnipegger in winning Oxford–Cambridge Boat Race crew". CBC News. 6 April 2014. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  6. ^ "TV and radio". The Boat Race Company Limited. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Boat Race – Results". The Boat Race Company Limited. Archived from the original on 12 July 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  8. ^ Higginson, Marc (6 April 2014). "Boat Race 2014: Oxford emphatically beat Cambridge". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 24 March 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Classic moments – the 1877 dead heat". The Boat Race Company Limited. Archived from the original on 26 October 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Staff". Cambridge University Boat Club. Archived from the original on 10 January 2020. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Staff – OUBC". Oxford University Boat Club. Archived from the original on 10 January 2020. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  12. ^ "Coaching and Support Team – CUWBC". Cambridge University Women's Boat Club. Archived from the original on 10 January 2020. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Coaching Team". Oxford University Women's Boat Club. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Trial Eights dates". The Boat Race Company Limited. 5 December 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  15. ^ "OUWBC Trial Eights crews announced". The Boat Race Company Limited. 11 December 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  16. ^ Epstein, Izak (11 December 2019). "OUWBC: Morely vs Brown". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  17. ^ "CUWBC crews announced". The Boat Race Company Limited. 16 December 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  18. ^ "CUWBC: Actin vs Myosin". The Boat Race Company Limited. 16 December 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  19. ^ "OUBC Trial Eights Crews Announced". The Boat Race Company Limited. 11 December 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  20. ^ Epstein, Izak (11 December 2019). "OUBC: Hurley vs Burly". The Boat Race Company Limited. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  21. ^ "CUBC Crews Announced". The Boat Race Company Limited. 16 December 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  22. ^ "CUBC: Electric vs Boogaloo". The Boat Race Company Limited. 16 December 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2020.

External linksEdit