Oxford v Cambridge: Boat Race preview
Follow all the action live as Oxford University and Cambridge University take to the Great Ouse for the 2021 Boat Race.
Due to the pandemic and the closure of Hammersmith Bridge, the race will take place in rural Cambridgeshire with fans not permitted to attend the usually raucous event. The race was called off with only a week’s notice last year, with organisers opting to relocate to the Great Ouse for today’s edition not only for logistical purposes but due to its historical relevance, with an unofficial 1944 wartime race held on the river.
The race will begin at Queen Adelaide Bridge near Ely and will run for 4.89km – significantly shorter than the usual 6.8km route down the Thames – finishing just shy of Sandhill Bridge at Littleport. This year marks the 166th edition of the men’s race with defending champions Cambridge leading 84-80 in the record books, although Oxford are considered slight betting favourites this afternoon. In the 75th women’s race, Cambridge are overwhelming favourites and boast a 44-30 lead. The women’s race will begin at 3.50pm while the men’s race starts an hour later at 4.50pm. Follow all the action live below:
FIVE MINUTES TO GO
The crews are out on the water. We saw a slightly complicated start to the women’s race, with the sideways, westerly wind making it hard for both crews to line up straight. That’s likely to hold up the men’s race by a minute or so, as well.
Jamie Braidwood4 April 2021 16:45
WOMEN’S RACE REPORT AS CAMBRIDGE EDGE OXFORD
Jamie Braidwood4 April 2021 16:39
After 166 races, it’s remarkably close between the Light and Dark Blues. Cambridge have the edge with 84 wins to Oxford’s 80, while there has been one dead heat.
Jamie Braidwood4 April 2021 16:37
If the women’s race is anything to go by, it’s set to be a challenging race for Oxford’s Jesse Oberst and Cambridge’s Charlie Marcus in the cox. We knew the River Ouse was a narrow course, but the women’s race showed just how tight it is between the crews – especially at the start. How aggressive will they be at the outset?
Jamie Braidwood4 April 2021 16:33
MEET THE MEN’S CREWS
Oxford men: James Forward, Alex Bebb, Martin Barakso, Felix Drinkall, Tobias Schroder, Jean-Philippe Dufour, Joshua Bowesman-Hones, Augustin Wambersie, Jesse Oberst (cox)
Cambridge men: Theo Weinberger, Ben Dyer, Seb Benzecry, Quinten Richardson, Garth Holden, Ollie Parish, Callum Sullivan, Drew Taylor, Charlie Marcus (cox)
Jamie Braidwood4 April 2021 16:28
Umpire Sarah Winckless makes history today as the first female umpire of the men’s race – almost 200 years after the first Varsity Boat Race took place. Winckless won a bronze medal in at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 in the double sculls event.
Jamie Braidwood4 April 2021 16:26
‘WATER IS WATER’
Oxford’s Felix Drinkall: “The experience of the last few years fuels our fire in training. We’ve got to go out and deliver.” Is it a disadvantage to race on Cambridge’s home course? “Water is water, it’s a straight course. We’ll see what we can do.”
Jamie Braidwood4 April 2021 16:22
Oxford are slight favourites for the 166th men’s race, but Cambridge have the chance to make it another double day for the Light Blues. They’ve won three of the last four of the men’s races.
Jamie Braidwood4 April 2021 16:19
Cambridge’s Sarah Tisdall: “Awesome race, massive congrats to Oxford. That was the closest race we’ve had.”
It certainly was tight – the men’s race (coming up at 16:50 GMT) will do well to match the drama of that one .
Jamie Braidwood4 April 2021 16:16
CAMBRIDGE MAKE IT FOUR IN A ROW
It was a lot closer than expected, but Cambridge have made it four in a row in the women’s Boat Race. Oxford made a bright start but Cambridge were always in control. Even though they won it by less than a length, their win was not in doubt going into the final few hundred metres.
Jamie Braidwood4 April 2021 16:13