This Year's University Boat Race Cancelled

Organisers say 'unprecedented situation' means event will not take place

The Boat Race crews on the Thames.
The Boat Race crews on the Thames. Picture: Peter Trimming

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The Oxford-Cambridge boat race along the River Thames is one of a number of events that have been cancelled this week due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

This Monday (16 March) it was announced that the event, due to take place on Sunday March 29, had been cancelled due to the organisers’ concerns for the welfare of the crews, spectators, staff and volunteers.

Robert Gillespie, Chairman of The Boat Race Company Limited, said in a statement, “Given the unprecedented situation our country and each of us as individuals faces, the public good far outweighs all other considerations.

“Cancellation of the boat race is therefore clearly the correct decision, but it is not without sad consequence. Our thoughts are very much with the athletes who have worked so hard and made immense sacrifices to represent their university and are now unable to do so.

“To cancel is not an easy decision and we realise this news will undoubtedly disappoint all those who look forward to the race each year – whether watching on the riverbanks, on TV or online.”

“We would like to thank our partners, fans, the local businesses and community for their continued support.”.

The first men’s boat race was run in 1829. The course is four miles and 374 yards long, or 6.8km.

It stretches between Putney and Mortlake on the River Thames in south West London. This course was first used for The Boat Race in 1845 and has been used for every Race since; apart from 1846, 1856 and 1863 when the race was held in the opposite direction between Mortlake and Putney.

The Fulham/Chiswick side of the course is known as the Middlesex side. The Putney/Barnes side of the course is known as the Surrey side.

Sian Bayley - Local Democracy Reporter

March 17, 2020

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